Clogged drains are a nuisance and never come at a good time. Unclogging a drain is a nasty and often expensive task. There’s a little secret I’m going to share with you that will save you hundreds of dollars and hours of anxiety and worry.
Keeping your drains clear of pipe-clogging gunk is easy. But you’ve got to be proactive. Much like cleaning the back of your fridge twice a year or replacing your furnace filter on a regular basis, doing this simple procedure can keep your drains flowing freely and your life a lot easier.
Drains can be problematic and should never be taken for granted. If you’ve got multiple heads of hair, people dropping food down the kitchen sink, or curious toddlers flushing their toys down the toilet, clogs are inevitable in a family home.
Before we get down to the simple and inexpensive trick (DIY recipe), let’s talk about what’s really in that drain cleaner and just how dangerous it is under your kitchen sink.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus says that drain opener poisoning can occur if anyone accidentally drinks, splashes it into eyes or breathes the fumes of “foaming” drain openers. And pouring it down your drain with other chemicals can cause an explosive reaction potentially harming you and others nearby.
Dangers of Liquid Drain Cleaners
After doing a bit of “Googling,” I felt relieved knowing I’ve never used drain cleaners in my pipes. Mostly because I’ve had a septic system and harsh chemicals scare me. (If I can smell the cleaning products in the store, I know their toxic fumes would be in my home, too.)
Here’s a story from a Michigan plumbing blog.
Why You Should Watch Out
Liquid drain cleaners are sold over the counter at hardware stores and – unfortunately – they contain a number of harmful chemicals. The two main types of chemical drain cleaners are acidic cleaners (containing chemicals like muriatic, sulfuric or hypochloric acids) and caustic base cleaners, containing lye or bleach. (Liquid PlumR® and Drano® are two of the most popular caustic base brands.)
Both types of drain cleaners can be dangerous to humans and animals, even in small concentrations. Acids and caustic bases are designed to dissolve organic waste matter in your pipes – so that means they can also cause serious injuries if they splash onto your skin or into your eyes. Worse, when these chemicals come in contact with other household chemicals used in the kitchen or bathroom, they can create toxic fumes.
(Pro tip: You probably don't want these chemicals anywhere near your water supply, either.)
This is pretty much the story you’ll find on the internet. (Except of course from the drain cleaner companies!)
Chemicals used in drain cleaners are so harmful they’re on the US government’s hazardous material list! And because they’re available to the public, we think they’re safe. Any empty product container labeled toxic, poisonous, corrosive, flammable, combustible or irritant is BY LAW Not Allowed in the garbage/landfill in the United States. Every county has waste disposal drop sites.
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If it isn’t safe for humans, wildlife and the environment,
“Why are we allowed to purchase dangerous products?”
That’s what I’ve wondered for a long time. After some sleuthing, I decided to “follow the money.” If you want to find out the motive of any company, organization, etc., look to see who’s funding it. Well, can’t say I was surprised to find corruption behind another atrocity affecting Americans and those affected by hazardous, unregulated poisons touted as “miracle cleaning products.”
The U. S. Chemical Industry has a lot of buying (bribing) power in Washington. $800 billion- annual sales in 2016 supports lobbyists and the politicians that allow the 80,000 + unregulated chemicals to poison Americans and others around the globe.
The media- chiefly funded and owned by various chemical industries- uses psychological persuasion; consistent and repetitious advertising to manipulate and influence the public.
Unscrupulous corporations are banking on the public’s innocence and naivete. Understanding the “herd instinct” will not only give you insight behind the current subliminal conditioning affecting Americans and many others around the world, but empower you to protect your family and our planet.
HINT: If it’s advertised on television, don’t buy it,
and certainly don’t believe it. That includes the “news” also.
With virtually no regulation of the 80,000+ chemicals used in food, cleaning, home & yard & personal care products, consumers risk their health and the health of the planet every time they purchase an item that is not organic or ethically sourced (certified organic/green or EWG verified).
Fortunately, we have the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on our side. EWG is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. When you get the chemicals out of your life, you get healthier, and help safeguard our precious planet, its family and its resources.
EWG Rates Popular Drain Cleaner
Scored an F
Both products have moderate – high concern for skin irritation/allergies damage, nervous system and respiratory effects, damage to vision, digestive system effects, damage to DNA, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects and chronic aquatic toxicity. In addition, poor product ingredient disclosure contributes to health and environmental concerns.
