For those experiencing a clog in a drain, sewer line or another plumbing area in the home, chemical drain cleaners may seem like an easy answer – but often aren’t, and may create damage or other issues. Particularly for certain kinds of clogs, such as those caused by hair buildups somewhere in the line, there are easier and less risky methods for clearing these clogs without any potential threat to your pipes.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re here to help with a variety of drain cleaning needs, including for severe clog issues and main sewer scoping and repair when needed. For relatively minor hair-related clogs, one of the simplest DIY removal methods involves using baking soda and a few other extremely common household items – this two-part blog series will go over several steps to take here, plus a process for tougher hair clogs that may crop up.
For starters, gather all your relevant supplies in one place. These include dish soap, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, a funnel and a pot for boiling water. In cases where your clog looks like it could be tough to remove, you will also want salt on-hand.
Heating and Pouring
Locate the drain having issues and place most of your materials near it. From here, heat up boiling water, either in a kettle of some kind or a large measuring cup that can be poured.
Your first step in the drain cleaning process will be squirting a small amount of dish soap into the drain. If possible, use a dish soap specifically designed to combat grease. After you do this, pour the boiling water into the drain – the combination of the hot water and the soap will help dissolve any grease that’s become stuck to the hair and other deposits.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Next it’s time to pour the true active ingredients into the drain. Start by measuring a full cup of baking soda out, then pouring it slowly into the drain. For larger drains, you can generally just pour the baking soda in from the measuring cup – in smaller ones, you will want to use your funnel to stop baking soda from spilling out.
From here, pour a full cup of distilled white vinegar into the drain. Be prepared for a potentially loud and noticeable fizzing sound to occur at this point; this is the combination of baking soda and vinegar, which are alkaline and acetic, respectively. This fizzing is exactly what you want, though, as it’s proof that the materials have interacted and have begun dissolving and moving clogs in the drain.
Part two of our series will cover some final steps, plus an additional approach if this method doesn’t quite solve the issue. For more on this or any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.