Your household drains can become clogged for a number of reasons. Most of the time it’s due to daily activities such as taking a shower, washing the dishes and doing your laundry, resulting in the build-up of excess hair, food particles, dirt and grease.
Despite using preventative treatments or even a small piece of wire mesh to stop large pieces of food or hair entering your pipes, it is extremely common for drains to become clogged!
Whether it’s your laundry sink, bathtub, or washing up sink, no matter how careful you are, it’s easy for excess fibres and materials to build up in your drain and pipes, causing them to become clogged and blocked.
Whereas many commercial drain-cleaning products can corrode and cause damage to your pipes, there are a host of effective and non-toxic homemade drain cleaner recipes that are highly effective and much gentle. But most importantly, you’ll probably find most of the ingredients you need hiding deep in the back of your store cupboard – now you can put them to good use!
Here’s a list of the best homemade drain cleaner recipes that should help you to prevent and treat your clogged up drains.
Before you start
Although many homemade drain cleaning products are just as effective as commercial products, they sometimes take a little longer to start taking effect. With this in mind, taking preventive actions such as cleaning your drains regularly, will mean that should a problem arise, your homemade solutions are likely to act far more quickly. When using natural, homemade drain cleaners, you should also be prepared to repeat the cleaning process more frequently than normal – but, hey, at least you’re not having to pay for expensive chemical cleaners.
Before trying to clear your drain blockage, it’s also advisable to try and identify exactly where the clog is. This may not be a pretty task but it will help you to single out the areas that require treatment. So, pop on your rubber gloves, dig deep and scoop out any hair or excess goop that is visible, this may not be pleasant but it will make your drains much easier to clean in the long run.
Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes & Ideas
Although technically this isn’t a homemade drain cleaner recipe, boiling water should always be your first port of call when trying to unblock a drain.
The majority of clogs occur as the result of the fats and oils that become trapped and cool in your pipes and, consequently solidify. It’s amazing to think how much damage the grease from your favourite foods is having on your drains, and most of the time you won’t even release it is happening (bacon grease, chip fat and gravy are the biggest culprits!)
Over time, this excess fat and oil cause your drain to become blocked, making it different for water to pass through freely. A quick fix is to use boiling water to clear the blockage, especially if the clog is the only minor.
Simply fill your kettle with boiling water and pour it down your drain, taking care not to damage any plastics or porcelain of course! The easiest and cheapest homemade drain cleaner, boiling water can also be mixed with all of the recipes mentioned below in order to optimize results.
Baking soda is certainly a ‘one shop stop’ when it comes to household remedies. Whatever the problem, you name it, baking soda will probably be able to help!
And, when it comes to homemade drain cleaners, baking soda is perfectly equipped to work its magic, clearing your drains of excess dirt, grease and oil. Known as one of the most popular household drain cleaning remedies, it works alongside a cup of cider vinegar to create an intense foaming action that disperses through your drains and pipes tackles the root cause of the problem.
To make this natural drain cleaning remedy, simply pour one cup of cider vinegar down your drain followed by baking soda and complete the process by running plenty of hot water. It may take a few times to clear the drain completely, so simply keep repeating the process until it is unclogged.
Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
This is another homemade drain cleaner that uses simple ingredients, which you are most likely to already have in your store cupboard. This effective formula brings together salt, borax, and vinegar to create a drain cleaning recipe that is quick, easy and simple.
- Measure out ¼ Cup salt, ¼ Cup borax, and ¼ Cup vinegar.
- Mix the ingredients together and disperse accordingly.
- Follow with plenty of hot water (be careful to avoid plastics and porcelain).
- Sometimes, the results are not instant. If this is the case, simply repeat until your drain has become unclogged.
- And even better still, as a preventive method, integrate this process into your daily or weekly cleaning routine and you will soon reap the benefits.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Mixing baking soda and lemon juice together creates a similar effect to combining baking soda and cider vinegar, it’s only a little more costly but smells a lot nicer! If you want a pleasant fresh smelling homemade drain cleaner, this is the recipe to try.
- Measure out 1 Cup of lemon juice and 1 Cup of baking soda
- Disperse each cup on the area that requires attention (this should create an intense foaming action)
- Follow with plenty of hot water – again, remembering to avoid any plastics of porcelain!
- If you don’t see results straight away, simply repeat the process until you are satisfied.
Of course, if these homemade drain cleaners don’t work, you could always try manually removing the trap or cleaning out the plug under your sink to identify the blockage and remove it. You can either use a plumber’s snake (if you don’t have one of these to hand, a wire coat hanger is just as, if not more, effective!) and apply pressure downwards to break apart the excess materials causing the blockage.
This may not be the most appealing method of clearing out your drains but it is highly effective, especially in extreme cases. Just make sure that you have a bucket or container on hand to catch the liquid and excess materials once they are dispersed. Oh, and don’t forget your goggles!
Hopefully, the drain cleaner recipes have done the trick and your drains are now running freely again. I congratulate you on choosing safer natural alternatives to harsh commercial drain cleaning products.