How To Clear a Clogged Drain Naturally and Inexpensively

Protect yourself and your plumbing from nasty chemicals when clearing a clogged drain. Use these tips to naturally clear pipes for less.

by Ryan Edun
Clear a Clogged Drain Naturally and Inexpensively photo

A clogged drain is a major inconvenience whether it occurs in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.

Not only can the standing water make a mess, but also whatever is causing the clog can emit a disgusting smell.

Chemical drain cleaners can erode pipes and cause burns to the skin, which makes them hazardous to use. Fortunately, it is possible to clear a clogged drain naturally.

Clearing the Clog

These steps will clear most clogs caused by common problems like grease, soap, food, and hair. Just a little time, elbow grease, and non-toxic chemicals should do the job.

Get ready for this task by putting on rubber gloves and gathering a few basic household supplies like a bucket, sponge, and old rags to mop up any mess.

  1. Make a drain cleaner cocktail. Mix one cup of baking soda and one cup of table salt and pour it down the affected drain. Follow this with one cup of white vinegar. Plug the sink so that the force of the reaction is directed at the clog, not up and out of the sink. Let this work for about thirty minutes. While it bubbles, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Slowly pour the boiling water down the drain. This should flush out the clog.
  2. If the drain is still clogged, bail out any standing water. Then, use a clean plunger and vigorously pump it to loosen the clog. Then, repeat the drain cleaning cocktail.
  3. For stubborn clogs, try a drain auger. Drain augers, also referred to as drain snakes, are a flexible cable with a hook on the end. The auger twists through the pipe to tear up and push out deep clogs. Once the auger has pushed out the clog, run hot water down the drain for several minutes to flush the debris out through the pipes.
  4. Once the drain has opened, pour one cup of lemon juice down it to eliminate any lingering odors.
  5. Disinfect the sink with natural cleaners, such as soap and water.

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Preventative Measures

Now that the drain is clear, taking preventative measures can reduce the risk of getting a new clog. Here are some easy tips for drain maintenance that will keep things flowing:

  • Use a drain catcher. In the bathtub and laundry room, they will catch hair and lint that clog the drain. While in the kitchen, they will catch food debris that causes clogs. Clean out the drain catcher each time the dishes are washed or after each bath or shower.
  • Once each month, pour half a cup of baking soda into each drain, followed by one-quarter cup of white vinegar. Let this solution bubble for 30 minutes and then flush the drains with hot water for three to five minutes.
  • Once each week, run a load of ice cubes through the garbage disposal.
  • Remind children and visitors not to place anything into the toilet other than toilet paper and bodily waste.

Reviewed December 2023

About the Author

Ryan Edun is a blogger for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, a plumber located in Rockwall, TX. Call them the next time you have a clog you can’t clear!

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