Soon it will be the season for entertaining, and when you have visitors staying, your drains are going to get a serious workout. When the drain is clogged, many people go straight to using a chemical drain clearing product. But, as we will show here that is no the best course of action and it’s far better to use something kinder. Let’s take a look at hard chemical cleaners and show you three steps to clear your drain with items you can find in your kitchen cupboards.
How Do Drains Get Clogged?
There are a few materials that are best kept out of a drain, such as soap scum, hair, mousse, gels, coffee grounds, eggshells, oils, and grease. The stickier items can combine with hair and other materials to form a clog that will gradually grow in size over time as more material is added. Eventually, the clog will start to impede the flow of water, and the drain will start to slow and the back up. The clog will have to be removed before the drain will work again, and this is when people use a chemical drain cleaner to melt the clog and break it up.
Why Not Use Chemical Cleaners?
If you look at the packaging of a typical chemical drain cleaner, you will notice that it’s a caustic product and you need to make sure it doesn’t get on your hands. The properties that make these cleaners good at melting clogs also means that they will damage your plumbing pipes. It’s also interesting to know that the clogs will eventually return because these chemical drain cleaners don’t get rid of all of the materials. Finally, chemical cleaners are terrible for our environment, and using them will add harsh chemicals into the water supply.
3 Steps to Clear a Drain Clog Safely
Before you use this method, it’s worth mentioning that a manual clog removal is always preferable over any other method. This can be attempted with a simple cup plunger; place the head over the drain and move it up and down a few times. Don’t pump too hard or you could damage the pipes, and in many cases, the change in pressure will be enough to remove the clog. If that doesn’t work, try the following three steps to get your drain working again.
Pour one cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar.
The mixture will fizz in the drain, leave it for five minutes and flush the drain with two quarts of hot (not boiling) water.
If this doesn’t work, repeat the process a few times until the clog clears.
What if the Clog Doesn’t Clear?
If the plunger and the method shown above don’t work, it’s likely that you have a stubborn or persistent clog. Removing this will be a challenge, and it may return due to an underlying plumbing issue. Contact your local licensed plumber
; they have the experience, knowledge, and specialized tools to safely remove the clog without damaging your plumbing system.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutio