If you have someone with long hair in your home, old plumbing systems, or have had the misfortune of putting too many carrot or potato peelings down the disposal (compost those bad boys!) then you have had to remedy a slow-or clogged-drain a time or two. If you have ever read a label on a store-bought drain cleaner then you will know just how caustic those products are and how corrosive they can be for your pipes.
The first step to preventing a clogged drain is to avoid those behaviors that create a clog in the first place, but life is bound to happen sometime. When it does, be ready with a cheap and eco-friendly option.
- Light drain cleaning can be accomplished with salt and water. Heat half a cup of salt with a gallon or so of water and pour down the drain.
- Many people’s first choice is to try pouring boiling water to clear the blockage. Use this method only if you have metal pipes as plastic pipes can melt.
- Second choice is to use your plunger. Make sure there is a few inches of standing water and all other vents and openings are closed (use a rag), then start plunging. It may take a few times to get things moving.
- If all else fails, look to your green cleaning basics: baking soda and vinegar. Again, you must make sure that all openings are closed. Dump a bunch of baking soda (about half of a small box) directly into the drain. Add half a cup of vinegar and immediately cover the drain. Let the volcanic eruption do its job for about half an hour and follow with a kettle of boiling water (see above for boiling water).
I will say that when I took this picture, I was using the method I listed here and it worked like a dream.
What is your favorite method to keep your drains clear of clogs?