Home Remedies for Clogged Drains: Are They Work?

Clogged drains usually happen when you need to use your bathroom the most. For instance, kids have painted themselves from head to toe while your dog is full of mud. The next thing you know is that someone needs to use the toilet urgently. And you don’t have any unclogging solution at home. Could you rely on home remedies for clogged drains?

We think there are some very good reasons to resort to home remedies, aside from immediate availability.

Other reasons why you may be interested in a homemade drain cleaner include:

  • Saving money by not buying expensive cleaners
  • Being environmentally friendly by avoiding dangerous substances
  • Not causing damage to your pipes by using harsh chemicals
  • Keeping your home baby and pet-friendly
  • Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about homemade drain clog remover!

Why do drains get clogged?

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Clogged drains are among the most common plumbing problems. Where there’s a drain, there will be a clog at some moment. The problem is that our drains capture more than water, eventually forcing you to apply home remedies for clogged drains. Wastewater contains various substances and objects with the potential to clog the drain:

  • Dirt
  • Soap
  • Hair
  • Oil and fat
  • Food waste
  • Objects accidentally flushed
  • Wipes and diapers
  • Cat litter
  •  Cotton swabs
  • Toilet paper
  • Minerals

Prevention is very important if you don’t want to deal with a drain clogged with hair or other substances. Advice to prevent clogged drains includes:

Using a hair strainer drain guard and cleaning it regularly

  1.          Using soap-free washes
  2.          Rinsing dirt and mud before using the shower
  3.          Not pouring oil from cooking in the kitchen sink drain
  4.          Not flushing anything down the toilet except for human waste and toilet paper.
  5.          Exploring the state of pipes if they are old
  6.          Installing a water softener if water is hard
  7.          Using toilet paper in moderation or flushing between multiple batches of paper
  8.          Educating children not to play with toilet fixtures as they can flush objects and clog the drain

Even with lots of attention and care, your drain can get partially clogged after being used for a long time. The good news is you can use a variety of homemade remedies to unclog the drain.

Home Remedies for Clogged Drains

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These solutions are recommended when the clogging is not very severe. So, check the condition of your drains regularly and take action as soon as you notice water is not draining normally.

Homemade drain cleaner for toilet

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Toilets are the most common fixtures that get clogged for several reasons:

·        They are within the reach of children who can flush down objects;

·        Many people do not know they should not flush any type of waste down the toilet. Toilets are designed to pass human waste and toilet paper. Yet, some users throw kitty litter, feminine products, wipes, diapers, cotton swabs, and dental floss;

·        We are more likely to “abuse” the toilet drain because of its larger diameter. We don’t expect it to clog, but it eventually happens.

A common homemade drain cleaner for toilet is backing soda mixed with vinegar. Make sure the bowl is half full of water before starting the unclogging operation.

Pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Slowly add one cup of vinegar. Do not hurry as the two chemicals can overflow during the reaction and make a mess on your floor.

Allow the resulting solution to sit for 20 minutes.

Repeat the process a couple of time if the clog is stubborn.

In case you are looking for homemade drain cleaner without baking soda, there are other options for unclogging your toilet:

Heatwave is the simplest and cheapest of all home remedies for clogged drains.

  • Flush a bucket of very hot but not boiling water down the toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Make your own plumbing snake
  • Use a wire coat hanger from your closet wrapped in a rug to try moving the blockage.
  • Use the old plunger method
  • Get a special plunger for toilets and solve the problem the old-fashioned way!

Homemade drain cleaner for shower

The shower can be another sore spot in your bathroom when it comes to clogs. The toilet may be suffering the worst abuse of all, but the shower drain is not pain-free either. This part of your bathroom is constantly attacked by factors that contribute to clogged drains.

The water resulting from our daily shower contains skin flakes, dirt, mud, and soap. Not to mention the hair, especially when a person with long hair uses the shower.

What homemade drain cleaner for shower can you use? Without acting quick, you will stand in a small pond of water every time you shower. In the end, it will overflow and make a mess on your bathroom floor!

