How to Unclog a Drain Without Drano

Drains can, and will, become clogged throughout the daily usage that homeowners and their families place on the drains and plumbing system of the home. When blockages occur, whether in the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, tub drain or shower drain, garbage disposal or any sink drain with stubborn clogs, backups or even a slow drain issue, there are other solutions than immediately turning to chemical drain cleaners like Drano or Liquid Plumber. 

Why You Should Not Use Drano

Many people associate drain clogs with Drano or other products that have toxic chemicals that are supposed to clear or prevent clogs. Plumbers, in general, do not suggest using these caustic and harsh chemicals, since they can cause damage to the pipes and fittings in the house. Drano also joins waste-water and will end up in rivers and streams, causing harm to the environment. Furthermore, if a plumber is working on a drain that Drano has been used in, the plumber is exposed to harmful chemicals, so Drano can reduce the accessibility for a professional to work on your clogged drain with a drain snake or other method, until the chemicals have had enough time to dissipate.

The main ingredients in cleaners like Drano are bleach and sodium hydroxide, a caustic and corrosive salt. Contact with the human body can cause side effects such as irritation, vision issues, vomiting, shock, and chemical burns. More serious problems can occur with longer exposure.

Naturally, Unclog a Drain

When a homeowner wants to tackle a drain with chemicals, or caustic, toxic chemical drain cleaners, there are several great hacks that help save money, save time, and help to finally get that stubborn clog cleared, and the blockage a thing of the past!

A drain snake, known as a plumber’s snake, or auger, is a device to physically remove the clog by burrowing the sharp small end of the wire into the clog and gunk, turning as you push into the drain opening. ONce you’ve hit the clog, you turn and push back and forth, either breaking the clog free to go down the drain cleanly, or to pull back the blockage and remove it from the drain opening. 

A wire hanger, or coat hanger, is another DIY hack that can be used in place of a drain snake for unclogging sink drains or tub drains, where the clog is close to the drain opening.

If a snake is not handy, another suggestion is to use a plunger, baking soda, water and vinegar to unclog the drain.

How you would naturally unclog a drain is by following these steps:

  • Removing all standing water from the drain and making it relatively dry;
  • Put a ½ box of baking soda down the drain;
  • Pour ½ cup of vinegar down the drain;
  • Immediately plug the drain with the plunger or stopper so that nothing can escape and hold it tightly in place;
  • Leave mixture in the drain for 30 minutes;
  • Remove the plunger and pour 1 quart of boiling water down the drain, hot water is important; and
  • Repeat if necessary for drain cleaning.

Some clogs can easily be fixed by using a natural unclogging method, but some drains will be a bit more stubborn to beat!

There are times when simply using a clean plunger, that is set aside for junk your kitchen sink drain, is enough to work free the buildup in the p-trap, and you then run hot tap water and dishsoap to help any grease go from solid to a liquid that can go down the drain without chemicals needed. Whether it’s the fizz from the chemical reaction from baking soda and a cup of white vinegar, or a new plunger or stopper from Amazon, being prepared to take on drain clogs and gunk buildup is always a smart move for homeowners!

If your home has a clogged drain that is resistant to your efforts, call an experienced plumber to help clear your drains. The plumber and drain technicians at A-1 Sewer & Septic can handle nearly any and all kinds of drains and clogs, from tree roots in mainlines to large industrial sized storm water management systems for municipalities – We’re here to help get you flowing and going in the right direction again. 

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