NDI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

DIY Drain Cleaning

After seeing countless commercials for liquid drain cleaners, your first thought is to reach for that bottle of thick blue liquid with scary-sounding chemicals in it because it’ll get the job done quickly, right?

What companies don’t say is that these chemicals are always harmful on pipes, regardless if the bottle says, “harmless on pipes”. There are even warnings on the back of the bottle to call your local poison control center if the chemicals touch your skin. If you insist on trying a liquid-based solution to clear up minor clogs, choose an all-natural enzymatic product. These products use natural enzymes to break up organic material and bacteria clogging your pipes, but they won’t break down particularly tough clogs. These products are better used for monthly drain maintenance rather than cleaning up clogs, but we have simpler (and less expensive) DIY solutions that you can try before buying a pricey product.

Here are two ways to clear that slow drain:

1. Hot water

Pour a large pot of very hot (but not boiling) water down the drain you’re having issues with or want to clean. Follow it up with some cool water to flush clogs you just melted away.

2. Baking soda and vinegar

Pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain and chase it with half a cup of vinegar. Plug the sink and let it sit overnight. Flush the drains with hot water in the morning and they’ll work (and smell) like they’re brand new! We recommend doing this once per month

If you end up with a clogged drain, you’ll either need to use a snake or auger to break up clogs. Cup plungers are your best option for small clogs.

Here’s a list of things to AVOID putting down your drain to prevent any more clogs

  • Grease, fats, or oils
  • Eggshells
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes
  • Bones
  • Stringy or fibrous foods
  • Coffee grounds
  • Feminine products
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • “flushable” wipes
  • Hair

If all else fails, call our experts to solve your plumbing issues.

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