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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 with 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 wastewater and will end up in rivers and streams, causing harm to the environment. Furthermore, suppose a plumber is working on a drain that Drano has been used in. In that case, 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 severe problems can occur with more prolonged exposure.

What to Use Instead of Drano

When a homeowner wants to tackle a drain with chemicals, or caustic, toxic chemical drain cleaners, there are several alternative hacks that help save money, save time, and help to finally get that stubborn clog cleared and the blockage a thing of the past! As suggested before, toxic chemical drain cleaners are not recommended to clear drains.

A drain snake, known as a plumber’s snake, or an auger, is a device to physically remove the clog by burrowing the small sharp 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 pulling back the blockage and removing it from the drain opening. 

A wire hanger, or coat hanger, is another DIY hack that can replace 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 solution to unclog the drain. The baking soda, water, and vinegar solution is one of the best natural ways to unclog a drain.

Natural Solutions to Unclog a Drain

Baking soda, water, and vinegar all mix and work together to break down the grime and gunk that clogs up drains. The baking soda is used to eat away and break down the clog, which is enhanced with the addition of vinegar. Vinegar not only assists the baking soda and its chemical reaction to free up the clog, but vinegar also acts as a deodorizer. Helping to eliminate foul odors the clogged drain was causing beforehand. The water (which needs to be boiling) also plays a crucial part in pushing down the clogged and loosening the gunk further into the drain, where it eventually clears it completely.

As long as a homeowner has baking soda, vinegar, and access to hot water, toxic chemical drain cleaners won’t be needed. 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 the mixture in the drain for 30 minutes;
  • Remove the plunger and pour 1 quart of boiling water down the drain; hot water is essential.
  • Repeat if necessary for drain cleaning.

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

There are times when simply using mechanical drain cleaners won’t be the final fix. Mechanical cleaners like drain snakes or a clean plunger that is set aside for junk in your kitchen sink drain is enough to work free the buildup in the p-trap, and you then run hot tap water and dish soap 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! There are also several ways a homeowner can be proactive with their home plumbing and maintain a clear line all homeowners should take advantage of.

When the Clog Won’t Break Free from Natural Drain Cleaners.

Even if a homeowner has experience with home improvement or a general understanding of a plumbing system, sometimes it’s not enough for the toughest clogged drains. Some people may have an opinion of what the “best way” to clear a clogged drain may be, but only a professional plumber service will be able to identify and assess the issue at hand correctly. Sometimes even the most basic plumbing concerns like slow drains or gurgling water could turn into bigger headaches for a DIY homeowner. 

If your home has a clogged drain 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 stormwater management systems for municipalities. We’re here to help get you flowing and going in the right direction again. 

A-1 Sewer & Septic services all your residential plumbing needs ranging from drain cleaning to water heater repair and installation. If you have a clogged mainline, A-1 Sewer & Septic can auger it with their trusted 2-3 inch bladed augering tool. You have a valve that is loose, and your pliers can’t fix it? A-1 Sewer & Septic’s plumbers have the ideal tools better than any regular hardware store. Is your home on a septic tank and has a backed-up line? Septic services are in the name. From leaking faucets or entire pipelining projects, A-1 Sewer & Septic has you covered.

Call A-1 To Get The Job Done!