An eco-friendly way to clean drains

January 20, 2016

A green fix when prevention fails

Clogged drains are not just a nuisance; they’re often rather stinky and disgusting. When they happen, most of us reach for chemical cleaners – which are typically pretty corrosive, and can burn skin, eyes and lungs.

So what to do? As with most problems, prevention is much better than cure – so:

  • Ensure a screen is installed in your drain to keep stuff out
  • Don’t pour grease or greasy materials down the drain; they may be liquid when hot, but they cool down quickly once poured out, and then solidify as gunk in pipes. (Small amounts of grease can be added to your compost; large amounts can be taken to recycling facilities.)

But when a cure is needed, first try using a plunger. If that fails, consider trying a sewer snake; they’re available at many hardware stores for less than the cost of a plumber’s service call, and are easy to use (consult YouTube if you need help).

Or try this simple procedure using two simple household ingredients:

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain; work it in as much as possible
  • Then pour a cup of vinegar, and let it fizz for five to ten minutes to loosen up the clog
  • Then pour some boiling water to flush away the loosened clog

If needed, try this heavier-duty procedure using the same ingredients.

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