written by: Lindsay Evans•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/1/2011
Got a clog to clear? Don't reach for chemical drain openers - instead, try out these all-natural methods for unclogging home drains.
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To keep your kitchen and bathroom drains clear in your home remember to perform a little maintenance. Pouring boiling water or a cup of distilled white vinegar down your drains each month will help to keep your drains clear and prevent clogs from forming. If you're like most people, however, this chore can get easily overlooked - resulting in a clog.
If you have a slow-draining or clogged sink or tub in your home you don't need a bottle of expensive hazardous chemicals to clear it. The following all-natural methods will work to clear most drains of common clogs. If your clog is so severe that these methods do not work, your best bet is to call a plumber to remove it.
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Method #1 - Manual Removal
Though it may not be the most appealing way to unclog a drain, manually removing the problem is a sure way to fix it. This method is best used when hair is the likely culprit, such as for bathtub drains. Most hardware stores stock an inexpensive tool called the Zip-It. A long, thin plastic tool with backward-facing teeth, the Zip-It is inserted down the clogged drain. On the way out, hair and soap scum get snagged on the teeth and are removed from the drain. Repeating this procedure several times usually clears the clog.
To prevent hair clogs in your tub remember to clean out any hair that has accumulated on the drain cover after each bath or shower. Always throw hair in the garbage instead of rinsing it down a drain.
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Method #2 - Vinegar and Baking Soda
The vinegar and baking soda method works best on clogs that are due to food and grease build-up. Pour 1 cup baking soda down your drain and follow it with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Quickly pour a kettle-full of boiling water down the drain to flush. Repeat this procedure until the drain runs clear. For a particularly troublesome clog, try warming up the vinegar before pouring it down the drain. Let the baking soda and warm vinegar react for a few minutes, then follow with boiling water.
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Method #3 - Natural Enzymes
Natural enzymes can help clear clogged drains by breaking down organic matter in the clog. Products such as BioKleen Bac-Out and Earth Friendly Products' Earth Enzymes Drain Opener introduce enzymes to your drain where they work to digest food and grease. Using these products on a regular basis can help prevent clogs and keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh. Follow the directions on the package for use.