It happens to everyone at some point. Your drain backs up. Do you run to the store and grab your favorite liquid drain cleaner? Possibly, but did you know that the main ingredient in most drain cleaner is lye? Lye is super corrosive. It is so strong in fact that it will accelerate the corrosion process of metal pipes. Drain cleaner is also the most hazardous item to humans and animals stored in most homes. Not to mention the effects it has on the environment once it is washed down the drain. So is there another EFFECTIVE alternative? Yes. The next time you find yourself with a clogged drain, try this first.
- Pull out the stopper and remove any debris.
- Grab a plunger. I like the funnel cup plunger because you can get a good seal. Plug the overflow hole if your sink has one, with a damp towel. Plunge vertically with a tight seal. Don’t worry about speed while plunging, slow and steady always wins this game. You are trying to loosen the plug, not shoot it out. Be patient it can sometimes take up to 15 minutes of plunging before it will move.
- Fill the drain with one half cup of baking soda and pour one half cup of vinegar on top. Plug the drain and let sit for 5 minutes. Flush with an entire kettle of boiling water. The spout on the tea kettle will prevent the hot water from splashing as you poor it down the drain. Be careful not to burn yourself! I recommend a pot holder.
- If steps 1-3 haven’t worked, go to the hardware store and pick up an enzymatic drain opener like, Super-Digest It, which contains bacteria that will eat through the clog without harming the pipes, you, or the environment.
- Still not open? At this point you can decide to call a plumber or go to the hardware store and purchase an auger or a snake. This is what the plumber will use to remove the clog. If you think you can do it yourself GO FOR IT. I will worn you in old homes the pipes are questionable…. I got a snake stuck and it took a long time to get it out. Oops.
|Funnel Cup Plunger|
Now that I know what a pain unclogging a drain can be I happily treat all of my drains to a little maintenance every month or so. To read more on drain maintenance, click here.