Drain cleaning. It’s one of those household chores that many of us forget about until a problem emerges. By then,of course,it’s too late to think about what we should have done to keep our drains clear.
That old clichÃ© tells us that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of drain cleaning,that is largely true. Many clogs are preventable. And the good news is,you can clean your drains without using harsh chemicals.
Green Drain Cleaning
The website care2.com has plenty of green living tips. For drain cleaning,they suggest avoiding commercial cleaners,many of which contain lye or acid. These materials may burn through a clog,but they can also harm human health,the wastewater stream and PVC pipes. For cleaning and unclogging your drain,here are some eco-friendly alternatives,sourced from my own green cleaning practices and care2.com:
o Baking soda – Will we ever stop finding uses for baking soda? As a cleaner it is truly all-purpose. For clogs that have not yet caused water to back up into your sink,care2.com recommends pouring 1 cup of baking soda down your drain,followed by 3 cups of boiling water. You can repeat these steps a few times until the drain is clear.
o Washing Soda – If water is not draining,you can pour 1 cup of washing soda over the drain and let it sit for a while. When the clog loosens,use the baking soda method. A few words of caution: do not use washing soda if you have recently used a commercial acid cleaner – they can react badly. And don’t overuse washing soda if you have PVC pipes – the soda can damage the plastic.
o Baking soda and vinegar – Combine these two in your drain to get a fizzy reaction (a method that is also very entertaining for young children). These two natural cleaners may loosen the clog,but they are also great for regular drain cleaning.
o Enzyme cleaners – These bacteria-based cleaners eat and break down organic matter,which is what your clog is made of. You can use enzyme cleaners monthly to reduce the buildup of drain clogging guck.
o Washing soda for hair clogs – To prevent hair clogs,try to reduce the amount of hair that gets into your drains to start with,using a small screen over your drain. You can also use washing soda monthly to keep hair clogs at bay.
When The Drain Won’t Clear
If you have a stubborn clog and none of the standard drain cleaning techniques have worked,you may have no choice but to call a plumber. If clogs are a regular occurrence,a plumber may need to inspect your drains to see if there is a bigger problem. If so,they will conduct a thorough examination and suggest the best course of action.
Before you get service,talk to your plumber to ensure they use the latest inspection technologies,which will allow them to find the problem quickly. And ask whether they can help you with any repairs and renovations required to address the overall cause of the clogging problem.
Drain cleaning is something you should not overlook. Practice some preventive maintenance and,in case you can’t resolve the problem yourself,keep the number of a reputable plumber handy.