Cleaning a clogged drain with minimal effort and zero chemicals
Clogged drains are a minor inconvenience that can become a major inconvenience over time if left unchecked. A slow-running sink can be infuriating but it can also be ignored and that’s why so many often end up letting it sit and get worse as more and more gunk gathers and the clog gets worse. If it gets bad enough, you might find yourself past the point of no return and having to phone a plumber.
But cleaning a clogged drain doesn’t need to involve potentially harmful chemicals or a significant amount of elbow grease.
Primary causes of clogged drains
The cause of your clog will vary depending on whether it’s the kitchen or bathroom we’re talking about. In the bath or shower, for example, hair is comfortably the most common cause of clogs as it can catch on the pipe and build up over time until the line is completely blocked. Soap scum can also coat the inside of the pipe and start to corrode the pipes if it’s left to fester.
The kitchen sink, meanwhile, is most commonly clogged by fat, oil and grease. These might flush easily down the drain as a liquid but as they cool, they harden and can coat the inside of your pipes with a very thick and unpleasant substance. Larger particles of food can also get trapped down there, leading to a situation that’s not only clogged but unsavoury.
Cleaning your clogged drain, the natural way
There are any number of chemical solutions available that will do the trick. If used too often, however, they run the risk of doing irreparable damage to your pipes. Of course, the best way to avoid clogging your drain is to use filtered water to ensure a lack of contaminants and to avoid putting any oil, grease, or food into your sink. But it’s a little more difficult to avoid getting any hairs in your shower drain and none of us are perfect.
So, if you’re stuck with a clogged sink but don’t want to risk using any chemicals, what can you do?
Blast it – If the clog isn’t too severe and the drain sits right above the tap, you might be able to clear it with sheer water pressure. Before you try anything else, simply turn the taps on full blast and see if you can clear the taps by blasting them clear.
Plunge it – Sometimes, the old ways are the best. If you can’t blast it, then try using a plunger. Start by filling the sink around halfway with warm water, then give it a good plunging and rinse away anything that pops free. This works particularly well with lodged food particles.
Wire it – A long wire hook can be lowered into the sink and bent around any tight corners. Dig the wire in as far as it will go and then pull back to remove any debris. We’d recommend wearing gloves for this one as it can be rather unpleasant.
Salt it – While the old baking soda and vinegar trick does work, it can also damage your pipes almost as badly as the store bought chemicals. A solution of almost boiling water and salt, meanwhile, works to scrape any grease from your pipes like a natural scouring agent.
And if all else fails, you can always call a plumber. But please never resort to tipping chemicals down your drain!