Top 6 Natural Remedies for Unblocking Drains

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Bad smells and bubbling sounds are never good signs when it comes to drains. However, these two things can indicate that a major problem is brewing — a blockage. 

Attempting to unclog your drain yourself is a good idea to prevent the problem from getting worse, but what’s the best way to do it? Store-bought chemicals might seem like a fast and easy solution, but they can actually cause you more problems in the long run. 

So here are our top ways to unclog your drain using home remedies that will keep your family safe and are much better for the environment.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore a Blocked Drain

Blocked drains are usually caused by a build-up of materials, such as food particles, hair, oil, and grease. Every time you send water down your kitchen sink or bathroom basin without fixing the blockage, you’re exacerbating the problem. In time, a blocked drain can cause wastewater to back up until it eventually floods your home or causes a major leak in your pipe system. 

You should always attend to a drain blockage as soon as you notice a problem. Otherwise, it can cause a lot of damage to your home and cost more money to fix than a simple clog. 

Why You Shouldn’t Tip Chemicals Down the Drain

  • A chemical drain cleaner can damage pipes, making them thin and brittle and causing cracks and leaks.
  • Mixing chemicals in commercial drain cleaners with other substances previously poured down the drain can cause dangerous reactions. 
  • Drain cleaners contain dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health and, if stored in your home, are a risk to pets and children. 
  • They can be ineffective and cost you more in the long run. 
  • They are bad for the environment. They have been found to pollute groundwater and harm fragile ecosystems and wildlife. They can kill beneficial bacteria in a septic system and, because they often float on the surface of water, can cause hazardous vapours in sewers. 

Six Best Natural Remedies to Fix a Clogged Drain

Clear your plumbing system naturally with these tried and tested home remedies. 

1. The power of hot water

The most simple and cost-effective remedy for a blocked drain is to flush it with hot water. Tipping boiling water down your drain can effectively melt fats, oil, and grease that have trapped other materials in your pipes. However, you must use boiling water for it to be effective. Hot water can warp or crack PVC pipes, so you should only use this method on metal or ceramic pipes. 

2. Baking soda and vinegar can be a dynamic duo

A great natural cleaning solution, the powerful chemical reaction caused by mixing baking soda with vinegar can also help you unclog a blocked drain. Sprinkle about half a cup of baking soda over the drain opening and follow with half a cup of vinegar. You will hear a fizzing sound, which means the chemical reaction is working to unclog the drain. Let it sit for several minutes before you flush the pipes with warm water. 

3. Salty solution to bid goodbye to grease

Grease and fats clogging your drain are no match for the abrasive power of salt. Use salt on its own or with an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to boost its power and rid your drains of gunk. Simply tip half a cup of table salt over the drain opening and flush with vinegar and hot water for a cheap, fast and effective home remedy. 

4. Enzyme cleaners are another eco-friendly choice

Enzyme cleaners are natural remedies that use good bacteria to break down waste into smaller pieces. You can buy them off the shelf or make your own with lemon peels. Peel the fruit and chop it into small pieces. Add the pieces to a wide-mouthed plastic container with sugar, yeast, and warm water. Shake the bottle until the sugar has dissolved and leave it to ferment for one month before using it as a cleaning product or as a cheap and easy remedy to unclog drains. 

5. Borax beats a clog

Although it’s mildly toxic, borax is a more eco-friendly solution to a blocked drain than the chemical alternatives. It can help break down debris caught in your pipes, but you should take care and wear protective gear to avoid inhaling it or getting it on your skin. Mix one part borax with four parts boiling water and tip down the drain. Leave it to sit for several minutes before you flush it away with hot water. 

6. Plungers and drain snakes are best for solids 

For a solid drain clog that can’t be dissolved, use elbow grease and a plunger. A plunger uses the power of pressure to help release build-ups of food particles or hair that have caused a blockage. Place the plunger over the drain opening to create an airtight seal and pull upwards repeatedly until the drain is unclogged. 

If you have forgotten to use a hair trap over your drain, a drain snake is the ideal solution. A drain snake is a thin and flexible auger that goes down your drain to break up a solid mass. Once dropped into the drain opening, unwind it until you feel resistance. This is likely to be whatever is causing your clog. Continue to wind and unwind the drain snake until the blockage has been cleared. 

Sustainable Solutions and Expert Care For Your Drains

There’s no need to wait for a nasty smell or troubling bubbling to keep your drains in good working order. The best thing about all the above products is that they consist of gentle, natural ingredients, making them ideal for regular maintenance routines to help prevent plumbing blockages.

However, if you find that you can’t unblock the clog using these natural remedies, call in a plumber to address your stubborn blockage before it becomes a huge problem. The Relining Company uses the latest, specialised equipment to unblock drains quickly and easily. We also conduct drain inspections so that we can get to the root of the problem, saving you time and money. 

Next time you have a drain that can’t be unblocked, call The Relining Company on 0488 855 166.

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