Highlights the worst of the worst. Many of these cleaners are banned in Europe. (And very popular in America.) It is evident, European governments oversee their chemical industries and care about the safety of their citizens.
And now, for the recipe you’ve been waiting for!
DIY Clean Drain/Pipe Maintenance
This works great at our house but only IF your sink is draining slowly.
Tea kettle of hot water
½ c. baking soda
1 c. white vinegar
Drain plug, optional
Pour a pot of hot water down the drain.
Sprinkle in ½ c. or more of baking soda. Let it sit for one minute. Next, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1 c. of very hot water over the baking soda.
Set the drain plug (in your bathroom sink or tub) to keep liquid from coming up. Use a drain plug (if you have one) for your kitchen sink. Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.
Use CAUTION around hot water!
Works great to keep soap scum and gunk from building up in your pipes.
How Nature Works for You: Baking soda and hot water loosen up grimy sludge that’s hanging out in your pipes, and the vinegar’s explosive chemical reaction jolts it loose. One final super-hot water rinse and it all gets flushed away! (Hopefully 😊)
Unclogging a Stopped Drain
The above recipe works for all but the worst of clogged pipes. I have unclogged pipes with it however, and it just may work for you.
Attempt to plunge your sink if there is standing water in it. Be sure to plug overfill hole with a wet rag. Use a plunger, making sure to plug up your sink’s overfill hole with a wet rag. If it’s in your (double) kitchen sink, you’ll need to plug up the opposite side with a drain plug, wet rag, or plunger (have someone help with that while you work on the clogged side.)
IF YOUR SINK BEGINS to drain, sprinkle ½ c. or more baking soda into drain, followed by 1 c. white vinegar mixed with 1c. very hot water. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
If sink still does not drain freely repeat soda/vinegar/water method several times.
For a stubborn drain, let sit overnight.
Once your drain flows freely rinse pipes well with hot water from your faucet.
If sink refuses to drain, your next step is to try a homeowner-friendly drain snake or call a plumber.
Drain & Disposal Tips:
Prevent clogs with maintenance treatments. Treat your sinks monthly. Write a reminder on your calendar.
Keep a plunger under every sink in your home.
Invest in a homeowner-friendly drain snake (auger). This manual tool is magical for loosening crud and cleaning up the drain. Read directions carefully before using.
Garbage disposal: For you non-composting, city-dwellers: Keep your disposal smelling fresh by tossing in some citrus peels.
Clean & freshen your disposal with this DIY cleaner: 1. Run hot water for one minute through your garbage disposal. 2. Pour ¼ c. baking soda down the drain. 3. Turn on for 2 seconds and let rest for 10-15 min. (Turn on a timer 😊) 4. Follow with 1 c. white vinegar. 5. Rinse with very hot water while running your garbage disposal for 10-15 seconds.
For those of you that don’t have the time to make your own DIY scouring cleanser, yet want a product that is safe and effective, we’ve carefully chosen these Amazon-sourced products for you.
Whether you decide to make your own DIY cleaning products or purchase a safer alternative that we have carefully researched for you (companies with integrity), you can feel good knowing you’re making your home and the earth a safer place to live.
Although these products are “safer” than commercial brands, one should always be cautious and keep any household cleaner out of the reach of children and pets.
My research revealed few products I felt good about endorsing. I’ve included the EWG links so that you can decide if these B+ rated drain cleaners are for you.
FYI: Your best bet? Be proactive, clean your sinks monthly!
Important Note: Personal care and cleaning product makers change formulations periodically. We do our best to stay abreast of any changes. Always read labels and if you should find a product that we’ve recommended yet no longer endorsed by the EWG, please contact us with details at www.edenscorner.com/contact
As we continue to vote with our dollars and buy safe products that are ethically sourced/created, we send a loud message to the chemical companies:
We care about our family’s health and the health of future generations.
Pregnant and breastfeeding moms should be especially careful for the sake of themselves as well as their developing children.
Thank you for partnering with Eden’s Corner to support companies with integrity. Your love and caring benefits you, the earth and future generations.
By purchasing at Amazon while on Eden’s Corner your caring helps support the work we do for you.
“When we honor the earth, we honor ourselves.”
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