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6 Chemical-Free Ways to Unclog a Drain

Looking at the current climate situation and the rate at which global warming is progressing, more and more people opt for sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning solutions for their homes. But not everyone is likely to identify with that category.

Perhaps you only want to know how to unclog a drain without using chemicals because you’ve run out of your regular cleaner. Among the many offputting yet unavoidable tasks of adulting is tackling clogged drains.

It lies somewhere on the world’s grossest chores list, somewhere below cleaning out the drain trap after washing the dishes. All homeowners will inevitably cross paths with a clogged drain a few times in their lives.

image - 6 Chemical-Free Ways to Unclog a Drain
6 Chemical-Free Ways to Unclog a Drain

Instead of choosing the traditional drain-cleaning chemicals, consider using some of the easy chemical-free ways to clean your drain mentioned below. Why? Because the standard bottles of cleaning chemicals can severely damage your pipes, worsen an existing clog, and are horrible for the planet’s environment.

The following article discusses how to unblock a drain with supplies you can easily find at home. You can stop worrying about calling the plumber now!

Things You’ll Require to Unclog a Drain:

  • Baking soda
  • Hand or any other plunger
  • White vinegar
  • Manual drain snake
  • Some cleaning rags, buckets, and mops

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

Remember the fizzy mixture you used for all your cool science class projects in primary school? You can also utilize that mixture to make your domestic chores more effective as it helps clear out clogs, for instance, your kitchen sinks.

To get started, pour some hot water down the drain and wait until the water clears away. Then, take out half a cup of baking soda and pour it too.

Next, mix one cup of boiling water with one cup of white vinegar and pour it down as well. Now, let the mixture sit in the drain for around one hour. However, you can also leave it for longer if you haven’t achieved the desired effect.

Lastly, clear away the mixture with some hot water and closely check whether the water drains away properly.

Manually Cleaning the P-Trap

Sometimes it happens so that the vinegar and soda method fails to work its magic in unclogging your drain. In that case, you may have to deal with the source of the clog manually.

Anyone remotely familiar with home chores can easily clean out the P-trap themselves. However, for Orange County residents who dread such tasks, enlisting professional services like drain cleaning Irvine CA will significantly help.

Wait, what is a p-trap again? It is a curvy, u-shaped pipe under your sink, made to trap dust and other debris from polluting your house’s plumbing system.

First, put a bucket under your sink to limit the mess. Then, using some pliers or an adjustable wrench, unscrew the p-trap or curved pipe under your sink.

Next, empty the pipe’s contents and take it to another sink to rinse any stubborn debris. Now, replace the pipe and see if you’ve unclogged the drain.

Using a Wire Hanger

The usual culprits behind a clogged drain are food, hair, skin, pesky dust particles. They tend to bind to the soap foam that collects on your pipe’s walls, restricting the drain’s water flow as time progresses.

But don’t stress. All you need is a hanger to clean out your blocked drain effectively. Pull out a wardrobe hanger and straighten it as much as possible. Then, create a hook at one of its ends.

Next, move the hooked end down the drain slowly and start searching for the blockage. Remember not to push it downwards, or you’ll move the blockage further down and out of reach.

It’s best to use slow and gentle hooking motions to locate and remove what’s behind the clog.

Using Dish Detergent

Hair can frequently clog shower drains. Similarly, toilet paper, hygiene products, baby wipes, and cotton wool balls are the main reason for clogged toilets.

Ironically, dish detergents present as the most effective solution to unclog drains in these locations. Why? These detergents break down debris while lubricating your pipes/drains.

Start by pouring down one cup of dish detergent down the drain. Follow it up with hot water. Next, remove the blockage using a plunger. Moreover, it’s good to wear some rubber gloves and try to eliminate the clog physically.

Using Plungers

If none of the above techniques works out for you, you can also unclog your drain using a manual plunger. Before you get down and dirty, select an appropriate plunger for the job.

For example, your ordinary toilet plunger won’t work in a shower drain because it’s narrow and smaller in size. So, for sink and shower drains, try using a cup plunger.

Start by unscrewing the stopper and place the cup plunger on the drain. Then, apply a lubricant, like petroleum jelly, at the plunger’s edge and create an air-tight seal.

Next, begin plunging with all your might and run water to check if you’ve cleared the clog or not.

Using a Drain Snake/Auger

If you’ve had no luck in unclogging your drain with the other methods, you should consider using a drain snake or auger.

Invest in a good drain snake and begin unclogging by pushing it down the drain. Next, rotate the snake handle clockwise while you push. Around this time, you might feel a slight pull or resistance from the clog.

Keep turning the snake clockwise and upward. At last, once you think that the snake can lift the clog, pull it out of the drain.


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Cons of Using Chemical, Synthetic Cleaners

Industrially manufactured synthetic cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide. As a result, they can potentially ruin your drainage and other pipes in the long run.

These chemicals will eat away at any pipes in their way, regardless of whether they are plastic or metal in nature. Since these cleaners are less costly than professionals and provide faster results, they tend to attract more customers.

But bear in mind, they can lead to more expensive and irreversible problems in the future. If you don’t want to damage your bathroom fixtures and help reduce climate change, choose greener and more eco-friendly solutions for your housekeeping.

Wrapping It Up

Clogged drains can be a genuine headache, particularly when they’ve become a common occurrence in your household. And now that you’ve learned some nifty techniques to remove these clogs manually, you don’t need to resort to chemical cleaners. Some of these methods include using plungers, drain snakes, dish detergent, and wire hangers.

Nevertheless, if you’re desperate and can’t help pouring a chemical down your drain, try going for a gentle cleaning solution and avoid the harsher ones.


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