Care for Your Drain the Natural Way
Slow-draining plumbing fixtures are a pain in the showerhead. It always starts as a slow creep so you can try to trick yourself into think that nothing's wrong, but eventually, you have to admit that something is seriously wrong and it's time to work on unclogging your sink, shower, toilet, or otherPosted — Updated
Lots of stores sell commercial drain cleaners that promise to unstop clogs, deodorize, and lift stains. But those products tend to contain caustic chemicals, like the kinds you don't want around children and pets. In addition, some can be harmful to the environment and they're not necessarily great for your septic system. Furthermore, using a liquid drain cleaner may not actually solve the problem.
One is the baking soda and vinegar technique: sprinkle 3/4 of a cup of baking soda into the drain (lift out the trap for easy access) and follow with a half cup of vinegar. Let it sit for half an hour and then pour either boiling or very hot water for two to three minutes to flush out the drain (obviously, if it's not draining, stop, because you don't want hot water spilling everywhere). Stubborn drains may require repeat treatments: one of the best ways to use this mixture is as a monthly preventative drain treatment to keep pipes smelling fresh and running clear.
You can also try a 1:1:2 salt:borax:vingar mixture in much the same way. You may want to consider yet another option: enzyme drain cleaners. These products eat away at encrusted matter in drains including biofilms (those buildups of bacteria that make drains all slimy and gross), and they're available in natural foods stores, large grocery stores, and similar locales.
You can also spray out the u-bend with a hose to remove anything stuck inside. You might want to wear gloves for this, because it can be unpleasant, especially if members of the house have long hair or you have fuzzy animals.
In case step two doesn't work, step three involves using a snake, a large, flexible device designed to be worked into the pipe and then pulled back out. An attachment on the snake traps any material caught in the drain and removes it. Sometimes this can be extremely odiferous, particularly if the culprit is something like a tampon that slipped into the plumbing.