DIY Drain Unclogger

Drain Unclogger, that is the official name I have selected, sounds fancy doesn’t it.  Who else has super long thick hair and/or a household of teenagers? Welcome to Mr. Maker’s least favorite chore, unclogging the drain.

You and I have probably all used a  type of clog-reducing chemical found in stores to  to flush out drains. You may have even thought of yourself as a Handyman or woman because you tackled that drain clog.   I am here to explain why there is an Easier, Better, Greener, HOMESPUN option.

Consider these four issues or concerns with regard to the use of  store bought or  similar drain cleaner products. You know what they are called.

1. Environmentally unsafe ingredients

Many commercial drain cleaners contain unsafe ingredients that can be detrimental to residential and water environments. Some contain lye and other highly toxic materials. Liquid waste that has high levels of such toxins can make its way into the sewage system and out to rivers, streams, and the ocean, and take its toll on plants and wildlife, possibly even contaminate food and water supplies.

2. Risks to children

Many cleaning agents, sport warning labels to inform consumers about physical threats the ingredients may pose. Unfortunately, children often cannot or do not read labels when they are playing and exploring. Practice good home safety tactics by removing these harmful chemicals from use altogether and replacing them with less toxic alternatives.

3. Further pipe damage

The chemicals in some of the other uncloggers may not solve all clogs, and they can lead to a worsening of pipe issues. They can build up in a clogged area, and corrode the pipe. With repeated use, these chemicals may eat their way through a pipe, and cause a leak or a collapse of the system.

4. A danger to pets

Like children, pets are susceptible to accidental poisoning by household chemicals. They are not able to read cautionary labels and cannot ask for help when they encounter and ingest harmful materials. Caring for pets should include taking proper safety precautions, such as moving cleaners to higher shelves where furry critters cannot reach the containers.

Animals can also track harmful substances around the house. Avoid pouring or spraying cleaners on surfaces over which a pet may soon walk. Otherwise, your four-legged housemates may track harmful chemicals around the house, develop irritated paws, and end up ingesting toxic substances by trying to clean themselves.

Now that I have explained all the reasons why  you should try to DIY, take a gander at how easy this recipe is. You probably have this in your house already.

  1. Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
  2. Dump in about 1/2 c. baking soda.
  3. Then, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and cover the drain or plug the drain.
  4. Cover with a drain plug (to keep the reaction down below the drain surface) if you have one and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.

Why this works: The baking soda and hot water treatment will loosen up any grimy sludge that’s hanging out at the bottom of your drain, and the explosive chemical reaction with the vinegar will jolt it all loose. Then one final super hot-water rinse will make all the bad stuff go bye-bye.