When gunk in the pipes of your home begins to buildup, you’ll find water draining slower and slower, or even cease from draining entirely. This is the sign of a dreaded clog, and we are all too familiar with this plumbing annoyance. Luckily, for many less severe clogging occurrences, they can be addressed using a few simple DIY hacks, so if you’re attempting to fix a drain clog yourself, try out these methods to rid yourselves of pesky blockages and protect the integrity of your pipes while doing so.

How to safely address a clog

Don’t use chemical drain cleaners!

Contrary to the advertising of these products, chemical drain cleaners will often do more harm than good for your plumbing. The harsh chemicals like sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium nitrate, and aluminum to name a few can eat away at the inside of your pipes. They are especially corrosive to plastic or PVC piping and can even cause visible damage to the porcelain of your fixtures, not to mention being bad for the environment and air quality of your home. Before you grab the Drano or the bleach, give these hacks a try instead!

Boiling water

This is one of the simplest and most effective solutions to drain clogs, as hot water can re-liquify substances that may be glomming up your pipes. If running boiling hot water down the drain doesn’t do the trick by itself, combine it with other non-toxic ingredients you likely have nearby, such as:

Dish soap

Dish soap is formulated to wash away grime, especially stubborn oil and grease residue. Mixing boiling water with dish soap is likely to be the dream team required to melt and detach whatever is blocking the passage.

Baking soda and vinegar

We have to mention one of the most famous hacks for unclogging pipes: Baking soda and vinegar. This hack relies on the pressure-creating, bubbling chemical reaction that results from mixing these two components. However, this combination doesn’t always work due to the tendency for the mixture to flow right down the drain, preventing the pressure from building up in one place in order to break up the clog. Similarly, another frequented hack is pouring soda down the drain to allow the phosphoric acid to chew away at the buildup, however this leaves a sugary residue behind in your pipes which can cause problems later. If you want to give either of these methods a shot, be sure to follow it with lots of hot water!

Drain snake

Solids like hair, trash, and hardened gunk are often too difficult for liquid remedies alone, so to unclog the toughest of blockages, sometimes employing a drain snake is the only way. If you don’t have a drain snake on hand, you can rework a wire clothes hanger to fish down into the pipes with. Remember, the key to success with this process is to hook onto and bring up the blockages out of the drain, not push it down further.

Don’t forget about the garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal chews through a lot, working hard to prevent large chunks of food waste from getting stuck in your plumbing, so show it some love by preventing gunk and bacteria buildup in there as well. An easy way to clear up your garbage disposal is by grinding up ice cubes and salt. The above solutions work here as well, such as baking soda and vinegar, dish soap, and hot water, but the ice and salt method works exceptionally well for manually dislodging food residue from the nooks and crannies.

For the bigger jobs, call Gold Seal today!

Tried everything? Sometimes a clog is so massive and deep, it requires special attention from a trained professional. At Gold Seal Plumbing, we are prepared to take on the deepest and toughest clogs, and we know just how to keep the piping in your home draining like new. Call or text us at (509) 590-0489, or reach out to our friendly office staff by sending us an email inquiry at service@goldsealplumbing.com.