How to Unclog and Maintain Your Drains without Chemicals

How to Unclog and Maintain Your Drains without Chemicals

Every homeowner has to deal with a clogged drain at one point or another. It’s an inevitable part of having drains in your home. The real question is: how are you going to deal with a clog once it arises? Most people prefer to avoid using caustic chemicals as they can be damaging for both the drain and the inhabitants of a home. This is why some classic unclogging methods have risen in popularity in the past few years. Here are some of the best ways to unclog your drains and start living a greener lifestyle.

Check for problems in the system

Sometimes, a clog isn’t just a simple clog. Looks can be deceiving, and your clog problem could be a sign of some bigger issues. If a single drain isn’t allowing for proper water flow, you might want to check other drains in your home.

It’s possible that your clog could be located further up the pipes and causing a blockage of a big part of the plumbing. In these scenarios, you might not be able to unclog a single drain by yourself. If it’s a problem with the system and the clog is located a lot deeper than you thought, you’re going to need some specialized tools. Professionals might be better suited for the job. If the clog is affecting a large part of your drainage system, having someone take good care of it should be your priority.

Use boiling water

As simple as it may seem, this tactic tends to work on a lot of minor drain clogs. Warm water is pretty good at cleaning strong grease stains, which is part of the reason it’s used on clogs. Combined with a bit of soap, it can do wonders and solve your problem pretty quickly.

Get a very large pot of water and get it to boiling temperature. Once it’s ready, you just pour it down the drain. Make sure you do it slowly, so the hot water can keep the temperature up and do its magic. It might take more than a couple of pots, but keep trying as long as the water is going down. In many cases, minor clogs will simply wash away and you’ll have solved the problem. If they don’t, you haven’t done any further damage or worsened the clog, so it was worth a try.

Keep in mind that you can’t use boiling water on every kind of drain. When you have porcelain or PVC pipes in your home, you need to lower the temperature. Stick to the hottest possible tap water that you have on hand. Boiling water could damage these materials and erode them. This would only add to your drain problems, so you should avoid using boiling water on these specific materials.

Mix baking soda and vinegar

You might be familiar with this tip, and it’s something everyone’s parents have told them to try at least once. It’s not a bad idea, either. Baking soda and vinegar have been used in kitchen and bathroom cleaning for ages. They’re a great combination that can help unclog a drain if used properly.

These common kitchen ingredients create a potent mixture that will do a number on the mass that’s keeping the drain clogged. Using them isn’t all that difficult, either. You just need to mix them in equal parts and quickly pour the mixture down the drain. It’s going to fizz up quite a bit and give you a small show as it helps clear the drain. The only issue is that it might not work on larger clogs. If the mixture can’t reach the clog, it’s not going to be effective at all. Make sure there’s at least some flow before trying it out.

Force it out

Once you’re out of materials to pour down the drain, you’re going to have to start getting physical. If different substances aren’t moving the clog, a plunger might just do the trick. One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to unclog their drain is getting the wrong kind of plunger. You don’t want the one with a protruding center, that one for toilets. Aim for the classic plunger look and you’ll get the tool you need for the job.

Using a plunger might not have the desired effect if the clog is too tough to break. In these scenarios, you don’t have to turn to caustic chemicals. You can always call for some help. There are many professionals that offer blocked drain cleaning services. It’s a much simpler task when you have all the tools and knowledge you need to get the job done pronto. Professionals are less likely to cause damage to the drain while cleaning it and they won’t take long, which is why they’re often people’s first option when a drain clogs.

Clear it with wire

When you don’t want to give up on clearing the clog on your own, there’s always the option of using more physical methods. Since a lot of professional drain cleaning includes the use of some form of wire, why not create a DIY method for yourself? Clothes hangers can be pretty useful tools in these situations.

They’re a pretty common method for clearing small clogs around your home. Everything from shower drain blockages to kitchen sink ones could be solved with a cleverly shaped clothes hanger. All you have to do is untangle the wire at the hook and bend it so that it can fit through the drain without issue. Once it’s inside, you try your best to reach the clog that’s causing problems for your drain. Even though it’s a cheap and simple method, it has a few drawbacks. You don’t know if you’re going to mess something up, and it’s not very reliable when the depth of the clog is unknown. You could end up fishing the drain for hours without ever coming close to the clog.


Unclogging your drain can be a pretty difficult task. If you want to avoid using caustic chemicals, you’re going to have to resort to some old-fashioned methods or simply call a pro to take care of it. Either way, you won’t have to worry about having a clog for very long.


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