Grime and buildup often occurs in drains, both in the sinks and bathtubs. Reaching for a commercial drain cleaner is the solution for many people, but a more natural, homemade drain cleaner saves you money and might be healthier for your family. A home remedy for clearing your drains is generally safer, but there are certain safety considerations, even when working with materials from around the house.
A home remedy for cleaning your drains allows you to avoid the health and environmental dangers associated with commercial drain cleaning products. Commercial drain cleaners contain a caustic material called sodium hydroxide. If ingested, drain cleaners can cause burning and poisoning. The fumes can also cause health problems. Drain cleaners enter the water supply causing damage to the environment. They might also cause damage to your pipes. Home remedies avoid the harsh chemicals and fumes, as well as the damaging effects.
Home remedies have the same goal as a commercial drain cleaner. When safely combined, products from around the home cause a reaction in the drain that helps clear out the clog. This allows the water to drain freely through the pipes to avoid backups into the sink or bathtub.
For a basic home drain-cleaning solution, you need baking soda and vinegar, along with the hot water from the tap. A plunger and a plumber’s snake are tools that can help clear out a clog.
A plunger placed over the drain might help clear out the clog from the drain, but it can take several tries before it works. If this method doesn’t work, try inserting a plumber’s snake into the drain to clear out the clog. The next option involves the vinegar and baking soda. You can use baking soda and hot water, but adding vinegar gives more of a reaction for better drain cleaning. Pour approximately 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by a 1/2 cup white vinegar. The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar combination helps break up the clog or grime inside the drain. Two or 3 cups of boiling water down the drain after the baking soda and vinegar combination helps clean out the drain even more, but avoid this step if you have plastic pipes, as they could melt.
While vinegar and baking soda are generally safe products, they can be dangerous when combined with commercial drain cleaners. Do not use baking soda and vinegar right before or after using commercial drain cleaners. Anytime you combine chemicals, you run the risk of creating dangerous fumes or reactions.