Drain Cleaning Philadelphia PA is an essential service that keeps your home’s plumbing working like it should. Without regular drain cleaning, items like hair, soap scum, grease, coffee grounds, and garbage can bind together to cause blockages that prevent water from flowing properly.
Luckily, there are many methods you can use to clean your own drains. One of the most effective is to pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar down the drain.
Clogged drains are a major headache. They can lead to water damage to counters, floors, or walls and may even cause mold. While some clogs require professional help, there are many that can be remedied by using items found in the home. If you’re stuck with a slow-draining sink or shower, try these time- and money-saving tips before calling a plumber.
Start by removing the foot plug or drain cap and visually inspecting your pipe. You might be able to see the obstruction, or you might need to use a flashlight to illuminate the drain opening. Be sure to wear gloves and avoid touching any of the blockage.
Once you know where the clog is located, remove any hair, soap scum or other debris that might be blocking the drain. Then, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar into the clogged drain. This mixture creates a chemical reaction that breaks down grease, grime and soap scum. Let it sit for about half an hour and then rinse the drain with boiling water. Repeat this process if necessary for more intense clogs.
Another good way to keep your drains clear is by using an all-natural, environmentally friendly drain cleaner. Calabrese recommends Bio-Clean, which introduces a good bacteria into your pipes that eats away at the gunk and keeps your drains clean. It’s slower to work than store-bought liquid drain cleaner, but it’s safer for your pipes and the environment.
If your clogged drain isn’t going to budge, you can try a simple home-made snake. You’ll need a wire coat hanger that you can bend into a long rod shape, along with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Unwind the hanger, making sure to leave a hook at the end to catch onto the debris. Feed it into the drain slowly, turning it as you go to work your way over the clog.
Finally, if all else fails, you can always call a professional to clear your clogged drains. A plumber can use more advanced tools to get rid of stubborn clogs and help prevent future ones.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural product that works wonders for cleaning many things in our homes, including clogged drains. This kitchen staple is a natural deodorizer that also can dissolve mineral deposits and help cut through organic materials like food scraps, hair, and grease. It even has slight disinfectant properties to combat odor-causing bacteria and fungi.
When combined with vinegar, baking soda creates a fizzing reaction that can loosen and break down small clogs. The resulting carbon dioxide gas can clear out the remaining grime that is stuck in the pipes, making it much easier for water to flow through freely once again. This method is safe to use in most home plumbing systems, and the ingredients are environmentally friendly.
However, it is important to remember that this is not a strong enough solution for larger blockages or tough debris. If you have a serious drain clog, it is best to turn to stronger chemicals or professional help.
One other downside to using this hack is that the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide gas, which can put pressure on the pipes and lead to leaks or cracks over time. This is especially true in older pipes.
To avoid these potential issues, it is best to only use this hack for minor clogs and to perform it no more than twice per month. It is also a good idea to regularly flush your drains by pouring boiling water down them, as this can keep them clean and help prevent future clogs.
When the fizzing stops, slowly pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then a cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain with a damp cloth or stopper and let the mixture sit and fizz for at least 30 minutes. Then, remove the cloth or stopper and flush the drain with hot water from the faucet or stove. Repeat this process if necessary until your drains are fully unclogged. If you do not have vinegar on hand, you can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar in this method.
One of the most versatile household cleaning products available is liquid dish soap. It’s safe to use on most household surfaces and fabrics, and can sub in for a variety of traditional cleaners. In the kitchen, it can help keep sinks and drains clean by removing stubborn food stains and odors. And when it comes to unclogging drains, a few squirts of liquid dish soap can be enough to get things moving again.
Dish soap works particularly well when the clog is grease-based, as it can easily dissolve fat and oil. However, it’s not a miracle product and will probably not work on major clogs that are made up of solidified materials. If you’re facing a large blockage, start by trying to remove as much of the material as possible using a twisted wire hangar or drain snake before turning to dish soap.
Before you begin, make sure that the sink or drain is dry on the surface. Then pour a generous squirt of liquid dish soap down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. While you wait, boil a kettle of water and carefully carry it to the room with the affected drain. Once the 30 minutes are up, slowly pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot water will wash away the loosened clog materials and restore proper flow.
There are a number of liquid dish soap brands that are safe to use in the drain, including the popular Dawn brand. However, I recommend using a low-sudsing formula that is gentle on hands. You may also want to consider using a green or environmentally-friendly dish soap. These products tend to have a milder fragrance and are not tested on animals.
My top choice for an eco-friendly, high-performance, low-sudsing dish soap is Seventh Generation. This company is committed to transparency and lists all ingredients clearly on the packaging. It’s available in a wide range of appealing scents and has a competitive price point. You can find it at most conventional supermarkets and online retailers like Amazon and Thrive Market.
Boiling water has the ability to break apart fat and soap scum from your drain pipes. This method can be particularly effective for kitchen sink clogs. However, experienced plumbers warn against pouring boiling water down the drain as the intense heat can damage the pipes. There is also a chance that the hot water will push the clog further down the pipes, rather than dissolving it.
To use boiling water to unclog your drain, first remove any standing water from the sink. Next, squirt in some grease-fighting dish soap into the drain. Then, slowly pour boiling water down the drain. Allow the water to sit for about fifteen minutes. Finally, squirt in some more grease-fighting dish soap and slowly pour down the drain again. The baking soda and vinegar should create a bubbling reaction that dissolves the grease from your pipes.
The high temperatures of the boiling water can burn skin and limbs if not handled correctly, so it is important to be careful when using this method. It is also advisable to wear gloves and oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat. It is also a good idea to flush the drain with cold water afterward to help prevent the pipes from becoming overheated.
While baking soda, vinegar and boiling water can work well as natural drain cleaners for most common clogs, they may not be enough to dislodge tougher blockages. In this case, you will likely need to try a stronger drain cleaner such as Liquid-Plumr.
If you are experiencing a persistently blocked drain, it may be helpful to use the baking soda and salt technique on a weekly basis. This can prevent clogs from developing in the first place. Alternatively, you can purchase an enzyme-based drain cleaner at most hardware stores to keep your drains smelling fresh and flowing freely.
While it is tempting to run to the store and purchase expensive chemical drain cleaners, these can be toxic for your family and the environment. By following the tips above, you can successfully use household items to clean your clogged drains without any harmful side effects.