So you want to know how to unclog a drain without Drano? You’re not alone.
A long time ago our bathroom drain was in need of some major help. It was moving slower than a turtle napping. And of course, whenever you have slow drain issues you are stuck with gross bathtubs and sinks that just slowly gather every little hair, dirt ball, and other nasty stuff that’s floating around.
Thankfully, making your own “drano” is easy. In fact, unclogging your drain doesn’t require harsh or toxic chemicals. And that’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this article. If you want a way to unclog your bathroom sink without introducing harsh chemicals into your home or paying for a plumber, then check out my homemade drain cleaner recipe below.
First, let’s take a look at just what makes a traditional drain cleaning solution like Drano so dangerous, and why you should be avoiding them in all your unclogging efforts.
What is Drano and Why is it Dangerous?
What is Drano?
Drano is a household drain cleaner product. It does come in different varieties, but typically contains some combination of sodium hydroxide (lye), bleach, salt, and sodium nitrate.
When you pour Drano down a clogged drain, the sodium hydroxide acts to break down the organic materials it comes in contact with (hair being the most common clogger). The sodium hydroxide also interacts with bits of aluminum to generate heat and decompose materials faster. Drano even interacts with tap water to further speed up this process.
Essentially, it creates a powerful chemical reaction in your drain to loosen and unclog it. It goes without saying this can be quite a hazardous material to introduce to your house, but let’s take a closer look at why that is.
Why is Drano Dangerous?
You could probably already gather from the above outline that Drano is pretty dangerous. The chemicals in Drano are not natural and can be hazardous for you and for the environment. The chemicals in Drano can harm your skin, your lungs, and your eyes. It can burn organic tissue with its chemical action.
If that weren’t enough, Drano can also harm the very thing it is trying to protect, your drain! The chemical reactions in Drano create a strong, corrosive force, and this force can in turn damage pipes, toilet bowls, kitchen sinks, and various other plumbing fixtures. The likelihood is increased if your pipes are older and a bit worn.
Additionally, Drano can react with other chemical cleaners and potentially create toxic fumes.
So overall, it’s probably wise to avoid Drano. But then what do you do about your stubborn clog or your backed-up garbage disposal? Read on for our DIY homemade Drano that will unclog your drain without the hazardous effects.
The Power of Baking Soda and Vinegar
I’m pretty sure baking soda and white vinegar are like the Batman and Robin of natural cleaning. I mean, combined these two are almost unstoppable.
When we had our bathtub issue my husband said he’d take care of it. And I let him. I was so grossed out by the whole thing (kind of an OCD neat freak, okay) that I didn’t even care what methods he used… I just wanted it fixed. (Clearly, this was before my total hippie transformation.)
I tried not to think about the garbage he tossed down our drain in a number of attempts to clean it. I honestly had to leave the house each time he did. And while it was always a little bit “better” after each chemical raid… the problem was never really solved.
Finally, like the superwoman I am (ha!), I told him I would take care of it. I knew I had heard of baking soda and vinegar for cleaning drains, and I figured “what do we have to lose”? I mean, this stuff is a whole lot cheaper than the toxic waste my husband was using. I set out to make my concoction of diy drano
Well, silly me… It took one time to get our drain moving beautifully again. Once. 1/2 cup baking soda , 1 cup of vinegar, some hot water, and a little patience, and our drain was moving like a hare in the races.
And we haven’t had a problem with it since.
A lot of people think that sometimes the all-natural option means sacrificing effectiveness, but you can see that’s not the case here. You can have the best of both worlds with this option, a clean drain with none of the hazardous chemicals.
Ready to learn the simple magic of homemade Drano?
I thought so. Here’s the recipe and directions below.
How to unclog a drain without Drano -Using baking soda and vinegar
1/4 – 1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 – 1 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 – 1 gallon of boiling water (8 – 16 cups)
You’ll also need something to “plug” or cover the drain after you pour in the ingredients.
Before you begin make sure to remove any drain stoppers or plugs. You want an open drain for this to work.
- Pour baking soda down the drain. Really get it down. I’ve used the skinny part of a funnel before to help “ease” the stuff down. (Ease, shove… whatever.)
- Pour in half the vinegar and quickly cover the drain with something to keep the ‘fizz’ going down the drain. (Sense a pattern here?) Once it has stopped fizzing, pour the remaining vinegar and quickly cover the drain again.
- Keep it covered and let the mixture sit for 15 – 30 minutes. Use this time to boil your water. I like to use a water heater.
- Slowly pour boiling water down the drain. Nice, easy, and slow. Pour it directly into the drain.
Depending on the severity of the clog, you may have to repeat this entire process 2 or even 3 times. But trust this dynamic duo to do its thing!
I also like to squeeze some lemon juice down the sink drain at the end to leave a lovely, fresh smell!
No more chemicals (or wasted money!) down the drain. Sounds good to me.
Not only can you feel good about fixing a clogged shower drain or clogged sink, but you can also pat yourself on the back for solving the problem in an all-natural, non-hazardous way. If you’re like me, experiences like this will get you hooked to the DIY natural lifestyle. Throw out those chemical drain cleaners with the peace of mind that your DIY drano does the trick! Trust me, a problem is much more satisfying to solve when it’s with something you made yourself.
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In this article, we’ve gone over the hazards of Drano, and why it’s probably not a good option to drain clogs or remove blockages (and that’s an understatement). Drano is not only hazardous to you and to the environment, but it can also corrode your drain.
So if you’re looking for a way to ditch these chemical drain cleaners for good, give our DIY drain cleaner a try. Not only can you feel good about this mixture, it actually gets the job done as well. No more compromise, you want a DIY solution that works, and you can have it.
Have you used baking soda and vinegar to unplug your drains?