Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

How to clean a clogged drain, the GREEN way

April 21, 2017

Clogged drains start off slowly with water taking just a touch longer than usual to go down the drain. Then one day the water stops moving. Hair and soap scum will slow down the water flow almost without notice. It’s best to address a slow moving drain before it becomes completely clogged so you aren’t dealing with a broken pipe or worse.  Most of us have been “taught” through advertising that all you need is a bottle of drain cleaner. But this option is extremely dangerous and the ingredients can hurt you and your pipes and it’s unnecessary to release these toxins into your city’s water system when there are safer solutions for you and the environment.  Green clean a clogged drain using one of these methods:


A plunger

It seems like a primitive way to clean out your drain but it’s one of the safest ways to remove a clog.  Make the first push of the plunger a gentle one. This will release the air inside of the tool. Now you can be more aggressive and push and pull the plunger to release the clog. After a few times, pull the plunger up and off of the drain.  You will see water from the clog come up and into the sink. If it doesn’t drain down, keep repeating the process until the clog is removed.

Drain weasel

There are some simple but very effective tools that will help remove solids that may be slowing down your drain.   The drain weasel works pretty simply. By using a patented micro-hook system on a flexible wand, it simply spins, pulls and toss.  It works faster than using a chemical drain cleaner.

A vacuum

Most wet/dry vacuums have a way to reverse the suction so that you can blow the clog out of the pipes.  Place the hose attachment in the exhaust area so that your vacuum is blowing air instead of sucking. Place the plastic pipe into the drain and let the pressure work to push the clog down the drain. Make sure you are very careful not to blow water and debris all over the room.


Simple Drain Cleaning Recipe

Your kitchen pantry holds ingredients that can green clean a clogged drain.  Mix up some table salt with an equal amount of baking soda and pour the mixture down the clogged drain. Then use one cup of distilled white vinegar that has been heated in the microwave. Pour the hot vinegar down the clogged drain and watch the mixture foam. Let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes while it continues to foam.  Flush the clog down with a pan of boiling water.


Dish Soap

Yes, dish soap can green clean a clogged drain! Place ¼ cup of dish soap down into the clogged drain.  The soap will work to break down the grease and loosen up the clog. Let the soap sit in the clog overnight.


Call a Professional

Instead of pouring an acidic solution down your drain that could make you sick and damage your pipes – call a professional. I have seen instances where you loosen a clog with the chemicals but it just moves the clog further down the drain pipes, creating an even bigger problem. A professional plumber will use a powered auger that can go for 200 or more feet to make totally sure your clog is removed from your drain pipes.

Green clean a clogged drain using any one of these methods instead of harsh chemicals that put your health, your pipes and the environment at risk.


Find more information from Leslie Reichert, our Green DIY Cleaning Expert, at

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