Facing a slow drain? You do not need a chemical cleaner to relieve your misery. A simple natural homemade one will do the job as well. Natural drain cleaners are a great alternative to chemical cleaners as they are comparatively cheap, environmentally friendly, and equally efficient.
To learn more about how to make and use natural drain cleaners, keep reading.
What Does A Drain Cleaner Do?
Drain cleaners are acidic or basic solutions or manual tools used to unclog drains and sewer pipes. While manual drain cleaners like plungers and drain snakes physically remove the obstruction, chemical cleaners react to form a chemical reaction, the products of which work to dissolve the clog.
The chemical reaction often involves the give or take of electrons, reducing or oxidizing the clog and generating heat in the process. The three main types of chemical drain cleaners are listed below:
Such cleaners contain ingredients like lye that lend electrons to the clog. The reaction produces heat, thins grease, and makes it easily dissolvable.
Here, instead of giving away electrons, the chemical agent gains electrons. They have substances like nitrates, bleach, and peroxides and work best on organic matter.
They are the harshest chemicals and contain either hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. In aqueous solution, these acids produce hydronium ions that attract electrons from the clog. A burst of heat dissolves grease and unclogs the drain.
The Benefits Of Natural Drain Cleaning Solutions
Store-bought cleaners are made from strong chemicals that are hazardous to health and can be harmful to the plumbing system. However, there are other available options; you can use natural drain cleaners instead. Some benefits of these natural cleaners are listed below:
Natural cleaners do not use harmful chemicals and are safer to use. They do not harm the skin and are environment-friendly as well.
2. Pipe Preservation
Chemical cleaners negatively affect the piping system. They are harsh chemicals that can lead to corrosion and eventually eat away your pipework.
You can find the most ingredients for making natural cleaners in your pantry. Thus, making them is cost-effective.
6 Natural Drain Cleaners You Can Make At Home
When facing a clogged drain, calling a plumber can be very expensive, so people generally move to the next option of commercial drain cleaners. However, these cleaners have harmful chemicals that are bad for you and your plumbing.
Fortunately, you can explore another option: natural drain cleaners or homemade cleaners. You can make homemade cleaners using common household ingredients that do not wreak havoc on your plumbing system.
So, try these homemade cleaners the next time you find yourself ankle-deep in water in a shower, try these homemade cleaners. The ingredients are readily available at home so you do not have to run to a store mid-shower.
1. Baking Soda And Vinegar
Ingredients needed: Baking soda, vinegar, hot water
• Mix equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar (½ or ⅓ cup each), and pour the mix down the drain. (You can also add the two ingredients directly into the drain.)
• Plug the drain and let the concoction foam inside.
• Let it sit for 1 hour.
• Pour hot water (not boiling water) down the drain.
• Repeat for stubborn clogs.
Baking soda and vinegar make one of the best homemade cleaners. The reaction between the two produces carbon dioxide and water that bubbles up inside and breaks the clog. The hot water helps remove unwanted goop formed by fatty deposits.
2. Baking Soda And Salt
Ingredients: Baking soda, salt, hot water
• Mix baking soda and salt in a 2:1 proportion.
• Pour the mix down the drain, and let it sit for 2 to 3 hours.
• Pour hot water.
The mixture disintegrates the clog and softens it. This makes it easier for hot water to drain the obstruction and clear the pipes.
3. Baking Soda, Salt, And Cream Of Tartar
Ingredients: Baking Soda, salt, cream of tartar, hot water
• Pour two cups of boiling water down the drain.
• Take 2 cups of baking soda, ½ cup of salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in a jar. Close the jar and shake it well to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
• Pour the mixture into the drain and let it sit for at least an hour.
• Pour hot water.
Baking soda and salt work on clogs and help loosen them while the cream of tartar cleans metals.
4. Borax, Salt, And Vinegar
Ingredients: Borax, salt, vinegar, boiling water
• Pour ¼ cup of borax and ¼ cup of salt down the drain. Follow it with ½ cup of vinegar.
• Add a pot of boiling water, and let the solution sit for at least 1 hour.
• Rinse any remaining solution with hot water.
Borax, like other borates, helps clean drains by producing hydrogen peroxide when reacting with water. Along with salt and vinegar, it forms one of the best homemade cleaning agents.
5. Baking Soda, Salt, And Vinegar
Ingredients: Baking soda, salt, vinegar
• Take ½ cup each of baking soda and salt, and pour it down the drain.
• Boil 1 cup of vinegar, and pour it in the drain too.
• Plug the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
• Flush the drain with hot water.
• Repeat if necessary.
This remedy is for stubborn clogs. It will scrape the inside of the pipes, loosen trapped debris, and lift grime.
6. Dish Soap And Hot Water
Ingredients: Dish soap, hot water
• Boil 2 liters of water.
• Add 3 to 5 tablespoons of liquid dish soap.
• Pour it down the drain.
You may need to repeat the steps a few times to unclog the drain completely. However, it is one of the best and easiest methods. The hot water heats the grease, converting it to liquid form, and helps clear the drain of any fatty obstructions.
Other Alternative To Harmful Chemical Cleaners
You may often manually unclog a clogged drain using tools designed specifically for this purpose. It usually helps remove hair and other stubborn obstructions not dissolved by chemical treatments.
Some equipment used for this purpose are:
They are often used to clear food blockage at the curve of a kitchen drain. They are one of the most commonly used tools, even by plumbers, and are inexpensive. To clear blockages using a plunger, fill the sink halfway with water, preferably warm, and plunge till water drains freely. It loosens up the blockage so that it drains along with water.
2. The Drain Snake
Also called augers, a drain snake is made of tightly coiled cables to form a flexible, long cable wire. It is designed to sneak into the pipes and remove whatever obstructs free passage. A drain snake is available in manual and automated versions; however, it can be a bit expensive.
10 Tips And Tricks For Drain Maintenance
To avoid a clogged drain, you must regularly maintain your drainage system. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid a clogged drain:
• Regularly flush drains using any natural drain cleaner available at hand.
• Avoid harmful store-bought cleaners.
• Never pour oil or grease down the drain.
• Do not dispose of food in the kitchen sink.
• Except for toilet paper, never flush paper down your toilet, not even flushable wipes.
• Apply drain catchers to prevent hair and other materials from draining down the sink.
• Do not flush anything down your toilet except toilet paper and human waste.
• Always have plungers handy.
• Fix the clogs as soon as possible.
• Occasionally have an expert clean your drainage system.