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Kitchens and bathrooms are infamous for clogged drains. Hair, grease, food particles and grime tend to choke up the drains in these two areas creating a tough task for homeowners. While reaching for that chemical-laden drain cleaner may seem convenient, it certainly isn’t eco-friendly or safe. Acid, for instance, can damage PVC pipes, harm health and be unsafe to keep around kids and pets. Natural ways to unclog drain pipes are safe, inexpensive and easily accessible. So, the next time you’re faced with a clogged drain, choose to go green and natural with these easy-to-make and convenient-to-use natural drain cleaners.
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Unclog a Drain Naturally with Baking Soda
Found in most kitchen cabinets, inexpensive and eco-friendly baking soda is the simplest way to unclog a drain. To make a baking soda drain cleaner, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a cup of boiling hot water. The hot water will dissolve the grease and grime while increasing the efficacy of the baking soda as well.
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The Washing Soda Drain Cleaner
Washing soda is a powerful yet cheap green cleaning product. Make a simple yet effective drain cleaner with washing soda. Here’s what you’ll need:
- ½ cup washing soda
- 2 cups boiling water
Dissolve the washing soda in the boiling water and pour it down the drain. However, do not use this recipe if you’ve already tried a commercial cleaner since the washing soda can react badly with the chemicals.
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Unclogging Drains with Vinegar and Baking Soda
The humble vinegar is good for cleaning many things around the house and unclogging drains is one of them. To make a vinegar and baking soda-based drain cleaner, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
- 2 cups of boiling hot water
- 1 cup of vinegar
Pour the baking soda down the drain and follow it up with the hot water. Use a kettle to pour the water safely without scalding yourself. Follow this with the cup of vinegar. Vinegar and baking soda react to create a fizzing action which can unclog the drain while the hot water will melt away the grease and soapy scum.
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Using Salt to Unclog a Drain
Salt and baking soda can make an effective cleaning agent for slow or sluggish drains. You’ll need:
½ cup baking soda
½ cup salt
Mix the two together and then pour down the drain. Flush with hot water. Alternatively, you can let it stand overnight before flushing it with hot water.
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Tips to Keep a Drain Clean Naturally
Prevention is the best cure and it is no different for a drain as well. Prevent clogs and sluggishness by following these simple green cleaning tips:
- Kimberly Delaney in Knack Clean Home, Green Home recommends pouring a kettle of hot water down a drain each week to melt away soapy buildup and grease.
- While hot water is an effective way to prevent clogs, avoid using it to often if you have plastic pipes since it can cause melting.
- Pouring a cup of washing soda down the drain and flushing it with hot water every few weeks will also prevent clogs.
- Avoid pouring grease or fatty residue down the drain.
- Install hair catchers or hair traps over bathroom drains to prevent hair clogs.
- The Green Guide recommends using a “snake" plumbing tool or a suction plunger to manually remove tough clogs.
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These natural recipes and simple ways will make drain cleaning eco-friendly and economical as well as safe for you and your family. Green and effective, vinegar, baking soda, salt and washing soda are the easiest ways to keep kitchen and bathroom drains from clogging up.
Delaney, Kimberly. Knack Clean Home, Green Home: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Eco-friendly Homekeeping. Globe Pequot, 2008.
The Green Guide.org at http://www.thegreenguide.com/home-garden/cleaning/diy-cleaners/2
Photo Credit: Bart Everson via http://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/84400959/