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Non-Toxic Drain Cleaning

August 8th, 2012

Back when I first started the non-toxic cleaning series, someone requested a drain cleaning post. A great topic since drain cleaners are among the most toxic of household chemicals, you definitely DO NOT want to keep them around. Not only are they very dangerous and caustic, they’re not good for your plumbing. The people we purchased this house from used drain cleaner instead of cleaning out the drains and it actually ate through the metal in the shower drain and caused leaks in the pipes.

Most of the time drain clogs are caused by hair and soap scum buildup. It’s easy enough to clean them out by removing the stopper and using a wire hook to pull out hair. Not a pleasant job to be sure, but not as yucky as all those caustic chemicals. We use a piece of a wire coat hanger that we cut and bent into a hook. It resides in our bathroom cabinet for drain cleaning.

If drains are still running slowly follow this process:

  1. clean hair and other debris from drain
  2. pour a stock pot full of very hot water down drain
  3. let sit a few minutes
  4. put a half cup of baking soda down drain
  5. pour a cup of apple cider vinegar down drain
  6. after a half hour, put another stock pot of hot water down drain
  7. check drain to see if there is any visible debris
  8. if you see debris, remove it
  9. check drain flow, if still slow, repeat steps 1-8

Following these steps will clear most drain clogs. I’ve had great luck using this system, it works great. Mr Chiots has been very impressed with how great it works!

If you have a problem with clogged drains, consider adding a product that contains beneficial bacteria regularly. Just like regular consumption of yogurt and probiotics helps our digestive system, the same can help with your drains. Here at Chiot’s Run I use FLOW from Gardens Alive once a month in our drains. It keeps the them flowing freely and thus we no longer have issues with clogged drains. Once our kitchen sink was horribly backed up with a clog was somewhere in the long run of pipe between the sink and the big sewer line in the house. We tried everything, including a pipe snake to no avail. At our wits end, we tried this stuff and it worked.  Ever since then we’ve been using it as drain maintenance.

To keep your drains clean and running smoothly, clean hair, soap and other things out of the drains regularly to keep them flowing well. Pouring hot water down the drain every so often to keep things running smoothly and will help you avoid future clogs.  You can also use the process above every few months to keep drains clean.  If you do experience a backed up drain, don’t reach for the drain cleaner.  Try the baking soda/vinegar method above.

Do you ever get clogged drains? Any tips/tricks for non-toxic ways to clear them out?

Stocking Your Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
Learning to Love Castile Soap
Make Your Own: Foaming Soap
Make Your Own: Infused Vinegar
Make Your Own: Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Make Your Own: Color Safe Oxygen Bleach
Non-Toxic Bathroom Cleaning
Friday Favorite: Charlie’s Soap
Friday Favorite: Twist Sponges
Homemade Whitening Scrub
more to come…

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.