Drain Cleaning

Clogged drain solutions

At one time or another, every homeowner has to deal with a sluggish or clogged drain. Before calling in an expensive plumber, try a few things first to see if you can clean the drain yourself.

Where to Start with a Clogged Drain

Conventional commercial drain cleaners often include dangerous and harsh chemicals, such as acid and lye. Not only can these substances harm your drain plumbing, they are also a threat to your health, your family's health and the safety of the wastewater stream. A gentler approach to drain cleaning that is still effective is to use an old-fashioned plunger, baking soda, washing soda or a natural enzyme product.

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First, try running hot water through the clogged drain and following up with some elbow grease and the plunger. If the drain is still sluggish, use the baking soda method: pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water, which will help to clear the drain. Repeat as needed till the drain clogs dissolve.

Baking soda combined with vinegar is also an excellent natural drain cleaner. First, pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and follow with ½ cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for several minutes, then flush with hot water.

Washing soda may be needed for more stubborn drain problems. Pour 1 cup of washing soda into the drain and let it sit for half an hour. Then, use one of the baking soda methods detailed above. Since washing soda is highly alkaline, it can damage pipes if overused, so only use the washing soda method for particularly difficult blockages.

Natural enzyme drain cleaning products contain live enzymes that actually eat organic matter, breaking it down and keeping your drains clean. Use an enzyme drain cleaner monthly to help keep drains clear; the enzymes in these products also help to reduce odors in drains and garbage disposals.

Professional Drain Plumbing

If these methods fail to clear your clogged drain, it may be time to call in a professional plumbing repair service. Plumbers and professional drain cleaning services have extensive drain cleaning equipment that can get through even the most impossible clogs. One of a plumber's favorite cleaning tools for clearing drains is the drain snake, which is also known as an auger. A drain snake uses mechanical action, not chemicals, to grind through clogged matter, but is best left in the hands of a professional to prevent injury or damage to your plumbing system.