By Debbie Hall
When you turn on the faucet, you expect the water to go down a drain. Sometimes, hair, food and grease are included, which causes a clogged drain. This backup of water includes bacteria with a bad odor and needs to be unclogged as soon as possible. While products on the market are effective, they also contain harmful chemicals that can damage pipes and hurt the environment.
There are natural ways to unclog those drains without using harsh, corrosive chemicals.
Using a cup or bucket, take out any standing water until the sink and drain are clear. Next, fill the sink with very hot water and allow it to stand for up to two hours. It this doesn’t work, try using a plunger to dislodge the clog and pour boiling hot water into the drain. The correct plunger to use is a cup plunger, designed for sinks and bathtubs. This will have to be repeated two to three times.
Baking soda solution
For more stubborn clogs, pour a pot of boiling hot water down the drain. Next, pour in half-cup of baking soda, one cup of white vinegar and one cup of very hot water. Cover the drain the drain plug and let it sit for 10 minutes. Flush with another pot of boiling water. Do not create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in advance. Keep them separate and pour them separately down the drain.
A combination of very hot water and vinegar can also help melt grease that has built up in a drain. Adding grease-cutting detergent will also help. In this case, do not add baking soda for a grease clog. After pouring, let it sit for five minutes, then use a plunger to move the clog and clear out the drains.
For those pesky hair clogs, there are tools that can be purchased to manually remove hair from the drains. A wire coat hanger can also be used. Straighten it out as much and bend one end to create a hook to pull up the hair. Pour boiling hot water down the sink after clearing the pipes.
For drains with popup stoppers, such as the bathroom sink and tub, be certain to lift them from the drain, remove any debris, clean and replace.
After unclogging the drain, then make it a practice to run very hot water down the drains once a month. In the kitchen, scrape food and run cold water over them before loading the dishwasher or washing them. Also add half-cup of baking soda once of month to the drains for odor control.
The main ingredients in chemical drain cleaners are bleach and corrosive salts. This can cause serious injury to people and eventually pollute water in streams, lakes and oceans. No one wants to deal with a clogged drain, but these inexpensive and effective ways can unclogged the mess and still keep everyone safe.