Drain Cleaning: How to Get Rid of Clogged Drains
Clogged drains can lead to many problems, including foul-smelling odors and water that stands in sinks or tubs. Regularly cleaning and maintaining drains can prevent serious issues.
Fortunately, Drain Cleaning Los Angeles can be simple and quick with these home remedies! Avoid harsh chemicals that can cause more damage than they help.
Baking soda and vinegar
If you have a mild drain clog, try this simple DIY solution before calling in a professional. This combination is a non-toxic, all-natural cleaner and deodorizer that can lift stains and cut through grease.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a basic, alkaline substance that reacts with acidic vinegar (acetic acid) to create carbon dioxide bubbles that help loosen and remove gunk in the drain. The resulting fizzing reaction can break up and dissolve hair, soap scum, food particles, and other organic compounds that accumulate in drains.
Vinegar is also a powerful acid that can destroy a wide range of microorganisms, including some viruses and bacteria. Because it is so effective, vinegar is a common ingredient in household cleaning products and natural disinfectants. It can be used on its own as a deodorizer or as part of a cleaner with baking soda to eliminate strong odors.
To use this natural drain cleaner, start by pouring about half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Then add a cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and foam as it reacts, but don’t be alarmed if the drain is completely blocked by the chemical reaction. After the mixture has had time to work, pour in another cup of boiling water to flush the drain and wash away any remaining gunk and debris.
The most common cause of a drain clog is a buildup of grease. The high acetic acid content in vinegar is effective at breaking down fats, oils, and grease in the plumbing system. When combined with baking soda, the resulting mixture is even more effective at dissolving fatty deposits.
While there are a variety of caustic drain cleaners on the market, these chemicals are not only dangerous to the environment but may also damage your pipes. Instead, use this simple homemade drain cleaner recipe that uses the power of chemistry to clean your pipes.
Start by pouring a quart of boiling water down the drain. Then add a pound of salt and one cup of distilled white vinegar. The combination will fizz and create a bubbling reaction that breaks down and disintegrates any grease in the plumbing system. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before pouring in a second quart of boiling water to flush out the pipes.
Boiling water is often a reliable way to unclog a drain. However, you should never pour boiling water directly down a porcelain sink or PVC pipes because the high temperature of the boiling water could crack the sink and/or melt the plastic pipes. Instead, bring a pot of water to a boil, and then slowly pour the hot water down the drain.
This method is usually effective at dissolving organic clogs like hair, food scraps, and grease. The resulting siphon action can also help break apart and remove stubborn clogs. However, it may not be enough to remove a serious or persistent clog. For severe clogs, it’s best to try other methods of drain cleaning.
Baking soda and vinegar can be helpful as natural drain cleaners for mild to moderate clogs. But for more serious blockages, you’ll probably need a physical drain cleaner, such as one of the many options available at your local hardware store.
If you are unable to clear a clog with baking soda and vinegar, try using a physical drain cleaning tool. These tools are inexpensive and safer than chemical-based drain cleaners. However, you should always use these tools carefully and in conjunction with other natural drain cleaning methods.
You can purchase a drain snake from most home improvement stores. These tools are safe to use and work well for most drain clogs. However, for some tough clogs, you may need to rent a drain snake from a plumbing supply store or hire a professional plumber.
Another option is to use a snake or auger from your toolbox. This method can be more difficult, but it can often get rid of even the most stubborn clogs.
If your clog is located in your plumbing’s P-trap, it may be easier to remove the trap and clean it by hand. To do this, remove the hose from the drain, unscrew the trap’s nut, and unscrew the P-trap from the wall pipe. Then, rinse out the trap with hot water and reassemble it. The hot water will likely help dissolve grease and soap scum, as well as any other debris stuck in the trap.
Many of us keep a bottle of liquid dish soap in the kitchen to help get rid of sticky foods, greasy pots and pans, and other cooking messes. But did you know that a few squirts of your favorite soap in the sink can also be a great way to unclog a drain? The answer is yes!
The best part about this DIY method is that you already have most of the ingredients at home. All you need is a sink or tub that’s completely dry, a pot of boiling water, and some liquid dish soap. You can even use this method to clean a shower drain if it’s become clogged.
This simple solution works because the surfactants in most dish soaps break up fats and oils in the drain. If you pour a cup of soap down your drain, let it sit for an hour or so, then flush it with hot water, your clog should be dislodged. This method is especially effective for greasy or food-based clogs.
Before you try this method, it’s important to note that excessive amounts of soap or oily residue can damage your pipes. It’s also a good idea to always run plenty of hot water after pouring soap down your drains to help flush away any residue.
It’s also important to be aware that most dish soaps no longer contain phosphates, which are beneficial for cleaning but can reach lakes and streams where they promote algae blooms that reduce water oxygen levels. Instead, most dish soaps are now made with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium lauryl ethyl sulfate (SLES), both of which are safe for your pipes.
It’s important to prevent drain clogs in the first place by keeping hair, food particles, and other items from falling down your drain. A strainer basket is a great way to help with this, and you can also periodically pour a cup of boiling water down your drain to further prevent clogs. If you do end up with a clogged drain, remember that using the right combination of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap can be more effective than traditional toilet plungers or snake tools.
A plumber’s snake is a vital tool for any homeowner to have. These devices are essentially long metal tubes with a corkscrew-type head that fit into drains. The head latches onto obstructions, which allows the rest of the snake to break up and pull them out. Some models can also fit as an attachment on electric drills, allowing the user to gain more leverage in tougher clogs.
There are a variety of different types of snakes, and some may include LED lights to help users see what they’re doing when working on clogged pipes. The most common model for homeowners measures between 10 and 25 feet long, while professional-grade versions can be up to 50 feet in length.
The most important thing to keep in mind when using a plumber’s snake is to always use it with caution. While the metal tip on these devices can quickly remove solid blockages from toilets and sinks, it’s easy to damage porcelain with too much pressure. If possible, try to run a drain cleaner through the pipe before using the snake to break up large debris.
When snaking a drain, slowly feed the auger end of the snake into the pipe until you feel resistance. If you’re working on a tub, it’s best to snake the drain through the overflow drain instead of the floor drain. Once you’ve encountered resistance, rotate the handle of the snake to clear corners and reach the clog. After a few rotations, the snake should easily pull out what’s stuck in the pipe.
If you’re still struggling to unclog your pipe, consider running a hose of hot water down the drain. This can wash away any remaining clog material and help prevent future blockages.
If you don’t want to deal with the mess of a professional-grade plumber’s snake, try the DIY option of a TubShroom, a rubber device that can capture hair and other small items before they get into the drain. This is ideal for tackling bathtub and shower clogs that are caused by a buildup of hair, soap scum, or other grime.