Drains and Plumbing

Try These Homemade Drain Cleaner Remedies for Clearing a Drain Blockage

Start with Boiling Some Water

Your kitchen drain may remain impervious to the plunger because the clog is a combination of grease and little bits of food. The grease, washed down the drain with warm water, cools and congeals inside the drain. The good news about clogged kitchen drains is that they are often unclogged by the simplest drain cleaner of all—boiling water. In the spirit of doing things the easy way, when you first notice a kitchen sink drain acting slow, boil a kettle of water and pour it into the sink.
If you know that people have been putting quite a bit of grease into the sink lately (like when your brother did the dishes and poured a pan of bacon grease into the sink instead of scraping it into the trash), you may have a good idea of what's going on. You may want to pour quite a lot of boiling water down the sink to open it if it's especially laden with grease.

Hot water may work in the case of a clogged shower drain, but if it doesn't, you may use the other remedies in any sink, shower or tub drain in your house.

Use Baking Soda

If the hot water method doesn't work, there are still home-grown options that don't rely on the use of dangerous chemicals to work. The second simple remedy for clogged drains is baking soda. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and flush with 3 cups of hot water. The baking soda, activated by the hot water, creates a slippery, slightly alkaline liquid that may dissolve and move through the clog.

Try a Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction

If baking soda alone won't work, the next step is to try baking soda again, but this time in combination with vinegar. Put ½ cup of baking soda in the drain, and follow with ½ cup of plain white or cider vinegar (don't use the good Balsamic or rice vinegar which has added salt or flavorings). Cover the drain and let the two household chemicals do their work on the clog. Leave it for several hours, then flush with hot water.

If you have tried the various home solutions and the clog remains, it's time to get technical. Since we've determined that the usual drain cleaners are bad for people, pets, houses and sewer systems, let's take a look at the latest in drain opening technology.

Put Enzymes to Work

Enzymes are specific proteins that catalyze or change various substances. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks milk products (containing lactose, a milk sugar) into simpler components, which are then digested by the body. People who are lactose-intolerant have bodies that don't create enough lactase to do the job, so their bodies can't digest milk products easily. If a lactose-intolerant person tries to eat cheese or ice cream, his body will rebel and make him sick. However, if the person takes a lactase tablet before ingesting milk, the enzyme will work to properly digest the food. This is one example of a commonly-understood enzyme: there are thousands, if not millions of enzymes on the planet.

Although enzymes are quite handy, they need specific conditions to work, and they are not as useful in cleaning drains as bacteria. There are some enzymatic cleaners on the market, but they don't work as well as microbes, and although they can break down some clogs, they don't do much about things like odor. Enzymes can break down clogs at the source, but as the material moves through the pipe, the enzyme action cases and clogs can reform further down the line. Originally introduced as drain openers because they could be stored dry and had an extended shelf life, enzymes are immensely safer than the usual drain cleaning products, but aren't as effective as the new generation of microbe powered drain openers.

Bookmark this page
(or type Ctrl + D)
Email this page to a friend

Natural Drain Cleaner for Clogged Drains

The first thing you need to know before working on a clogged drain is that the drain cleaners you see advertised on TV or on the supermarket shelves are made of dangerous chemicals that will eat through rubber gloves, skin, certain kinds of pipe, wood and anything else they touch. If their fumes are inhaled, they can cause damage to the lungs, nose and mouth. If they are eaten, they will kill, even in small amounts. Even when they are used "properly", they can ruin septic systems, pollute groundwater, and destroy pipes.

For a more healthy and safe alternative, try a natural drain cleaner, such as Drainbo, that is made from natually occuring bacteria that will fix a clogged drain, but won't hurt your drain pipes or the environment.

 Drain & Plumbing Resources
Drain Cleaner
Drain Openers
Septic Systems
Basic Drainage Systems
Drain Cleaning & Home Repair


Return Home

Continue reading the next drains and plumbing article on Septic Systems and Tanks.

 Drains and Plumbing | Plumbing Directory
 Copyright (c) 2005 - 2021 Drains and Plumbing. All rights reserved.