A person using baking soda and vinegar to clear a drain in a Washington, DC home.

5 Drain Cleaners You Can Make at Home

Hair, grease, and other items can build up in your drains, causing a stubborn clog. When this happens, you’ll want a cleaner that’ll quickly get your sink or tub draining once again.

While store-bought drain cleaners are convenient to buy and easy to pour down the drain, you should avoid using these products as much as possible. As the name suggests, chemical drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can severely damage your drains — leading to an even greater plumbing issue than you once started with.

Your local Rockville, MD, plumbers can help remove clogs of all sizes by using various drain cleaning methods. However, if you’d still prefer to clear your bathroom or kitchen sink yourself, there are a few effective drain cleaners you can make at home. Most of these natural homemade mixtures use ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, making them a breeze to create.

Without further ado, let’s discuss five DIY drain cleaning methods you can try.

  1. Tackle Grease Clogs With Dish Soap

Grease, oils, and fats (FOG) are some of the most common culprits when it comes to clogged drains. These substances stick to plates and pans and, if you forget to scrub them off, can travel down into the depths of your drain. Once they’ve settled, FOG will solidify, effectively restricting your water flow.

Fortunately, you can break up FOG clogs with a few DIY drain cleaning methods. Take liquid dish detergent and hot water, for example. This combination of ingredients is often excellent at tackling grease clogs.

Combine a few tablespoons of dish soap with two liters of boiling water. Once thoroughly mixed, pour them down the clogged drain. Follow the mixture with another pot of boiling water.

You might need to repeat the process a few times to see an improvement. The reassuring news is that dish soap is safe to use on all kinds of drains, so you don’t have to stress about causing damage to your pipes.

  1. Try Classic Baking Soda & Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar is a tried-and-tested mixture for unclogging drains. Since you probably have these ingredients lying around, this is also one of the most cost-effective drain cleaners you can make at home.

Pour one cup of baking soda down the affected drain, immediately followed by one cup of white vinegar. You should let the mixture sit for anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. Once you’ve let the mixture do its job, flush the drain with a pot of boiling water.

Like most of these DIY drain cleaning methods, you may have to try it a few additional times. Larger clogs can be more of a challenge to remove with natural drain cleaners.

  1. Use Baking, Salt & Vinegar for Tougher Clogs

If you’re dealing with a tough clog, you might want to try more substantial DIY drain cleaning methods. Combine ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of salt. Since salt is abrasive, it will softly scrub the insides of your drain. Pour this mixture down the drain, and follow it with a cup of boiling vinegar. Let this mixture sit for at least 10 minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain to flush it out.

  1. Consider Baking Soda, Salt & Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is highly effective at cleaning metals, making it the perfect ingredient for drain cleaners you can make at home. Combine ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup salt, and ⅛ cup cream of tartar in a sealable jar or container. Shake the mixture as thoroughly as possible. Once combined, pour half of the mixture into the affected drain.

Let the homemade drain cleaner sit for thirty minutes to an hour, then rinse it away with hot water. You can repeat the process with the leftover mixture if necessary.

  1. Combine Borax, Salt & Vinegar

Many DIY drain cleaning methods involve using baking soda. However, if you’ve used up the last of your baking soda, Borax can be a useful alternative.

If you have Borax on hand, consider trying this drain cleaner. Combine ¼ cup borax, ¼ cup salt, and ¼ cup vinegar in a pot of boiling water. Carefully pour the mixture into your drain and let it sit for up to an hour. Afterward, flush the drain with hot water.

Remove Difficult Clogs With a Professional

Many of us take our garbage disposals and drains for granted, which can, unfortunately, lead to blockages forming when we least expect them. Whether you’re dealing with slow drains, foul odors, or water backing up in your sink or shower drain, it’s crucial to address clogs fast.

These DIY drain cleaning methods can be helpful in breaking down clogs of all kinds. However, some stubborn blockages might require a professional drain cleaning. If you’ve tried using these drain cleaners you can make at home but still have a clog, turn to Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We provide everything from drain cleanings to 24-hour plumbing services. Contact us today!