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From Your Local Plumber: How to Clean a Drain Without Harsh Chemicals

February 15, 2019

There is almost nothing as frustrating as having to deal with a drain that, well, won’t drain!

Most people find themselves in this scenario at least a few times in their lives, but few know how to solve this problem without resorting to chemicals that can harm their pipes down the road. Fortunately, your local plumber can help you out:


First of all, why?

Drain cleaners work by using various corrosive chemicals to release heat and turn the grease, hair, and other gunk into a substance that is easily dissolved by water. Unfortunately, these same chemicals that work very well to corrode organic material can also damage your pipes. These chemicals, including sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, can make PVC pipes softer and can even cause older metal pipes to develop leaks. If you want to keep your pipes in good shape for many years, your local plumber would advise against using these chemicals.



Hot/Cold Water + Vinegar

The easiest and cheapest way to clean your drain is to use substances you already have around the house. First, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Then, quickly pour that boiling water down the clogged drain and follow it with an equal amount of cold water. This solution should clear minor drains, but if it does not work, you can add vinegar and baking soda to the mix. Pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit in the drain for several hours or overnight. Then, flush the drain with hot water. You can also use this method to prevent clogs in the first place by following these steps on all of your drains once per month.



If you find that a clog cannot quite be cleared by using household substances, you may need to probe a little deeper. After you have already followed the previous steps and flushed the drain with hot water, you need to find a tool that can exert a little more force. This can be a plunger, a coat hanger wire, a closet auger, or a plumber’s snake. If you are using a plunger, place it over the drain and perform even, up and down strokes to force the water to drain. If the plunger does not suffice, you can use the hanger wire, auger, or snake to pull out the gunk that is clogging the drain.


Professional Local Plumber

If all else fails, it is probably time to call your local plumber to come to your house and clear the clog with chemicals and techniques that will not harm your pipes. This truly is the most reliable way to ensure that your drain is clog-free and stays that way for as long as possible!

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