9 Ways to Clear a Clogged Drain without Chemicals

Use these ideas for natural drain cleaner to get rid of that nasty stuff clogging your drain. Trust me, you can do it without all those chemicals!

Natural Drain Cleaner

I absolutely hate getting into the shower after working a long day outside and finding that the drain is clogged, again! I have long hair and I use a hair catcher to catch as much as I can, but some inevitably gets past that. Then the scum from shampoo and conditioner starts to build up around that, creating clogging issues. Gross!

Tip: if you drain drains fine but stinks, use lemon peels to freshen it.

Common Ways Drains Become Clogged

If hair was the only problem in a clogged drain, an alkali could be used 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. Hair gets caught on pipe connections and drain fittings and all the rest sticks to the hair.

Added to the problem is the fact that drains are small compared to the water load that flows through them. 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 natural drain cleaner methods.

Natural Drain Cleaner Ideas

Here are a few 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.

2. Plunger

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. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with a cup of vinegar. Wait about 10-15 minutes. Then, carefully pour a pot of boiling water down the drain after the vinegar has a chance to fizz. Lemon juice can also be used in place of vinegar, but it may not react as well. Be sure to add the vinegar slowly or you may have even more of a mess to deal with. Repeat if needed.

6. Boiling Water and Liquid Soap

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.

7. 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.)

8. 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.

9. 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 natural methods to clean drains? If so, what works for you?


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