Blocked drains are what most homeowners dread, as it can result in further problems if the issue isn’t solved straight away. While turning to chemicals is always an option, Harry Knowles, plumbing coordinator at My Plumber, recommended “easy and natural products”.
1. Boiling water
The plumber explained: “One of the simplest, yet often effective methods is pouring boiling water down the drain. This works best for minor clogs caused by grease or soap residue.
“To perform this method, boil a kettle or pot of water and carefully pour it down the drain in stages, allowing it to work for a few seconds before adding more.”
Britons should repeat the process if necessary but it often does work on the first go when performed carefully.
2. Baking soda and white vinegar
This combination of eco-friendly ingredients is a “classic natural remedy” for clogged drains, according to the expert.
Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain before following it up with half a cup of white vinegar to watch it fizz in the drain, helping to break down the clog.
Harry recommended letting it sit for 15 to 30 minutes and flushing the drain with hot water to avoid damage.
3. Salt and hot water
The expert said: “If you’re dealing with a greasy clog, salt can be an effective solution. Mix half a cup of salt with boiling water and pour it down the drain.
“This common kitchen ingredient will help dissolve the grease, and the hot water will flush it away. Repeat the process if it’s necessary.”
4. Baking soda and salt
For tougher cases of blocked drains, combining baking soda and salt can provide more “unclogging power”, according to the plumber.
Start by mixing half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of salt before pouring it down the drain, allowing it to sit for several hours before flushing it with hot water.
5. Manual removal
Harry continued: “If you can access the clog directly, you can try removing it manually by only wearing gloves. For example, in a bathroom sink, you can remove the pop-up stopper or the P-trap under the sink and clean out any residue or hair that’s causing the clog.
“If you’re using this method, don’t forget to place a bucket or towel beneath the P-trap to catch any water or debris.
“It’s also important to note that while all these methods can be effective for minor clogs, they may not work for severe blockages or more complex plumbing issues.
“If you’ve tried them and the clog persists or if you’re unsure about the cause of the clog, it’s recommended to get help from a licensed plumber to avoid further damage or complications to your piping system.
“It’s also recommended to avoid using these methods if you have PVC pipes or other materials that may be sensitive to certain substances.”