Drain Cleaning – How to Get Rid of Clogged Drains

Most homeowners don’t think about drain cleaning until their pipes are completely clogged. Luckily, there are some easy DIY solutions that can help!

Besides avoiding known clog-causers like hair, coffee grounds, and hot grease, regular drain cleaning is the best way to keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly. Contact Drain Cleaning Perth now!

  1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a common kitchen ingredient that can work wonders as a drain cleaning solution. It can dissolve mineral deposits and organic materials that contribute to clogs. It also has slight disinfectant properties that can combat odor-causing bacteria and fungi. Regularly pouring baking soda down the drain can help prevent clogs from forming.

Vinegar is another common household ingredient that can make a good drain cleaner. When combined with sodium, which can be found in baking soda and salt, vinegar creates a chemical reaction that can break down gunk and grime in the drain. This is a useful alternative to store-bought clog removers, which often contain dangerous chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, or lye.

Combine 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and pour down the drain. Allow the mixture to sit for several hours, preferably overnight. If possible, use a mesh drain strainer to catch any food or hair that may have fallen down the drain. The mixture will probably fizz, which is a good sign that it’s working. After the fizzing subsides, flush the drain with hot water.

Repeat as needed to keep the drain running clean. If the drain is still clogged, it’s important to determine what’s causing the blockage. If it’s a solid object, you might need to physically remove it using a plunger or plumber’s snake. If it’s grease, the vinegar may be able to help by emulsifying the fat and making it easier for the drain to flush out.

Be careful when using this method for a serious clog, as it can weaken some pipes and cause corrosion. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide, which can put pressure on pipes and joints that aren’t made of metal. It can also break down the composition of plastic pipes. If you suspect this is the case, call your local ARS/Rescue Rooter to see about professional pipe repairs and drain cleaning. We can handle a wide range of plumbing issues, from minor clogs to major sewer line problems.

  1. Dish Soap

As one of the mildest products in the supermarket household cleaning aisle, liquid dish soap has a wide range of uses, primarily because it is very effective and safe for most surfaces. In fact, it can even replace some traditional chemical cleaners. For example, it can be used to dissolve grease and oil on dishes. But it also works great as a drain cleaning solution in the kitchen sink or bathroom shower.

To use dish soap as a drain cleaner, simply remove all standing water in the sink and then pour a liberal amount of liquid detergent into the sink and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, pour a liter of hot water down the drain to flush it. This should clear away most grease or soap buildup and allow the drain to work properly again. If the clog is particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat the process.

It is important to note that if you are using regular, conventional dish soap for this purpose, make sure that it does not contain any phosphates or triclosan, two chemicals that can harm the environment by reaching lakes and streams and encouraging algae blooms that decrease oxygen levels in the water. You will also want to choose a non-toxic, natural brand of dish soap such as Seventh Generation Natural Dish Soap, which is available at most large conventional supermarket chains, and online at Amazon, Whole Foods, Thrive, and more.

While it might seem counterintuitive to mix dish soap and vinegar, this is a powerful combination for unclogging stubborn drains in the kitchen or bathroom. This solution is also safe for most pipes, but it can be less effective on hair-related clogs. However, it can be combined with other methods to help break down and dissolve hair, so it is worth trying before turning to more drastic measures.

Another useful tip is to regularly clean your drain pipe with this mixture, to prevent clogs before they occur. This will ensure that the soapy water is regularly flushed out, keeping your drains working well throughout the month.

  1. Chemical Cleaners

Most liquid drain cleaners are pure chemicals, and they depend on creating a chemical reaction inside your pipes to break up the clog. However, the reaction produces a lot of heat that can cause pipe damage and may not actually dissolve your clog. These cleaners are also bad for your pipes because they often leave behind a residue that collects dirt and debris and can lead to more blockages in the future.

Most chemical drain cleaners come with usage instructions on the back of the bottle, and it’s important to follow those instructions to the letter. Pouring them haphazardly can cause splashes that can irritate your skin and eyes and can also generate toxic fumes. You should use proper safety equipment like goggles, a face mask and rubber gloves when using chemical drain cleaners.

Caustic chemical cleaners contain ingredients like lye that give off heat and release a strong chemical reaction when they come into contact with water. They can be very effective for soft hair or grease clogs, but aren’t suitable for tougher materials. Oxidizing chemical cleaners work a little differently. They strip away electrons from the material that’s causing your clog, which breaks it down into smaller molecules and makes it easier to dissolve. These types of cleaners are good for breaking down organic waste, but they’re less effective on grease clogs.

All chemical drain cleaners can be hazardous to your health if not used properly. They all emit harsh chemical fumes that can irritate your nose, eyes and throat. These fumes can be especially dangerous if they aren’t ventilated and if you inhale them for long periods of time.

All liquid chemical cleaners have the potential to splash and splatter when they come into contact with water, which is why they should never be paired with plungers. The act of plunging can cause the chemical to splash back up into your face or eyes, resulting in chemical burns. Many of these chemical cleaners also corrode metal pipes, particularly older pipes made from galvanized steel. They can even damage plastic pipes, which are becoming more common in homes and businesses today.

  1. Sewer Line Issues

If your drains smell like sewage and you’ve already tried using the plunger and eco-friendly commercial drain cleaner, it could be time to call a professional. A clogged sewer line is a serious plumbing problem that can lead to basement flooding, contaminated groundwater, and even expensive pipe repairs. A professional plumber can use special equipment to clean the sewer line and ensure it is fully functioning.

A gurgling sound when you flush the toilet is a clear sign that there is a blockage in your main line. The clog is preventing proper flow of wastewater and air, which creates air pockets that make the sound. This is an urgent plumbing issue that should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs and to protect your health and safety.

Multiple clogged drains at the same time are another sign that there is a bigger issue with your sewer line. One clogged drain might mean you dropped a vegetable clipping in the sink, but if every single drain is slow to drain or the toilets are constantly backing up, it’s time to contact a professional for a full sewer line inspection and repair.

Damaged sewer lines can also cause unpleasant smells in the home, especially when water backs up into the fixtures. These odors can be caused by tree roots, offset joints, or broken sections of the line. If you have an older home, it is common for the line to develop gaps or offset joints over time. The most effective sewer repair solution is to use hydro-jetting to dislodge the roots and clean the entire length of the line.

The sewer line is the large-diameter pipe that carries waste from every drain in your house to the city or septic tank. It is a vital part of your home’s plumbing system that you don’t think about until something goes wrong. A clogged sewer line can affect every fixture in your home and can lead to costly damages. If you have any of the signs above, it’s important to contact a plumber for fast and affordable drain cleaning and repair services.