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How to Unclog a Drain Without Killing Yourself…

I am really scared of the ingredients in things like Liquid Plumbr and Liquid Snake and some of those hardware store chemicals out there. Almost all of them contain sodium hydroxide (a.k.a.-lye) which is highly toxic if it comes in contact with your skin, hair, eyes or breathing passages. Not to mention what it does to the environment once it’s out of the house, it basically kills all kinds of wildlife in its path and alters the ph balance of rivers and streams.. Some of the chemicals always come back up into the sink or tub and inevitably make it’s way on to our skin or into the air of the bathroom. Not.taking.that.chance.

For everyday sink, tub and shower clogs we do the following at the House of Brown:

1. Snake it out – The #1 cause of clogged drains in my house is hair. Mine, usually. Cuz well I’ve got a lot of it. Every now and them we take a wire hanger to the shower, tub and sink and pull out whatever is stuck there. This usually makes a difference almost immediately. A plunger or actual snake is effective as well. This is also a  good way to get the water to drain so that you can treat the pipe with one of the below methods.

2. Hot water – sometimes it’s just a bit of stuck on shaving cream, lotion, toothpaste or hair product that is blocking the passage, that’s when this method works best.

3. Baking Soda/Vinegar Mix - This is what I use the most on slow drains and it’s very effective. Pour 1 cup baking soda down the drain followed immediately by 1 cup of white vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will make the baking soda bubble and safely scour what’s around it. Leave the mixture to bubble in the sink for about 30 minutes while you go and boil some water. Next pour the boiling water down the drain to remove the excess baking soda and to clear through anything left over. This method is especially good to use for maintenance. done once a week, your drains can stay clear for quite some time.

4. Cream of Tartar Mix - Many times kitchen sinks need something strong enough to cut through grease and fat. Mix 1 tbsp cream of tartar (you can find this in the spice section of the grocery store), 4 tablespoons of baking soda,  and 4 tbsps of salt in a  jar and shake to mix. Then pour the mix down the drain, followed by at least a 2 quarts of boiling water, followed by cold water to rinse.

NOTE: NEVER MIX VINEGAR OR BAKING SODA WITH COMMERCIAL DRAIN CLEANING PRODUCTS. THIS COULD CAUSE A BAD CHEMICAL REACTION AND PERSONAL INJURY.

*Do you clean you drains naturally? What do you use?

Resources:

http://www.ehow.com/way_5435559_homemade-drain-cleaner-declogger.html

http://factoidz.com/go-green-with-diy-drain-cleaners/

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