Slow, clogged drains in your sinks, showers, or tubs are a sure way to put a sour spin on your day. No one likes standing in a puddle while they try to take a shower, and waiting for the water level in a sink to go down is a frustration and a waste of time. While chemical drain cleaners can help you to blast through a clog, they can actually do more harm than good by causing damage to your pipes. Luckily, there are lots of other options for ways that you can clean out your drain! Here are five good ones to have on hand.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Using vinegar and baking soda to clear a drain is a reliable old standby, and it really does work! Just like you learned when you made baking soda volcanos in school, vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base. When you put the two together, the chemical reaction can help to break down a clog in your drain. Add equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda to your drain and let the mixture sit for anywhere from a half hour to a full hour. Then, pour hot water down the drain until it runs freely.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
Lemon juice works similarly to vinegar in this application since it’s an acidic substance as well. This option, however, is especially good for unclogging drains that have been giving you problems with bad smells. The clean scent of the lemon juice combined with the natural deodorizing properties of the baking soda can really help to blast through a stinky, stuck drain. Just follow the same steps that you would with the vinegar and baking soda method!
Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
Borax is something that you might not have sitting around in your house, but it can be useful in unclogging drains if you do. It’s a basic (or alkaline) substance, similar to baking soda. You might be able to find it with the laundry and cleaning supplies at your grocery store. Add a ¼ cup of salt and the same amount of borax to your drain, and follow it up with a ½ cup of vinegar. After you’ve let it sit, for about an hour, follow it up with some boiling water!
Dish Soap and Hot Water
Using dish soap can be an effective way to unclog drains because of the slippery nature of the soap, and because if you have a grease-based clog, especially in kitchen sinks, the soap can help to break down the grease and get the drain moving again. To use this method, our a few generous squirts of a grease-busting dish soap down the drain and then pour in hot water until the drain runs freely again.
Sometimes with a clogged drain, it becomes time to bust out the big guns– in this case, a plunger. Using suction to dislodge the clog takes some elbow grease, but it can be an effective way to unblock your drain. Remove the stopper from the drain and use rags to block any overflow drains, then cover the drain with the rubber cup and get plunging! You’ll be able to tell when you’ve formed a good seal and are moving the clog in the pipes. When you remove the plunger and the water drains away quickly, you’ll know you’ve done the job!
When all else fails, a professional plumber can help you to deal with the most stuck and stubborn clogged drains. If you live in the Lancaster, PA area, The Plumbing Works can help you! Contact us today to discuss our drain cleaning services.