How to Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

What You'll Need
Baking soda
Cream of Tartar
Boiling Water
Measuring cups

A slow drain is an incredible annoyance, but a commercial drain cleaner can be both toxic and expensive. You can rent a snake, but rather than spend time and money snaking a drain you could make your own drain cleaner with common, inexpensive household ingredients. This how-to guide will lead you through the easy process of making and applying a homemade drain cleaner without resorting to chemicals or expensive rentals. There are two common methods for making drain cleaner, and neither one of them will set you back more than a few dollars.

Step 1: Do What You Can Without a Cleaner

Whether it is a slow-draining tub or a clogged sink, do what you can with either a plunger or your finger to clear. A plunger can be used to pressurize a clogged drain. It may free up some of the drainage. It is a dirty job, but using your finger to clean hair or other debris from a tub drain is necessary too.

Step 2: First Drain Cleaner Method

In kitchen sinks food debris can often get caked along the drainpipe walls. This will eventually lead to a clogged drain. Built-up fat is especially bothersome. For this, measure out 1 part baking soda, 1 part salt and ¼ cream of tartar. For one drain, 1 cup of the first two and ¼ cup of the third will suffice. Mix the dry ingredients together well. Boil a quart or two of water. When the water is ready, pour the dry ingredients down the clogged drain followed by the boiling water. After a couple of minutes, turn on the tap and rinse.

Step 3: Second Drain Cleaner Method

If you ever made a science project volcano, you will be familiar with this method. Baking soda, when mixed with vinegar, can be a powerful cleaning agent. For this second method, take ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar and boil a quart of water. Pour the baking soda down into the drain and follow with the vinegar. It will bubble and fizz. Wait for about fifteen minutes. Then pour the quart of boiling water down the drain. You can do this time and again until the drain is no longer clogged.

Step 4: Bleach It–If You Must

Although it’s much more toxic, you can pour bleach down a clogged drain and let it sit overnight. For drains that are clogged with hair, this method might be more effective than the previous two.

You can clear a clogged drain using a homemade drain cleaner. It is much less expensive than buying commercial drain cleaners, and there is no need to rent a snake or hire a service. Using common household ingredients, you can mix up a drain cleaner in a matter of minutes. And because it is non-toxic, you can do it again and again until the drain is clear.