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Homemade Drain Clearing Remedies
Try These Homemade Drain Cleaner Remedies for Clearing a Drain Blockage
Start with Boiling Some WaterYour 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
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.
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.
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