If you have never read a bottle of a chemical drain cleaner, you know why many people are looking to find an alternative way to cleaning their drains. The chemicals found in these bottles are loaded with dangerous poisons and corrosives. Chemicals like lye and sulfuric acid are extremely corrosive and among the most commonly used products on the market. Even the fumes from many of the ingredients can be harmful. These chemicals are also damaging to PVC pipes thus adding to more headaches down the road. There are better ways to clear the pipes that are less expensive, natural, and environmentally friendly.
Below are a few easy ways to help naturally clear your drains.
– To prevent the drains from closing off, every week to two weeks give your drains a drink! Heat up a gallon of water in a kettle or in a pot on the stove. Make sure it reaches a boil then slowly pour the water at down the drain. Pour small amounts at approximately a few minutes apart. Doing this helps keep any grease, or debris such as hair, from building up.
– Using some good old fashioned “elbow grease” may be all that you need. Grab the “tried and true” plunger. The suction created by the plunger over the drain could well be all that it takes to dislodge whatever is slowing the water drainage.
– If the water is still draining, but slowly, then try pouring a cup of baking soda into the drain and then boil 3 cups of water and pour it into the drain. The boiling water makes the baking soda more alkaline and thus more powerful to cut through the clog.
– One of the most well known natural drain cleaners is a baking soda and vinegar combination. First, pour a half cup of baking soda into the sink drain. Then follow up with a half cup of white vinegar. This mixture should only be used if there is absolutely no plan to use any of the chemical type drain cleaners. To use a commercial cleaner in combination with the baking soda and vinegar mixture could very possibly cause an adverse chemical reaction. Combining baking soda and vinegar is powerful enough that it can dissolve through hair, grease, and small clumps of food that may be blocking the drain. After pouring the vinegar, give an extra boost by pouring a few cups of boiling water to flush out any of the debris that was loosened. If the drain is being particularly stubborn, it will also help to heat up the vinegar before adding it to the drain.
– If the drain is blocked to the point that water is not draining at all, then try pouring a cup of washing soda into the water above the drain. It will have to be left to sit for a little while in order for it to work its way through and eat away at the clog. Follow up by using the baking soda and vinegar combination described above to move the clog through the pipes and out of the system. However, since washing soda has a higher pH than baking soda, there are a few things you must remember. First, be sure not to overuse this method because the higher pH will damage PVC pipes if used too often. Second, never use a commercial chemical drain cleaner. Mixing it with the washing soda produces a severe reaction.
If you have a sluggish drainage, the best thing to do is some preventative action by keeping the drains cleared on an regular basis with one of the lesser evasive natural methods. There are also other non-chemical methods such as a plumbers snake. If the natural methods do not correct the problem, consult a licensed plumber.