A homemade unclogging solution that will solve the problem contains:

  • ¼ cup of Borax
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • ¼ cup of salt

Pour the solution into the drain and add a pot of boiling water. Allow it to sit for at least an hour. Rinse with hot tap water.

You don’t have vinegar in your pantry right now? There is also the alternative of using baking soda and salt only. Add ½ cup from each ingredient, mix, and pour down the drain. Let it sit for at least half an hour or overnight. Cleaning with a pot of hot water will increase the efficacy of this homemade remedy.

Homemade sink drain cleaner

Can vinegar clean a clogged drain? Not without reacting with baking soda. But when it comes to cleaning sink drains, there are some additional methods you can try.

If it’s the kitchen sink that you are trying to unclog, chances are the pipe has grease deposits. Try the following solutions before calling a plumber:

·        Check the garbage disposal

If the sink is equipped with garbage disposal, this could cause the drainage problem. [1]It is possible for the clog to be located in the disposal and turning it on will usually remove the blockage.

·        Use dish soap and hot water

Clogging issues caused by grease can be solved with dish soap and hot water.  Clear water from the drain, squirt dish soap down the drain, and pour boiling water. Don’t worry about the boiling water, as kitchen sinks and pipes are made to withstand high temperatures. This method will remove even the most stubborn grease deposits.

·        Try peroxide

The other remedies didn’t work? Consider this mixture containing ½ cups of peroxide and ½ cup of baking soda. Pour the mixture down the drain, pour boiling water, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

How to deodorize a drain?

Our sink drains capture well… wastewater. In time, drains will start to release an unpleasant odor. There’s nothing worse than working hard to clean your home and have the bad smell coming back immediately after.

Fortunately, smelly drains are easy to clean and easier to prevent. Complete the following steps:

·        Wash the drain

Mix a few drops of liquid dish detergent with very hot water and pour the solution down the drain. Wait for 5 minutes and then pour cold water. This will solidify the remaining grease.

Add another flush of hot water to dislodge the rest of the solidified grease.

·        Use vinegar

Always keep vinegar in your pantry as it has all kinds of amazing household uses. It can even remove brown stain.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is able to neutralize alkaline sources of smell. It has disinfecting properties and dissolves the biofilm in drains.

Heat 4 cups of vinegar until it simmers and pour half of the quantity down the drain. Run water for a minute. Add the rest of the vinegar and allow it to sit. The high temperature of the vinegar helps to dissolve small clogs, which are often the source of bad smell.

·        Check the garbage disposal again

The garbage disposal needs cleaning every once in a while. It is recommended to run ice cubes through it or citrus peels.

Also, consider replacing the rubber collar at the top of your garbage disposal with an anti-microbial one. Sometimes it is impossible to get the old one clean and smell-free no matter what you do.

How to clean a drain clogged with hair

Going back to the shower drain, where hair buildup can represent a major challenge. The main culprits are:

  • Moustache and beard hairs
  • Long hair from a lady’s thick mane
  • Dog hair

No matter how hard you try to catch it, some hairs do escape. They reach the drain and start to build up. You already know what comes next.

An old-school plumber will tell you to reach down and solve the issue. But nobody likes to touch a disgusting hairball and have to dispose of it without contaminating the entire bathroom. Even if they wear hand gloves.

Is there a way to dissolve a drain clogged with hair?

Yes, and without using harsh chemicals.

Believe it or not, the old remedy of baking soda and vinegar can clear a drain clogged with hair.

Remember to use it in combination with very hot water. Alternate the water with the vinegar and baking soda solution.

Bleach is another option if your drain is clogged with hair. A cup of liquid bleach should dissolve the clog in about half an hour.

In the end, you may need to resort to the use of a hook or a snake if the clog doesn’t dissolve. At least you don’t have to open the drain and perform the operation so many people dread.

Bottom Line

A clogged drain is an unpleasant event, but it will happen at some point. Forget about harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes and will pollute the environment. A drain unclogger home remedy is easy to apply by everyone by using pantry essentials.

Preparing homemade drain cleaner for toilet or trying to find out how to deodorize a drain? You might even have some fun during the process!