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6 Natural Drain Cleaning Techniques

December 20, 2021 | Blog

It’s inevitable: eventually, a drain in your home will become clogged. Before you reach for harsh chemicals, consider the impact those products have on you, your plumbing and the environment. There are safer options. Take this advice from Public Service Plumbers and try these natural drain cleaning techniques to unclog your drain. These tactics provide a safe alternative to toxic chemical drain cleaners and can be just as effective. 

Why are Chemical Drain Cleaners Dangerous?

Chemical drain cleaners contain powerful chemicals that can burn through whatever is clogging your pipes. Consider what else those chemicals might burn through.

  • Pipe damage – Soft PVC piping, old seals and joints can all sustain damage from chemical drain cleaners. What’s more, if the clog is caused by something like a tree root growing through the plumbing, no amount of drain cleaner is going to solve that clog.
  • Environmental damage – After the chemical has cleared the drain, those pollutants don’t disappear. They travel through the plumbing and can end up in the soil and groundwater. 
  • User damage – Chemical drain cleaners are extremely caustic and can burn your eyes, skin and throat. Keep you and your household safe by using natural drain cleaners.

Natural Alternative Drain Cleaners

The following methods are recommended if your sink is draining slowly. These methods are not recommended if your sink is fully blocked and holding standing water.

Boiling Water

Plain boiling water may be enough to break up greasy build-up and wash it down. Break up food and grease by adding a teaspoon or two of dish soap to the drain before pouring boiling water down.

Baking Soda

The abrasive nature of baking soda combined with the heat of the water can loosen clogs. Baking soda can also be combined with vinegar to create a chemical reaction in the form of lots of bubbles, which can loosen debris from your drain. Lastly, baking soda and salt are both pretty abrasive cleaners. Mix ½ a cup of each and let it sit in your drain for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it down with boiling water.

DIY Drain Cleaner

Combine ¼ of a cup of both salt and borax, then pour that mixture down the drain. Follow with ½ c vinegar and pour boiling water down after it. Let it sit for an hour and then run hot water from the tap down the drain to rinse it all away.

Another trick to try out is using Cola! These popular, sugary carbonated drinks contain a strong element: phosphoric acid. Check the ingredient label–it should make the list in the top four. Pour a room temperature, two-liter bottle of cola into your clogged drain and let it sit for a least an hour or two. Flush the drain with boiling water.

Have a Clogged Drain?

The following methods are recommended if your clog is keeping the drain from functioning at all. If you have standing water in your sink or tub, consider the following tactics before calling in a professional.

Use a Plunger

  • Note: there is a difference between a toilet plunger and a sink plunger. Do not use your toilet plunger in your kitchen sink! If your sink is divided into two sections, plug one section before using the plunger the other. Then switch sides and repeat. 

Physical Removal

  • U-bend under the sink – Place a large bowl or container under the pipe to catch excess water. Use a bottle brush or similar tool to scrub the u-bend clean. 
  • Coat hanger hook or barbed drain cleaning tool – This method is a simple way to ‘fish’ hair and gunk out of a drain without using chemicals.

Call in the Pros

If you have exhausted the above tactics and your drain is still clogged, it may be time to call in the professionals. Trust the professionals at Public Service Plumbers for reliable and accredited Dallas drain services. Reach out to us today to schedule your appointment!

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