If you are trying to find the best drain cleaner that will not harm the environment and you have read the labels on many containers, you know why a lot of people are trying to find alternative ways to clean their drains. The chemicals that are usually included as active ingredients in drain cleaners are poisonous. Among the most common are sulfuric acid and lye, which are very corrosive. Even the fumes coming from them have the potential to harm people, animals, and nature. Even the PVC pipes that compose drain systems are degraded by such chemicals, compounding the problems caused by them. Hence, you too should make use of drain cleaning methods that will clear your pipes naturally, cheaply, and in an environmentally friendly manner.
Step 1 - Prevent Clogs
To prevent your drain pipe from being closed off by clogs, give it a drink about every one or two weeks. Do this by heating up about a gallon of water until it boils. Pour the boiling water down your drain in small amounts with a few minutes interval. This will effectively prevent debris such as hair and grease from building up inside the drain pipe and causing a clog.
Step 2 - Use the Plunger
The plunger may be old fashioned, but elbow grease may just be what your drain pipe needs. The suction that is created by it can be enough to force whatever is clogging your drain off the pipe.
Step 3 - Baking Soda Method
If after trying the above methods the water starts to drain, but in a slow manner, you can pour about a cup of baking soda into the drain hole followed by about three cups of boiling water. The baking soda will turn more alkaline by the boiling water making it more powerful against clogs.
Step 4 - Using Vinegar with Baking Soda
One of the most popular drain cleaners of all time is the vinegar and baking soda combination. You can clean your drain with this method by first pouring ½ cup of baking soda into the drain sink. Follow it up with ½ cup of white vinegar. A note of warning though, do not use this solution if you intend to use a chemical drain cleaner afterwards. If the two combine inside the drain pipe, there can be an undesirable chemical reaction. But you should not worry as the combination of vinegar and baking soda would be strong enough to dissolve through grease, hair, and bits of food that may be causing the blockage. You can make it stronger by following the white vinegar with a few cups of boiling water, which will flush out any remaining debris. If the clog is of the more stubborn kind, heat the vinegar first before pouring it into the drain pipe.
Step 5 - Washing Soda
If you find that water is not flowing through the drain pipe at all, try using washing soda instead. A cup should be enough but you will have to wait a while to allow the soda to work through the clog. Follow it up with the vinegar and baking soda combination. But since washing soda is higher in pH than baking soda, you should not use it often as it will damage your PVC pipe. You should also not combine washing soda with a commercial cleaner since it will produce a violent reaction.