When your drains start to slow down, it's best to try some home remedies before you resort to using a plumber. This is because a common reason for slow drains are clogs close to the drain's entrance, which are problems that you can fix by yourself. Try these 3 methods first.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
When you combine vinegar and baking soda together, the mixture will foam up. The chemical reaction between these two materials can be abrasive when it is poured directly down your drains. For small clogs, this technique is a great first step towards unclogging a drain. Vinegar and baking soda are also very inexpensive, and non-toxic materials.
All you need to do is pour ½ cup of baking soda directly down the drain, followed by a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water.
Manually unclogging a drain can be done with a simple drain snake. Common ones use pliable metal tubing, and are designed to push the clog through the pipe, or pull it out of the drain. These tools usually create a bit of a mess as years of gunk can come out of your drain. For a cheaper alternative, there are snakes with a bendable plastic handle and a piece of Velcro attached to the end. They work great at pulling out clogs close to the opening, especially when the clog has been caused by hair.
Both of these types of snakes can be purchased from your local home improvement store.
When the previous two methods do not do the trick, consider purchasing a liquid drain cleaning solution to unclog the drain. All you need to do is follow the specific directions written on the container. There are three types of drain cleaners available to you.
- Caustic cleaners – Use caustic potash and lye to create the chemical reaction. It releases heat that turns grease into a substance similar to soap, which is much easier to dissolve.
- Oxidizing cleaners - Contain bleach, nitrates, and peroxides. The liquid is somewhat heavier than your tap water, which allows the liquid to move through any standing water in the drain. The chemical reaction releases gas and heat that will clear blockages
- Acid cleaners – This cleaner is difficult to find in stores due to the high concentration of hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, but some are available to consumers. The heat released from the cleaner will melt clogs, including grease.
If you are finding that these methods are not working for you, get in touch with a local plumber to investigate the problem further.