A clogged drain can be a serious housecleaning problem whether it occurs in your kitchen, your bathroom sink or your tub. Many people immediately resort to dangerous chemicals to clear clogged drains. However, the chemicals in drain cleaners can burn your skin or eyes if you come in contact with them, and they can release toxic gasses. There are less dangerous, more natural ways to deal with your clogged drains. Here are a few.
Plungers and Plumber's Snakes
You can often clear a clogged drain without pouring anything else down your drain. Sometimes a simple plunger is enough to unclog the drain. Keep a sink plunger on hand around your house, and make that your first resort for clogged drains. If you have a double sink or an overflow outlet, you should plug up the other opening before trying to use the plunger. You should also run hot water into the sink first until there is an inch or two of water in the bottom of the sink. This will help create a seal around the plunger.
If a plunger doesn't work, you can try a plumber's snake or a wire. You can often clear a drain with a short wire if the clog is close to the drain opening. A plumber's snake or drain auger can physically clear a deeper clog.
Household Drain Cleaners
If you can't physically clear the drain, there are many household ingredients you can use to make your own non-toxic drain-cleaning solution. Baking soda can sometimes clear clogged drains. Put one cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour in boiling water. The alkaline soda will often clear the drain. If that doesn't work, try combining baking soda with vinegar. They create a chemical reaction, and the bubbling of this reaction will help clear a drain.
For kitchen sink drains, the problem is often food particles that have built up over time. If that is the case, an enzyme cleaner might be your most effective method. A natural cleaner that includes enzymes, such as Bac-out, will eat away at the food particles and clear your drain. You can also put the enzyme cleaner down your drain regularly to maintain it even when it's clear.
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