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Three Natural Drain Cleaning Techniques

February 28, 2023 | Blog

Stubborn clogged drains can be a frustrating thing to deal with, and chemical drain cleaners can seem like the only solution. While they are an appealing solution, they can do costly, long-term damage to your pipes. Fortunately, Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here to help you protect your pipes with natural drain cleaner alternatives.

Using A Plunger, And Choosing The Right One

Plungers are usually the first option for anyone trying to clear a clogged drain, especially when it comes to toilets. However, you might not always be using the right plunger for the right drain. Plungers come in three main types.

  • Sink plungers, the most common, designed with a wide cup and flat end, making them ideal for unclogging sinks and drains on flat surfaces.
  • Toilet plungers, designed with an inner cup that flares outward to create a snug fit in toilet bowls and bathtubs, forming a stronger seal.
  • Accordion plungers are similar to toilet plungers with an added accordion-like tube, designed to push more air down the line to create extra force against clogs.

Clearing Your Tub Drain With A Hand Auger

Over time, hair and soap cling to your bathroom pipes, allowing less space for water to flow through. When combined with hair and grime in your drain line, it can form into a mass that is difficult to clear.

For these tougher clogs, a hand auger or drain snake is a solid option. A hand auger is a reusable long, metal cable attached to a handle that can reach deep down into a clogged pipe and remove the mass. They have to be cleaned after each use, so if you are looking for a similar option with easier cleanup, a disposable drain snake may be right for you.

Drain Snakes

Plastic drain snakes are disposable and much cheaper than hand augers, making them perfect for more minor clogs and easy cleanup. Some are designed with dull barbs on each side to pick up debris, such as hair.

When using tools inside your drain line, be sure to exercise caution to avoid lodging the clog deep down the line or damaging your pipes.

After clearing your tub drain, there are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce these clogs. If you can, opt for liquid soaps instead of bar soaps to prevent buildup. Also, consider investing in a drain cover that catches loose hair during your shower.

Breaking Down Food Clogs With Baking Soda And Vinegar

When it comes to your kitchen sink, food debris can build up quickly and cause clogs. For clogs like these, baking soda and vinegar can help break down organic matter and clear your drain line.

Start by heating water in a pot or kettle, and pour the hot water down the drain. This will help soften the food and warm the pipes, allowing the mass to loosen up. Then, add a cup of baking soda to the drain, followed by a mixture of one cup of vinegar with one cup of hot water. Let it sit for about 20 minutes then flush with warm water. Repeat the process if the sink is still clogged

If your sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal, it may be worth thinking about installing one to help grind food waste into small pieces that will flow down your pipes more smoothly. However, even if you have a sink disposal there is some food waste that is much more difficult to break down with natural methods than others, and could do a great deal of damage to your pipes.

These include:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit and vegetable peels
  • Oatmeal
  • Animal bones and shells

Who To Call For Norman Drain Services

While these tips may help guide you on how to unclog a drain in many cases, some clogs are too tough to handle on your own. If you feel you are at risk of damaging your pipes or you aren’t sure about how to tackle a tough clog, it’s always best to contact a licensed professional. For all of your plumbing needs, call Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to set up a consultation today.

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