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6 Simple Ways to Clean A Drain Pipe

There are days when you want to clean your drain pipes without having the need to call drain cleaner professionals. But, if it is your first time doing this cleaning, you might start from scratch and wonder how to do it on your own.

Well, drainage systems, especially open ones, are easy to clean. But, what about those drain pipes?

In this article, we will tackle the best and simplest ways to clean and unclog pipes.

How to Clean Drain Pipes

Cleaning a drain pipe is not just about allowing enough water with pressure to flow through it. Instead, this home improvement activity requires you to use certain chemicals that can dissolve the stains and causes of clogs.

1. Hot Water and Liquid Detergent Method

If you want to clean your pipes without spending money, you can try the hot water and detergent method. 

  1. First, you have to boil at least 2-3 liters of water. You can use an electric kettle as well for faster boiling. But, make sure that the water is fully boiled.
  2. When you already see bubbles in your boiling water, you have to add your home liquid detergent. Around 3 tablespoons will already suffice for the 2-3 liters of water.
  3. Continue boiling the mixture for 1-2 minutes.
  4. After, slowly pour the boiling mixture into your sink. You can open your faucet and let a small amount of water flow as well.

If your pipes are plastic, you have to take caution. You should not pour the hot mixture soon after boiling. Instead, you should at least let the mixture cool for 4-5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the plastic pipes from being damaged. 

2. Hot Water and Baking Soda

Hot Water and Baking Soda

If you do not want to use your liquid detergent, you can consider baking soda. This powder is an effective cleaning chemical with antibacterial properties. The steps of this method are the same as the previous method, but some details are different.

  1. You should boil at least 2-3 liters of water. This time, you are advised to not use an electric kettle for boiling.
  2. When you see that the water is already showing those bubbles, you must add 1 cup of baking soda. This measurement is already enough for 2-3 liters of water.
  3. Then, pour the mix into the drain pipe.

If you do not want to add baking soda to your boiling water, you can instead do the next technique. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into your sink first. Then, pour 2 cups of boiling water and let the solution sit for at least 20 minutes.

This method works best for clogged toilet pipes. If you will use this method, you can also follow up by using a plunger to fully suction your drain pipe. Always remember that you must first unclog your drain pipe before you clean them. When you use a plunger, simply pour enough water into the tub or sink to cover the drain.

Then, add your water after sealing the drain with a vigorous plunger press. Once there is sufficient water, quickly pump the drain several times to clear it out.

If you will be using this method on a double sink, when unclogging, in order to make a complete seal, you must close the other sink drain

3. Bacterial Drain Cleaner

If you want to put no effort into cleaning your pipes, there are home products that you can buy such as bacterial drain cleaners.

Like baking soda, this solution can also kill bacteria, as the name states. When compared to chemical cleaners, biological or bacterial drain cleaners take longer to function but are safer for you, your plumbing, and the surrounding environment.

If you want to use these products, there are types of drain cleaner you want to use:

  • Traditional cleaners
  • Foamy cleansers
  • Enzyme cleaners, and some come with pleasant odors. 

If you are environmentally cautious, bear in mind that enzyme cleansers are made of natural substances, and traditional and foamy cleansers may contain chemicals that are bad for the environment.

Usually, instructions on how to use these bacterial drain cleaners are already written on the label. Also, on the label, you can know how long to let the drain cleaner sit before flushing it because every drain cleaner is unique.

Generally, warm water rather than hot water is ideal for enzyme cleaners, and combining two distinct chemical drain cleaner types might produce hazardous fumes.

After pouring enough liquid drain cleaner, you will see if your pipes are clogged when it takes time for the solution to go through.

Lastly, when you are done cleaning, you should pour boiling water (this water does not have to be fully boiled) onto your sink.

4. Use a drain snake cleaner

Snake cleaners look like the brush of an infant’s feeding bottle, but they are relatively smaller than those.

Generally, this method is, again, for those with clogged drain pipes due to hair and food debris. This method is also most suitable for shower room pipes.

Use a drain snake cleaner

This method is very easy to do and if you want to follow it, you might want to consider a longer snake cleaner so that you can reach the middle part of the pipe.

If you love DIY things and you do not have this snake cleaner in your home, you can improvise by using a bent wire hanger. 

After using this method, you are advised to run water to see if there is still blockage left.

5. Hot water and Vinegar

In the above techniques, we have discussed liquid detergents and baking soda. Apart from these, you can also consider vinegar.

This method is not just for cleaning but it is also for deodorizing. If you want to try this method, here are instructions.

  1. You have to boil at least 2-3 liters of water.
  2. Then, you must add 2 cups of white vinegar to the boiling water. Aside from white vinegar, you can also use cane vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  3. When the solution is fully boiled, you can slowly pour the solution onto your sink. Again, if you have plastic pipes, you should first cool the solution for 4-5 minutes.

For a stronger solution, you can add baking soda to this solution. Put one cup of baking soda onto the sink before pouring the boiling water.

Hot water and Vinegar

Then, leave the mixture for at least 10 minutes. When you come back, you will see foaming, and this is a sign that the drain pipe is being cleansed. 

6. Ice, Salt, and Lemon Mixture

Another unique method of cleaning pipes is by using the ice, salt, and lemon mixture. Generally, this method works best for garbage disposal pipes.

To do this method, you have to add a few cups of ice, a handful of table salt, and drops of lemon to the garbage disposal pipes. After a brief period of grinding, rinse the mixture with water. 

Aside from cleaning, this method is also a great way to deodorize your garbage drain pipes. 

How to Keep Your Drain Pipes Clean

Of course, you would not want to clean your pipes all the time, right? So, you should know how to prevent them from clogging and being nasty!

1. Consider Drain Screens

In Asian countries, drain screens are very popular. These tools let little particles and water travel down your drain. However, they filter out the muck, big food particles, and hair. 

These screens are also perfect for showers, bathtubs, bathroom sinks, and kitchen sinks. If you have open drainage in your yard, placing a drain screen can also reduce pest infestation. 

2. Dispose of grease in a separate container

If you are to dispose of greasy food and substances, try to get another container where you can dispose of these substances. 

Usually, when grease is passed through your drain pipes, it will stick to the walls of the pipe. Unfortunately, this can induce clogged drain pipes and a damaged plumbing system.

3. Consider Drain Stoppers

Aside from drain screens, there are also drain stoppers that can help you keep your pipes clean. Compared to drain screens, these materials are more aesthetic and you can place them inside your home without having to worry about how they look.

4. Run hot water

Another easy method of keeping your drain pipes clean is by always running hot water after washing. 

When you use your showers, you should run hot water to molten and remove the grease and other debris you just washed off your body.

Also, after showering, you might want to remove the hair strands on your floor drain screens to avoid further plumbing complications.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, it is very important to clean drain pipes in your home. Doing this will not just keep your drain pipes unclogged but will also keep the odor in your home healthy.

There are many ways to clean drain pipes such as using baking soda, vinegar, liquid detergents, and even your coat hanger!

As you can see, most of these ways are reachable inside your home. So, if you do not have an extra penny to call a professional plumber, these techniques will always be helpful for you.

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