Use these homemade natural drain cleaner ideas to get rid of that nasty clog in your drain. Trust me, you can do it without the chemicals and yes, it works!
I absolutely hate when I get into the shower after a long day of work and find a clog in the drain, again! I have long hair and I use a hair catcher to catch as much as I can, but some inevitably get past that. Then the scum from shampoo and conditioner starts to build up around that, creating clogging issues. Gross!
Tip: if your drain isn’t clogged but it stinks, use lemon peels to freshen it.
Common Ways Drains Become Clogged
If hair was the only problem in a clogged drain, you could use an alkali to destroy the hair. But the oily and waxy nature of shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, deep hair treatment, etc., all goes down the drain and complicates the problem. The hair becomes caught on pipe connections and drain fittings, then the hair catches the other things.
Further, when you consider the water load that flows through them, the diameter of the drain pipes is too narrow. The average shower is over 8 minutes and uses nearly 20 gallons of water, most of which is cool by the time it hits the pipes. The average bath is more, usually around 30 gallons of water.
If you have clogged drains and want to avoid dumping chemicals down them, consider using more these homemade natural drain cleaner methods.
Homemade Natural Drain Cleaner
Vinegar and Baking Soda Drain Cleaner
Plumbers and government conservation organizations agree; vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water clear clogged drains.
Drain cleaner: Plunger, followed by a handful of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Pour in 2 quarts of boiling water, and the clod should disappear.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a base. Vinegar is made up of water and acetic acid, which is, you guessed it, an acid. When you combine these, a reaction happens where molecules get exchanged, creating carbon dioxide and water that bubbles through the clog, breaking it up and moving the looser material.
- 6-10 quarts boiling water
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain and then slowly pour in the vinegar. (Lemon juice can also be used in place of vinegar, but it will not react as well.)
- Let them react and wait another 10-15 minutes.
- Next, after the baking soda vinegar reaction has ceased to fizz, carefully pour in the pot of boiling water.
- Repeat until the drain is clear.
Other Homemade Natural Drain Cleaner Ideas
Here are a few homemade natural drain cleaner ideas that will clear a clogged drain quickly, without the harsh chemicals!
1. Hot Water
Using hot water will melt a lot of the oily, waxy components of conditioners and body oils. If using a lot of coconut oil or other waxy products in your routine, be sure to let the hot water run for a while to melt it away.
Sometimes things, like cotton balls, get stuck in drains. A plunger may help to loosen up whatever is down there. Additionally, sometimes a hair clog will just need some plunging to get it to move through the pipes.
3. Hair Remover Tool
I’m not sure of the official name of this tool, but it looks like really skinny fish bones. Insert it into the drain, twist to get a hold of the hair, and pull out. The hair you pull out will be slimy, so you might want to use gloves.
4. Clog Grabber Tool
This tool is a stainless steel cable with a set of claw grabbers on the end. You can insert it into the drain and pull out hair or other solid obstructions in your drain. (It is often sold together with the hair remover tool mentioned above.)
5. Boiling Water and Liquid Soap
This is a really popular and effective homemade and natural drain cleaner idea. Pour about ½ cup of liquid soap down the drain and wait 5 minutes so that the soap can get down into whatever is in the drain. Then CAREFULLY pour boiling water into the drain, being sure it doesn’t splash and burn you.
6. The Snake
Like the two devices above, the snake is designed to go down into the drain and “snake” out whatever is clogging the pipes. It can be expensive to buy one, but there are places that will rent them. (Or find a cheaper version with decent ratings here.)
7. Bent Coat Hanger
Shape the end of a coat hanger into a U shape. Push this down into the drain and pull out. It will bring hair with it and help you to get that drain cleaned.
8. Take It Apart
If there is something in the drain that you can’t remove with the above methods, you may need to take it apart. Many newer homes have a trap door built right in back of the faucet and drain on a tub for just this reason.
It goes without saying that if you try all of this and nothing works, you may need to call a plumber. But why not try it yourself first?
Have you ever used homemade natural drain cleaner methods? If so, what works for you?
- Reduce Your Use of Hazardous Household Products by Choosing Safer, Less-Toxic Products. USDA Natural Resouces Conservation Service.
- Do Baking Soda and Vinegar Solutions Clear Clogs? LiquidPlumr.com