DIY Sewer Drain Cleaning Tips

What You'll Need
Plumber's snake
Bucket or container
Old rags and towels
Boiling water
Baking soda

Sometimes, we may overlook the need for regular sewer drain cleaning. However, to avoid clogs, and to prevent foul smells from developing, it is important to carry out this cleaning task from time to time. It will also indirectly help to keep more complicated plumbing problems at bay, as you will be aware of any emerging issues in advance. Here, we shall outline some basic guidelines and tips to follow to clean your sewer drain easily and effectively.

Step 1: Primary Cleaning with Salt and Vinegar

The ever popular vinegar solution is a must in any cleaning task. Mix a cup of salt and a cup of vinegar and pour this directly into your drain. This has the necessary properties to break up any residue and dirt which could cause blockages in the pipes. This mixture is safe enough to use from time to time as a routine maintenance. Leave them to work for about five minutes and then pour boiling water to rinse them away, together with any dirt that was loosened by their effect.

Step2: Using Baking Soda For More Thorough Cleaning

Baking soda is also recommended and is known to be effective as well. The vinegar and salt are safe to use, but in case you wish to use baking soda it is best to wear gloves. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of boiling water a minute later, to flush it down together with any dirt it managed to unclog.

Step 3: Using Other Cleaning Products

You could also purchase specialized cleaning products from the hardware store. However this is not recommended. These, very often, are composed of chemicals which can be rather dangerous if touched or inhaled. It is best to make use of basic items such as vinegar as, after all, it is a cheap yet effective cleaning solution.

Step 4: More Detailed Cleaning

From time to time, use a wrench to remove the cleanout plug, which is a rather large nut. Once this is removed, the pipe will be open and you can check its condition. To be safe, make sure to place an empty bucket or container beneath the open pipe to catch any water and possibly dirt that may spill out. Then, insert a plumber's snake into the pipe and move it back and forth to open up any clogs and remove any accumulated dirt. In fact, some plumber's snakes even vibrate when they meet a clog, and they can effectively and rather easily cut through clogs. For more problematic clogs, you might need to use an electric auger. If you've made it a point to carry out the first basic cleaning tip described above, you should not find too many problems at this point. Keep some old rags or towels at hand to wipe up any dirt, and make sure to wear gloves for this job.


By following these tips you will manage to clean your sewer drains yourself.