There are many reasons to choose a natural drain cleaner. For starters, they’re much healthier for you and your family. Most over-the-counter drain cleaners have sulfuric acids or sodium hydroxide in them, and while these ingredients work fast, they’ll erode your drains if you use them too many times.
It’s good to know some ways to clean your drains naturally with products you may already have at home. Of course, if you’ve got a stubborn clog, you may need a professional drain cleaner – as in a professional plumber.
Below are six natural drain cleaners. Give one (or more) a try next time you’ve got a clogged drain.
Use a wire hanger. You can’t get much more DIY than this. You’ll need a good pair of pliers to unwind the wire, but you’ll want to keep the hook intact. Then, simply use the unwound hanger to pull out what’s blocking the drain. This technique works well in the bathroom for hair clogs.
Baking soda and vinegar. Pour about a ½ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Essentially, you’ll want a half to half ratio for the two ingredients. Then, after about an hour, pour boiling water down the drain to clear it out.
Baking soda and salt. This is similar to the baking soda and vinegar technique. Again, you’ll need a half to half ratio, so about ½ cup each. Mix the salt and the baking soda together, pour down the drain, and then wait overnight to pour boiling water down the drain.
Borax, vinegar and salt. For this method, you’ll need ¼ cup of Borax, ¼ cup of salt, and about ½ cup of vinegar. Mix these ingredients together, pour the mixture down the drain and follow it by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. You’ll need to wait for the mixture to start working, then after a few hours (or you can wait overnight as well) run hot tap water to flush out the drain.
Water and dish soap. It sounds way too simple, but we promise you it can work. This technique is especially good for grease clogs. Start with about a half-gallon of water and add couple tablespoons if dish soap. Then, slowly pour it down the drain. Repeat if necessary.
Plunger. We’re not being cavalier here. The plunger technique is a tried-and-true method to remove clogs from drains and it’s particularly effective on kitchen drains where food can get lodge deep in the drainpipe.
In order for the plunger method to work, you’ll first need to make sure you’ve got a rubber suction cup plunger that fits your drain. Then, fill the sink up with warm water and start to plunge. You’ll need to apply pressure as you press and avoid letting any air get between the suction cup and the sink.
So, you’ve tried all these methods and none seem to work? It may be time to call a professional plumber.
And remember: the best way to avoid a clogged drain is to keep them free of things like eggshells, hair, and coffee grounds. Take care of your drains, and they’ll reward you by staying drain-free for years to come.