A stubborn drain clog can be difficult to remove, but before you head for the dangerously potent commercial drain cleaner, try these natural, easy-on-the-environment mixtures that will get the job done too.
- 1/2 cup salt + 1 gallon hot water: If your drain is slow to empty, this simple saltwater concoction may be enough to free up any trapped debris.
- 1 cup washing soda + 1 gallon hot water: For a more aggressive solution, washing soda (sodium carbonate, a key ingredient in toothpaste and glassmaking) is abrasive enough to loosen clogs. If the pipes leading from your drain are PVC (polyvinyl chloride), avoid regular use of washing soda—it can eat away at the plastic over time.
- 1 cup baking soda + 1 cup distilled white vinegar: harkening back to our days in grade school science class, the baking soda and vinegar "volcano" can actually be very effective at clearing clogged drains. After removing water from the sink, pour your baking soda in, follow with vinegar, and quickly plug the drain. After the bubbles recede (in roughly 30 minutes), rinse with hot water.
WARNING: Do not use vinegar or washing soda if you have already applied a commercial drain cleaner—these ingredients can react with other chemicals, creating harmful or even lethal gas fumes.
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All