Homemade drain cleaner: 4 recipes that actually work

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There are a few things that are more annoying than clogged, smelly drains. If there’s one thing that’s worse, it’s actually having to do something about the smelly drain. It is expensive and inconvenient to call a plumber. Commercial drain cleaners can be full of harmful chemicals that are bad for your body and this VVS. And standing in water up to your ankles while showering is hardly a sustainable scenario.

The good news is that you can make your own homemade drain cleaners at very low cost by using natural household products. Here are some tried and tested home remedies to keep your drains free of blockages and bad odors.

The benefits of natural drainage cleaning solutions

Environmentally friendly drain cleaners are safer than toxic chemical-based cleaners. Synthetic cleaners contain sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid. These harsh chemicals will corrode your pipes over time. In the long run, they will cause you more problems because they will erode your plumbing. “We never recommend pouring chemicals down your drain because the fumes can be dangerous and there are safer and more efficient solutions,” says Brian Parmenter, a plumbing master with more than 46 years of experience.

Natural do-it-yourself drain cleaners are safer, easier to assemble from items you already have at home, and are very cost-effective. In the big picture, you are helping to protect the environment by avoiding harsh commercial drain cleaners. Win-win-win?

Continue reading for 4 Homemade Drain Cleaners You Can Make From Ingredients Found In Your Kitchen.

Natural solutions for clogging drains
Photo: Getty Images / Geo-Graphics

1. Fresh drain with baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are like PB&J or matcha and oat milk for do-it-yourself cleaning: they go perfectly together. The duo is very easy to use and can keep your sinks free of harsh, smelly chemicals.

Mix 1/3 cup baking powder with 1/3 cup vinegar and pour into the drain, which will give you problems. “Open the drain and let the concoction foam up inside the drain,” says Parmenter. “After about half an hour, pour a lot of hot, non-boiling, water down the drain.”

For stubborn clogs, repeat the process. If you perform this method once a month on a regular basis, you will keep your drain clear and fresh.

2. Cream of tartar drain fix

Bob Vila (AND for Home Repair) suggests another combination to dissolve stubborn bathroom clogs of hair and soap suds.

Combine two cups of baking powder with 1/8 cup of tartar cream (about two tablespoons) and half a cup of salt. Mix the solution in a jar by shaking it well. Pour two cups of boiling water down the drain and add your homemade mixture. Let it all sit for at least an hour. The salt and baking powder will work on the clogging, while the cream of tartar cleanses metals.

If it is still clogged, pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into the drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. Let it work overnight to clear the drain.

Detergent and hot water

For those who love to use coconut oil in your beauty routine, you may notice that your drain has been slow. It is possible that you have a grease plug in your drain. There is also the “ups” factor that you accidentally pour or spill fat in your kitchen sink after cooking.

We have you covered. Put two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent in a pot of boiling water, then slowly pour the hot water into the drain. This is especially effective in breaking up greasy clogging because you bring the fats back to a liquid state, then the detergent helps move the grease out of the drain and down into the pipes. Greener Ideal recommends doing this once a week, which may make sense if you are cooking with a lot of fat or using beauty oils that can clog your drain.

4. Borax, salt and vinegar

Here is another homemade drain cleaner recommended by Parmenter. Start with 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup Borax with 1/2 cup vinegar. Pour the solution into the drain followed by a pot of hot water. Let it sit for at least an hour before rinsing with warm tap water.

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