While the best solution to clogged drains is prevention— which you can read about here—there comes a time when your drain may become clogged. Luckily, you can unclog your drain without having to turn to toxic commercial drain cleaners like Draino.
Commercial decloggers use highly potent chemicals formulated for extreme clogs. Most people will turn to these products as soon as their water drains slowly, which is problematic because these strong formulas can damage your pipes. This damage can lead to more extensive (and expensive) repairs down the line.
Sticking with natural cleaners can also keep the toxin count low in your home and avoid dangers associated with chemical fumes that can cause headaches, respiratory issues, and other reactions. Instead of reaching for the corrosive commercial cleaners, try the below three steps.
While this step is not particularly pleasant, manual removal of a clog is often the most effective and simplest step.
Begin by removing any strainers from the top of the drain. Bear in mind that some strainer models require a screwdriver to remove. If your drain does not have a strainer or a hair catcher, we highly advise looking into buying one— many future troubles can be avoided with this simple purchase.
Once the strainer is out of the way, take a paper towel and wipe out the top of the pipe’s interior. For clogs near the top of the pipe, this step will be enough to fish out the clog. For lower down clogs, try a narrow train tool such as a “hair snare” or an auger (commonly known as a “snake”). These flexible tools travel deeper into your pipes to snag clogs; keep a trash bag nearby for easy disposal.
The third manual option is for clogged drains underwater. Use a toilet plunger on the drain, and the pressure may loosen the clog. You will then want to use the paper towel or narrow drain tool tricks above to snag the clog and remove it.
When the manual option fails, the time has come to visit the tried and true method passed through the ages.
Remove the strainer from the top of your drain— or leave it off if you already did so for manual removal. Shake approximately half a cup of baking soda down your drain and then slowly pour a cup of vinegar after it. A strong bubbling action will occur; leave the solution to sit for half an hour.
While the mixture sits, boil around two cups of water. Once the 30-minute wait time is up, carefully pour the water down the drain. Repeat as needed.
The above options can remove the average clog. However, should your drain remain stopped up, a more serious problem may be at play, like a tree root breaking into the sewer. Professional plumbers carry an array of specialty tools and knowledge to track down and remove the problem. A plumber can also determine if a block is not the issue and help walk you through potential solutions.
If you’re in the Plano TX or nearby neighborhood, then give us a call! Here at Staggs Plumbing, we are happy to assist with all your plumbing needs. With our help, you will have your bathroom working like a charm in no time.