Drain Snake

The Pitfalls of DIY Drain Cleaning: A Guide to Smart Plumbing Practices

We’ve all faced the frustrating scenario of water refusing to drain, whether it’s in the sink, shower, or tub. The immediate instinct might be to reach for a bottle of potent liquid drain cleaner, but here’s why DIY drain cleaning could be a detrimental choice.

The Hidden Dangers of Drain Cleaners

Contrary to the promises of convenience, commercial drain cleaners can wreak havoc on your pipes, even those claiming to be “safe on pipes.” The warning on the back of the bottle urging you to call poison control if it touches your skin speaks volumes. For a safer approach, opt for all-natural enzymatic products that break down organic material without causing harm. However, for those minor clogs, we suggest simpler and more cost-effective DIY solutions.

DIY Drain Maintenance

When dealing with sluggish drains or aiming for monthly drain upkeep, consider these budget-friendly options:

  • Hot Water: Pour a pot of very hot (not boiling) water down the troubled drain, followed by a flush of cool water to clear away the melted debris.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of vinegar, pour it down the drain, plug the sink, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, flush the drain with hot water for a refreshed and odor-free result.

Tackling Tough Clogs

Should you face a more stubborn clog, resist the urge to resort to chemical cleaners. Instead, arm yourself with the following tools

  • Snake or Auger: Use a plumber’s snake or auger to physically break up the clog. Feed the snake through the drain pipe, turn the handle, and retrieve the dislodged debris.
  • Cup Plunger: Effective for small clogs, a cup plunger can be used by creating a proper seal over the drain. Plunge vigorously to feel the clog loosening and restoring flow.

Preventing Drain Clogs

Practice proper drain usage to prevent future issues by avoiding these common culprits:

  • Grease, fats, or oil (solidify and dispose in a jar)
  • Eggshells
  • Starchy foods (pasta, rice, potatoes)
  • Bones
  • Stringy or fibrous foods
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine products
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • “Flushable” wipes
  • Hair (use a stopper in the shower or tub)

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Posted on November 09, 2023