09 September DIY Drain Cleaning and Why It's a Bad Idea

DIY Drain Cleaning and Why It’s a Bad Idea

Posted by PlumbWize

We’ve all done it. When our tubs or sinks get clogged, our immediate reaction is to grab the chemical drain cleaner. But is it doing more harm to your home’s plumbing system than good? If you’re thinking about DIY drain cleaning in Hamilton, you might want to think again…

Close up of someone pouring a chemical drain cleaner down a drain

The Truth About Store-Bought Drain Cleaners

While store-bought chemical drain cleaners may seem like the cheaper more convenient option in comparison to professional plumbers in Hamilton, it can actually be doing more harm than good. What the companies who manufacture these products don’t tell you is that the chemicals (sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid) that are used to create these drain cleaners can actually be harmful to your home’s pipes and cause damage to them over time. This even goes for the ones that claim to be “safe on pipes.”

There are alternative liquid-based drain cleaners you can try if you want to try clearing minor clogs on your own. All-natural enzymatic products can break up organic material and bacteria that may be clogging your pipes, but they are not strong enough to break down especially tough clogs. For more stubborn clogs, we recommend professional drain cleaning in Hamilton.

Proper DIY Maintenance for Your Drains

All of that being said, there are some DIY drain cleaning methods that won’t cause harm to your pipes. Here are five options you can do in order to fix minor clogs:

Baking Soda and Vinegar

After pouring half a cup of baking soda down your drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Then cover your sink and let it sit overnight for at least 8 hours. The next day, flush out the drain using hot water and they should work just like new! Repeat this process if necessary.

A bunch of lemon slices piled on top of each other

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

This is a great option if you prefer the smell of lemon to vinegar! Using the same measurements as the last method, pour baking soda down your problem drain followed by lemon juice. Plug the drain and let it sit for an hour before flushing it out with boiled water.

Salt, Borax and Vinegar

Mix together half a cup of table salt and half a cup of borax, pouring the new mixture down the drain. Similar to the first two methods, let it sit anywhere between 30 minutes to 8 hours and the follow it with a pot of boiling water to flush it out of the pipe.

Hot Water

Believe it or not, but hot water can sometimes be all you need to clear a minor clog in your pipes. This works especially well for backups caused by grease. Bring two litres of water to a boil and slowly pour it down your drain. Doing so will heat the grease, turning it back into a liquid so that it can properly drain through the pipe. This method may take a couple of tries, but you can try adding a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap to your water to help speed the process up.


This particular tactic is typically best suited for your kitchen sink. Food can oftentimes get stuck in the curve of the pipe under the sink, which can be hard to reach with a snake or auger. Try filling your sink with warm water from the tap and plunge it. Using a rubber plunger is recommended.

Unfortunately, most of these safe DIY drain cleaning options are only effective on minor clogs. For more serious issues, you will have to contact your local Hamilton plumbers.

Close up of a woman using a plunger to clean a kitchen sink drain

When to Call the Professionals

So, when is the right time to give up on the DIY drain cleaning methods and call in the professionals?

DIY drain cleaning oftentimes acts as a bandaid, hiding an even bigger problem that can only be solved through professional drain cleaning services in Hamilton. For instance, you may be experiencing slow drainage in your tub because there is a crack in your plumbing line that is letting in dirt and other debris, which is actually the cause of the clog.

Not addressing blockages right away and letting them continue to build up over time instead can lead to a much bigger problem that can cost you a lot of money to fix. Contacting a professional plumber will make sure that you aren’t ignoring a bigger issue.

Of course, the most effective way to treat clogs is to prevent them before they even happen. What can save you time and money in the long run is regular drain maintenance by a plumber in Hamilton.

Plumbers in Hamilton

PlumbWize offers a wide range of comprehensive plumbing services to our client base in Hamilton, including hydro jetting, rooting services, sump pump repair, and so much more! We strive to get the job done right and leave you satisfied, knowing that you chose the right plumbing company for the job.

Our team of expert plumbers in Hamilton has over 20 years of combined experience dealing with clogged pipes and leading drain cleaning methods. Whether you require plumbing services for a business or residential building, we can help!

To find out more about the services we offer for drain cleaning in Hamilton, contact us today!


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1 Comment
  • Posted on September 26/2019 By Slavik

    A superb way to deal with a minor drain clog. thanks for amazing tricks.