Drain clogs can be caused by chemical concentrations, food product accumulation and grease accumulation. These clogs can be very severe and require professional cleaning or repairs. This may not always be possible due to certain plumbing systems or budgets.
You may be able, in the best case, to clear these clogs at home using several tools and methods before calling a professional plumber. We’ve collected 6 of the best DIY drain cleaning methods homeowners can use to reduce the impact of clogs and restore their drain pipes to peak performance.
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Hot water could be the solution
A simple hot water rinse can sometimes be all you need to get your drains back to their best. Hot water and water pressure can be used to flush out clogged drain pipes.
Run hot water for approximately 15 minutes through your blocked or dirty drains to get the best results. If everything goes according to plan, the heat and force of hot water will dissolve any blockages in your drain and restore your pipes to their original condition. This flush is the easiest drain cleaning technique you have.
Make use of tools you already have
You can also use other simple methods to clean your drains that you might not have thought of. Before you go out to buy drain cleaning tools or call a professional plumber to inspect your drains, you can try these tools to do quick and easy drain pipe repairs.
The bathroom plunger that you already have may be the best solution to your blocked or poor-performing drains. Sink plungers that are specifically designed for sink use are even more efficient.
Whatever plunger you use, clearing a drain is the same regardless of which one. Simply cover the drain opening with the plunger and then press down in a fluid motion for approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Do not use excessive force or speed to jam the plunger. The steady buildup pressure caused by fluid motions can cause significant pipe clogging.
If the fixture is equipped with an “overflow” vent, such as the ones found on conventional sinks that prevent overflows, be sure to cover them before you start draining. Otherwise, all the pressure and air will escape from the drain, making your efforts useless.
Petroleum jelly can be used to seal a drain opening. This jelly temporarily seals the plunger to the fixture and prevents air from escaping.
Homemade Liquid Cleaners
If the above methods are not practical or do not work for you, you might consider using homemade solutions to clear your drains. These solutions, like commercial chemical cleaners can dissolve and dislodge drain pipe buildup. However, unlike commercial cleaners these solutions are not likely to cause pipe damage or deterioration.
One of the most popular at-home combinations is a simple vinegar/baking soda combination. These products, which may be already in your pantry, react to break down any loose material within pipes and have no effect on the structure of surrounding pipe walls.
After a quick, 3- to 5-minute time-span, pour one cup of each into your drain pipes. Then, add boiling water to the pipe. This drain cleaning method will clear any blockages in your drains for a fraction the cost and risk associated with commercial chemical cleaners.
For DIY Plumbing Service, use a drain snake
A plumber’s snake is one tool that you might not have, but will need if your drains are blocked or clogged. These tools are used by professional plumbers to clear standard clogs or excavate drain pipes. They can be purchased at your local hardware store for a reasonable price (roughly $25-50) and will return your investment in a single usage.
Although you might think that these tools are only for professionals, homeowners are increasingly using snaking methods to clean their drains. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to do your own drain snaking.
Start by feeding the snake into your drain pipes. Turn the handle clockwise to encounter resistance.
Rotate the snake to clear the blockage so that the snake can latch onto the blocked materials
Slowly remove the snake from the drain, then reassemble the drain cover.
You can solve your drain clog problem without having to call a professional.
Drain Clogs and Sugared Sodas
This drain cleaning trick is often ignored because it’s unusual. But it works! Common drain clogs can be fixed with soft drinks and sugary beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
These sodas are significantly safer than commercial drain cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. They can be used to break down clogged particles thanks to the dissolving agent in sodas. Surprisingly, these agents may be even more effective than commercial chemical cleaners. This just shows that sometimes, the most effective solutions for drain cleaning are not the conventional ones.
Prevention Tips to Keep Your Drains Running Well
Avoiding clogging is the best way to get rid of drain clogs. Express Sewer & Drain recommends performing monthly performance checks of your drains and having a professional plumber inspect them at least once a year. You can prevent clogs from becoming more serious and expensive by taking proactive steps.
It is important to know what your drains can and can’t process, and this information can be used to prevent clogging. Avoid putting fibrous, stringy foods down your drains or garbage disposal.