Clogged drains are no fun. They slow your morning routine to a crawl, leave nasty smells lingering around the house, and can even lead to flooding or more serious plumbing issues if left unchecked.
But before you reach for harsh chemicals or call an expensive plumber, try some of these super simple drain cleaning hacks first.
With just a few cheap household items and a little elbow grease, you can likely bust through whatever gunk is causing the clog and get things flowing freely again in no time.
This article will walk you through 5 essential DIY drain cleaning boulder co-tips using stuff you probably already have lying around. So grab some gloves and let’s unclog those pipes!
Why Drain Cleaning Is Important
Keeping your drains clean and clear is extremely important for several reasons:
Prevent Clogs and Backups
Clogged drains can lead to nasty backups of dirty water, sewage, and debris. This can create awful odors, damage your pipes and flooring, and result in expensive plumbing repairs. Regular drain cleaning helps remove built-up gunk and keeps everything flowing smoothly.
Improve Water Flow
Over time, mineral deposits, soap scum, hair, and other gunk stick to the insides of pipes. This buildup narrows the diameter of pipes, restricting water flow. Getting rid of it improves drainage and water pressure.
Reduce Health Risks
Dirty drains harbor all kinds of yucky things like mold, mildew, bacteria, and insects. These can make you sick and trigger allergies or asthma. Sanitizing your drains helps create a cleaner, healthier home environment.
Prevent Costly Damages
Letting drains get severely clogged or backing up sewage can lead to flooding, structural damage to walls/floors, mold growth, and very expensive repairs. A little regular drain maintenance goes a long way in preventing catastrophic plumbing disasters.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Dirty drains release foul sewer gases like hydrogen sulfide and methane gas into your home. These toxic fumes have an unpleasant rotten egg odor and can cause headaches, nausea, and breathing issues. Keeping drains clean traps gases below water lines so they can’t enter living spaces.
Make drain care and cleaning a priority to avoid problems, improve drainage, and create a healthier home. Following these essential maintenance tips will help prevent nasty clogs and backups down the road.
5 Quick and Easy DIY Drain Cleaning Hacks
Keep your drains clean and flowing with these simple, homemade solutions. No special tools or harsh chemicals are needed!
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Try these drain hacks when you notice your sinks or tubs draining sluggishly:
Baking Soda + Vinegar
This dynamic duo works its magic by bubbling away clogs. Pour 1⁄2 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let fizz for 10-15 minutes before running hot water to rinse. The chemical reaction helps break up gunk and residue.
Heat also helps dissolve build up. Pour a full kettle of boiling water down the drain weekly. The boiling hot water will melt away grease and keep pipes clear.
Use a plastic drain snake or wire clothes hanger to manually pull out hair and debris. Straighten the hook end and gently insert it into the drain to fish out the clog.
Salt + Baking Soda
For tougher odors from sink drains, mix 1⁄2 cup salt with 1/4 cup baking soda. Pour down the drain then add a bit of white vinegar. The chemical reaction neutralizes smells.
Place drain catchers in sinks and tub drains to trap hair and particles. Remove and clean regularly before they can cause a clog. Pouring 1⁄2 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup vinegar down bathroom sinks weekly will keep them fresh and flowing.
Using regular drain maintenance along with these homemade drain cleaners as soon as you notice sluggishness will help avoid major clogs. Contact a professional plumber if significant water backing up occurs.
Stay on top of your drains with these simple, green drain cleaning hacks first before turning to harsh chemical drain cleaners.
When to Call a Professional Plumber for Drain Cleaning
Even the most seasoned DIYer will occasionally run into a drain clog that requires calling in the professionals. While you might be able to tackle many basic drain blockages with simple home remedies and off-the-shelf drain cleaners, there are a few scenarios where it pays to pick up the phone and dial for help.
- If you’ve tried cleaning a drain multiple times with no success, a persistent clog likely requires specialized tools and expertise beyond what’s in your arsenal. Continually struggling to clear a drain on your own can actually worsen the problem or cause damage.
- For main sewer line clogs, you’ll need a professional drain cleaning service equipped with high-powered water jets or augers that can reach blockages deep in pipes under or outside the home that are otherwise inaccessible for DIY methods.
- Strange gurgling sounds, very slow-draining fixtures, or overflows and backups usually indicate a serious underlying problem, like tree roots invading pipes, broken pipes, or collapsed drains. Attempts to clear these on your own will be futile at best.
- In some cases, putrid drain odors, leaking pipes, or water pooling around drains and pipes may signal deteriorating or severely damaged drain lines needing full repair or replacement jobs best left to the pros with proper training and tools.
If you aren’t getting anywhere trying basic homemade solutions or liquid drain openers, don’t keep wasting your time and risking further problems. Calling in a professional drain cleaning service at the first signs of a stubborn clog can often save you money, mess, and headaches down the road. With high-powered equipment and video drain inspection capabilities, they can quickly and effectively eliminate tough clogs and identify underlying issues so more extensive repairs can be made if needed.
So, there you have it – five simple but effective drain-cleaning hacks you can use at home. From boiling water to vinegar to baking soda and plungers, these tricks require few supplies and can bust through some pretty tough drain clogs.
And remember, a little prevention like drain covers and regular cleaning can save you from unclogging in the first place. But if you do end up with a backed-up drain, give one or more of these methods a try before calling a plumber.
Chances are your pipes will be flowing freely again in no time. Just be patient in giving them time to work, and be careful about what goes down those drains!