With little ones and furry friends running around, you might be less inclined to use harsh chemicals when you’re faced with a blocked drain. While it might not seem like the most urgent thing on your already too long to-do list, it’ll eventually weasel its way to the top. Whether it’s because of the growing mountain of dirty dishes or because your shower unintentionally became a bath, you’ll want to clear this blockage ASAP.
We’ve got a tried and true method for clearing a partially clogged drain that uses everyday pantry items here for you. It can even be used as a preventative method to help keep your drains smelling fresh and clean too.
Baking Soda and Vinegar DIY Drain Cleaner Recipe
If you’re on the cleaning side of TikTok, you’ve almost certainly already seen this method. There’s a trick to make it work though, that’s often left out of these videos.
Time: 10-30 minutes
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1 cup of vinegar
- Pot of hot water
- Drain plug/duct tape
Step 1: Turn on the hot water tap and let it run for a few minutes. This is often the step many people forget, but it is critical for this method to work. The hot tap water will help to melt any fats and oils caked onto your drain, which will make it easier to remove later.
Step 2: Pour approximately one cup of baking soda into your drain. No need to be neat or precise here, just get it down the drain.
Step 3: Pour one cup of vinegar down the drain and quickly put the plug in or cover the drain with some duct tape. Combining vinegar and baking soda will create a fizzing reaction that you want to keep inside your drain where it’s required, not in your sink.
This reaction produces carbon dioxide and so should only be performed in a well-ventilated room or wearing a mask to prevent breathing this in.
For added effect, use heated vinegar. Heat the vinegar up in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl before you pour it down the drain. This can speed up the drain clearing process.
Step 4: Leave this reaction to sit for 10-30 minutes depending on how severe the blockage is. The fizzing reaction should help to dislodge anything built up around your drain.
Step 5: Boil a kettle and make yourself a cuppa while you wait. When enough time has passed, remove the plug/duct tape and slowly pour the remaining hot water down the drain. Make sure you’re not using boiling water, this can damage PVC pipes.
This final hot water flush should remove any remaining bits of the blockage.
Your drain should now be draining much more rapidly than it was before. If it’s still struggling, you can repeat this process as many times as you need. These natural ingredients don’t pose any danger to your plumbing pipes. You can even use it on your garbage disposal to keep that fresh.
This method is great to do every other week or so to freshen drains and keep them smelling clean. It can even help to prevent buildup from occurring in your drain in the first place. It’s an easy step to add to your existing cleaning routine that won’t add much more time but will have a big effect.
Homemade drain cleaners are a great way to clear a minor blockage, and even help prevent one from developing. Your best approach to keep blocked drains at bay, however, is to stop putting things down your drains that can block them in the first place.
Common Causes of Blocked Drains
Rather than go to the effort to unclog your blocked drain, why not prevent it from blocking at all? Here are the most common things the plumbers at Book A Plumber Online have found to be the cause of blocked kitchen sinks:
- Food scraps
When it comes to bathroom drains, the common culprits include:
- Paper towel
- Flushable wipes
- Cotton wool
- Cotton buds
Tree roots and mineral build-up can, unfortunately, block any of the drains in your home. While a homemade drain cleaner of baking soda and vinegar will do the trick more often than not, sometimes you just need to call in the big guns.
How a Plumber Clears a Blocked Drain
When it comes to tree roots and other severe blockages, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a drain cleaner that’ll cut it. A professional plumber has all the tools and supplies you need to get water moving smoothly again.
The first and most obvious solution to a clogged drain is the trusty plunger. For minor blockages, this can be just the tool you need. The only problem here? It’s only a short term solution and won’t prevent your drains from clogging again.
A plumber can use high-pressure water to remove just about any blockage safely from your pipes. Used correctly, a hydro jet drain cleaner will blast away the cause of your blocked drain and leave your pipes looking cleaner than they have in years. In the wrong hands, this tool could damage your pipes and cause an even bigger problem.
Electric Drain Snake
For tough tree roots and similar blockages, an electric drain snake could be the best solution. A cable is fed into the drain with a cutting head on the end that breaks up the blockage. Without proper training, a drain snake could do some major damage to your drain.
Drain Dig Up
In the case of severe blockages, a drain dig up might be required. This means digging up your yard to access the blocked section of drain so it can be removed and replaced with a new pipe.
Thankfully, there’s always a solution to your blocked drain problem, whether it’s a simple DIY homemade drain cleaner or with the help of a professional plumber.