There’s a growing interest in using natural drain cleaners rather than pouring what are often un-necessary chemicals down the drain, which can ultimately contaminate water supplies and kill wildlife. No one wants to have drains that give off bad odors or, even worse, that are blocked. However, keeping drains unblocked and smelling sweet can be achieved with a variety of products at are non-harmful to the environment.
Do-It-Yourself Drain Cleaner Ideas
If the drain you want to clear is directly beneath a sink you can often clean them simply by leaving the hot faucet open for several minutes. This works on the simple principle that most things went down the sink into the drain dissolved in water, even if it was hot water, and; therefore, simply need re-dissolving to shift them out of the drain. This method will generally work providing, in the case of a kitchen sink, that there isn’t a lot of grease in the drain or, for a bathroom drain that it isn’t clogged up with hair.
If there’s not a hot water supply over the drain – boil water in a kettle or on the stove and then pour it down the drain. However, this will need to be done many times. The following two ideas both require the use of ‘natural’ or rather everyday chemicals and are based on those ‘old fashioned’ formulas for cleaning drains that your great-grandparents would have used and might even be remembered by your grand-parents.
The first method is to simply pour a hot brine solution down the drain. In two or three liters of hot (boiled) water add common table salt until no more will dissolve, then simply pour it down the drain.
The final idea here is a more vigorous preparation, which used once a week should keep your drain both running free and odor free. In four liters of boiling hot water mix half a lemon, a cup of white vinegar and a half cup of baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and foam for a few minutes before pouring it down the drain in one go.
Enzyme Drain Cleaners
Just because you want to use a natural drain cleaner doesn’t mean to say that you can’t also apply a bit of technology – especially enzyme technology. There are several enzyme based products on the market that are both highly effective and natural drain cleaners. Enzymes, or bio-drain cleaners as they are sometimes known, don’t involve detergents, solvents or bleaches – but still clean your drains at a biological level. The enzymes in them naturally digest the bacteria that will cause any bad odors and will dispel any sediment that might cause a blockage – leaving your drain both clean and clear.
Other Naturally Occurring Chemicals
If you want to disinfect a drain, without actually using a proprietary disinfectant; you can use hydrogen peroxide instead. You would be quite right for thinking that Hydrogen Peroxide is a chemical that you buy in bottles for all manner of things; however, it does also occur naturally in our bodies and by can be made by the action of sunlight on water.
Hydrogen Peroxide is also a strong disinfectant, so pouring a solution of just 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to water down a drain will really disinfect it. You could also consider using Borax, a naturally formed mineral at salt lakes. A solution of this will work as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent, working in a very similar way to the bleaches that you can buy.