2 Safe, Inexpensive Drain Cleaning Alternatives You Can Use Today

2013 Jun 26
Posted in: Plumbing

Got a clogged sink? Before you reach for dangerous chemical drain cleaners, read this first.

While chemical drain cleaners, like Drano, may be cheap, they have caustic agents that can damage your pipes and expose you and your family to toxic gases.

Here are 2 safe, inexpensive alternatives you can use, today, to unblock nasty, stubborn clogged drains.

Small Cup Plunger

Please don’t misunderstand; we’re not talking about the plunger you use for your toilet (that would be a flange plunger).

You need a rubber cup plunger, which is perfect for sinks.

How to use the cup plunger to unclog your sink:

  1. Remove the drain stopper.
  2. Cover the sink overflow hole with a damp rag.
  3. Fill the sink bowl halfway with water.
  4. Place the cup plunger over the drain hole and make sure it has a good seal against the sink surface.
  5. Use quick, sharp plunges to clear the clog.
  6. Check for drainage.

If that doesn't work, it’s time for a little home chemistry.

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Here’s a simple drain-cleaning concoction you can make from items commonly found in your home:

  • Half cup of baking soda
  • Half cup of vinegar
  • Boiling hot water (DON’T make the water boiling if you have PVC pipes. High temperatures can soften these pipes.)


  1. Remove the stopper and pour the half-cup of baking soda down the drain.
  2. Pour the half-cup of vinegar down the drain and plug the drain and the vent/overflow hole with a damp cloth.
  3. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes and then pour in the hot water, which will help flush out all of the loosened junk.
  4. Repeat as needed.

WARNING: Be careful when pouring the hot water. For safety and easy pouring, use a teakettle. If you are unsure of the type of pipes you have, please call a plumber to unclog your drain for you.

Other Options…

If the above methods don’t work, you can buy an auger (also known as a mechanical snake) to unclog your drain. However, this step indicates that you probably have a serious clog and need a plumber’s help.

If that’s you, contact George Brazil online to schedule a diagnostic visit. Visit our Coupons tab on our website for drain cleaning specials!

George Brazil has been the number one provider of plumbing services (including drain cleaning) to homeowners for over 50 years.
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