A clogged drain can be a major inconvenience. Slow-draining water allows dirt and grime to build up on the surface of the tub or sink, creating a slick and slimy coating that is as unappealing to the eyes as it is to the touch. That means you will find yourself having to clean your tub or sink even more often than usual. No one likes extra cleaning duties.
When faced with a clogged drain, your first reaction may be to simply head to your local mart to pick up some industrial drain cleaner. Before you do that, consider the damage that those chemicals do to the environment. After all, the water that goes down your drain ultimately ends up at a processing plant where it’s filtered and used for other applications. When you use toxic agents to clear your drains, the chemicals enter the processing plant can often disperse into the environment. It always pays to try a few alternative tricks to unclogging your drain before you call in the toxic big guns.
Safe, Effective Drain Unclogging
By and far, the most common culprit for a clogged drain is hair. In most cases, the clog is right below the drain, not in the J-bend like they show on television commercials all the time. If that is the case, then it can be easily cleared using a metal clothes hanger.
Simply unwind the hanger so that it is one long length of metal. Bend the end of one side into a tight hook using a pair of needle nose pliers. Then, insert the hook down the drain and pull it back up. The hanger will remove a ton of nasty hair and other debris. Depending on the severity of the clog, it may take a couple of passes before it is entirely cleared. There are a also few eco-friendly tricks if the clog is located beyond the drain.
Alka-Seltzer and Vinegar
Take three tablets of Alka-Seltzer and drop them down the drain. Break them up if you have to. Pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain and wait for 15 minutes. While the solution is bubbling, it’s dissolving the grease that binds the clog together. After the 15 minutes, pour a small pan full of boiling water down the drain to break the clog up so that it can easily be washed away.
Liquid Dish Soap
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 3 or 4-tablespoons of liquid dish soap to the pot. Slowly pour the heated solution down the drain and let it sit for about a 30 minutes. The soap will start loosening the grease that binds the clog. Flush the clog with hot water from the tap. The hot tap water should break the clog.
Baking Soda and Salt
Pour 0.5 cups each of baking soda and salt down the clogged drain. Bring 6-cups of water to a boil and pour the it down the drain as well. Allow the mixture to sit overnight. In the morning, flush the clog with hot water from the tap. The baking soda and salt act as abrasives that will force the clog out while at the same time scrubbing your pipes clean.
The next time you get a clogged drain, give one of these environmentally friendly tricks a try. You’ll not only save yourself some money, but you’ll also rest easy knowing that you’re not sending toxic chemicals down the drain and into your area’s water filtration system.