When it comes to blocked plumbing, many turn to commercial drain cleaners available at practically any grocery or home improvement store. While it's easy to buy a commercial product to get the job done, it’s not always the most effective, least expensive, or environmentally friendly method. Not to mention that commercial products can really do some damage to your plumbing in the long run, with the risk of toxic materials causing corrosion to your sink and drains.
While it's easy to buy a commercial product to get the job done, it’s not always the most effective, least expensive, or environmentally friendly method.
Before using a standard drain cleaner, try a few drain cleaning tricks first. A simple plunger might be enough to dislodge a blockage if it’s just a small clog. If that doesn’t work, try using an auger or sewer snake to clean out the drain. Also, check the sink’s trap.
The most universally accepted homemade drain cleaning method uses 3 simple ingredients - boiling hot water, baking soda and vinegar. This formula can be super-effective because the boiling water helps melt down any pipe sludge, and the baking soda and vinegar work together to create a bubbling chemical reaction that helps dislodge any materials blocking the pipes. Here are the steps to using this method:
- Wait for all water to subside from the sink
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain
- Then pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain
- Pour down another cup of baking soda, plus 1 cup of white vinegar
- Plug the drain and wait until the bubbles start to subside
While this formula may often produce the same results as commercial products, it does require more time and more applications. Plus, this homemade method may work better as a preventative measure than as a fix for big clogs. Once a large blockage of junk has accumulated, it may be too much for this method to work effectively.
Remember that if there’s a foreign object such as jewelry or large pieces of food that are creating the blockage, a drain cleaner (whether commercial or homemade) probably isn’t going to help. While the homemade formula is cheaper and makes a lesser impact on the environment, it isn’t always strong enough to do the job. If it doesn’t work, it may be time to try something a little stronger, but only on occasion for the reasons mentioned above. And if you're still unable to resolve the issue, you need to call the plumbing pro team at A#1 Air right away. We offer professional drain cleaning services, and much more for your plumbing system.