One of the questions we’re asked most often is whether it’s safe to use Drano or Liquid-Plumr for at-home drain cleaning. The answer is, quite simply, no. It’s true it works sometimes to clear a drain, but if it fails, it poses a serious hazard to any professional who subsequently works on it.
We don’t recommend it for clearing drains, or for regular drain maintenance either, as it’s really not good to ever use such an extreme corrosive in your pipes. However, there are some great options for taking care of and cleaning drains on your own.
Tips for DIY drain maintenance
Of course, the most important thing you can do to avoid the need for drain cleaning in Las Vegas, NV is to not let your drain get clogged in the first place. Don’t pour grease or food waste down your drain, even if you try to “help it down” by running hot tap water. You can also flush your kitchen drains once a month using any of these methods:
- Salt and hot water: Boil three quarts of water. Pour 2/3 cup of salt down your drain, and then pour the boiling water down. When the water begins to drain, continue to flush it with hot tap water. The salt acts as an abrasive that helps scrub the pipes, and the hot water of course helps melt and destabilize the buildup. A mixture of 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of salt and two tablespoons of cream of tartar can work similarly.
- Dish soap and hot water: Again, boil three quarts of water, but this time stir in some liquid dish soap, four tablespoons. Then dump the water down the tap, and as it drains, flush it with hot tap water. Repeat the process another few times. The dish soap helps break down fats, as the hot water melts the gunk.
- Vinegar and baking soda, followed by hot water: We’re a bit dubious of this one, but many people swear by it. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain, then plug the drain with a wet rag. Allow the mixture to bubble for a while, and then flush with three quarts of boiling water followed by hot tap water.
- Enzyme-based drain cleaners: A good alternative to harmful products like Drano and Liquid-Plumr, these enzymes actually eat the organic material in the clog, clearing it over time. They’re safe on your drain and plumbing system and also safe for homes with septic systems, as they don’t kill the bacteria that help break the septic waste down.
If you’ve got a clog
Use the above methods to try to wear away at the clog, in conjunction with a plunger to help dislodge the clog. If the clog is close to the surface, you may be able to reach it by unwinding a wire hanger, feeding it into the drain and trying to hook out the clog.
If after using these methods for some time the clog persists, it’s time to call a professional. They’ll know how to solve your problem, mitigate damage to your plumbing and can help prevent the problem from coming back.
If you have a persistent or recurring clog, or just have a question, please give us a call here at Orchard Plumbing. We’ve been in business since 1999, providing excellent drain cleaning in Las Vegas, NV. We’ve helped so many people, and we can help you!