Unclog Your Kitchen Sink Drain Tonight with Zip-It Tool Before Drano

How To Unclog Your Kitchen Sink with Zip It Drain Cleaner

Copyright © 2011-2014 Janis Goad. All Rights Reserved.

When the drain smells like something died in it, and the water doesn’t drain after you wash your dishes, you have left your routine sink maintenance too long. But don’t worry, it is easy to unclog your kitchen drain if you follow this method.

First, get busy with a small handy tool that is an important part of every home kit: the Zip-It Drain Opener. This Zip-It is really effective. You can get it for about $6 at Canadian Tire or Wal-mart, in the plumbing section. It is a thin, flexible piece of plastic about 20 centimetres long with short barbs along both sides. It is easy to slide it gently down the drain as far as it goes, then carefully pull it up again, hooking the hair that is blocking the drain and bringing it up on the barbs. You may need to clean the hair off the barbs and put the Zip-It down again on the other side to make sure you have all the hair. Then you can run water down the drain to check if it flows freely.

Unclog Your Blocked Drain Naturally with Zip It Drain Tool

Zip-It and the Plumber's Assistant
Zip-It and the Plumber's Assistant | Source
Kiki and the Zip-It:  it's purrfect
Kiki and the Zip-It: it's purrfect
The Zip-It Drain Opening Tool from Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart will pull up the hair that is clogging your drain.
The Zip-It Drain Opening Tool from Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart will pull up the hair that is clogging your drain. | Source

How does Zip-It Drain Cleaner unclog the drain?

Prevent a Clogged Kitchen Sink and Drain

Unclogging Your Drain is so Quick, Easy and Inexpensive with a Zip-It, even your cat will want to help.
Unclogging Your Drain is so Quick, Easy and Inexpensive with a Zip-It, even your cat will want to help. | Source
To prevent a clogged kitchen sink, on a monthly basis fill the sink or tub to the brim with hot water.
To prevent a clogged kitchen sink, on a monthly basis fill the sink or tub to the brim with hot water. | Source
If you have a double sink, fill both sides at once.
If you have a double sink, fill both sides at once. | Source
Drain both sides at the same time to allow a quantity of hot water under some pressure to drain suddenly through the line.
Drain both sides at the same time to allow a quantity of hot water under some pressure to drain suddenly through the line. | Source
Once the sink is empty, flush it with hot water and a kettleful of boiling water to melt congealed soap scum or fat mass.
Once the sink is empty, flush it with hot water and a kettleful of boiling water to melt congealed soap scum or fat mass. | Source
Plumbing for Dummies (For Dummies Series)
Plumbing for Dummies (For Dummies Series)

Do your own basic plumbing jobs around your home, even if you don't know anything about plumbing.

 

Minamata Disease: Mercury Poisoning from the Agano River

A markerMinamata, Japan -
Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan
[get directions]

How Does Pollution Get into Our Food?

Drano was invented in 1923 by Harry Drackett, at a time before Minamata disease showed us that what goes into the water does not disappear, but ends up in the food chain and in our own bodies.

In the 1960s in Minamata, Japan, it was discovered that industrial mercury released in waste water from Chisso and Showa Denko chemical factories upstream from the city was accumulating in water organisms and concentrating as it moved up the food chain. Eventually, people eating fish and shellfish caught in the Agano River, an important part of the traditional local diet, began showing signs of damage to the central nervous system, including the brain, caused by mercury poisoning from this source. When Henry Drackett first formulated Drano in 1923, no one guessed that putting caustic lye and aluminum particles into the rivers might be dangerous. Later, Bristol Meyers bought Drackett's company in 1965 and in 1992 sold it to S.C. Johnson and Sons, Inc (not Johnson & Johnson), who also own potentially toxic household brands consumers may or may not wish to use, such as Raid, OFF!, Saran, Ziplock and Windex.

I have written more about how pollutants and environmental toxins move around the planet and get into our food here.

What Are the Ingredients of Drano?


If it doesn't, as a last resort, invest in some Drano or Liquid-Plumr. Pour half the bottle down the drain, late at night once you are sure no one is going to use the sink, and let it sit about 8-10 hours overnight. In the morning, flush the drain with warm water from the tap, then boil a kettleful of water and pour the boiling water down the drain. It should run smoothly. If it does not, repeat the process a second time.

Drano works because it is a strong caustic base that includes a few ingredients: sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, and aluminum. When the crystals dissolve in water, the exothermic reaction causes the water in the pipes to heat. This softens fat and grease. As the lye reacts with the tiny aluminum pieces, hydrogen gas is released and the hot, bubbling froth churns sharp aluminum pieces in the drain and physically cuts the wad of hair. At the same time, the caustic lye dissolves the organic proteins in the mass clogging the drain, and the released gas creates pressure that moves the loosened material out.

If there is more than garden variety food debris and fat clogging the drain, such as your earring, your three-year old’s stone collection, or your teenager’s hairpins, you may need to call a plumber with a snake. However, 95% of the time, trying to unclog your kitchen and your bathroom drains by one of these methods will work.



D.I.Y. Homemade Drano

Considering what the Drano or Liquid-Plumr is doing to the fish in the river once it gets out of the sewer system, and considering the price you will have to pay the plumber if you need professional assistance, you may wish to invest in routine precautionary measure to make sure the drains don’t get clogged in the first place. How can you do this?

It is helpful once a month to fill the sink full with water as hot as possible--include some boiling kettlefuls if you can--and let it drain. This will soften any soap scum or fat globs that are congealing around swollen rice grains, shafts of hair, pieces of broccoli florets or other colourful debris that is caught in the P-trap lurking for a clog. Doing this drain clear as a regular practice sends a rush of hot water at some pressure through the line and leaves it open. Afterward, pour about 1/4 cup of baking soda down to leave the drain sweet and eliminate odors. You might also put equal parts of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and vinegar down the drain--you will see the chemicals foam up as carbon dioxide is released. The foaming action cleanses the drain without damaging the pipes, but if the clog is established, I have never found this to be very effective.


Homemade Drain Cleaner

To keep drains running smoothly, once a month, run hot water through the drain to soften the clog in the P-trap, then put equal parts baking soda and vinegar down and let it sit.
To keep drains running smoothly, once a month, run hot water through the drain to soften the clog in the P-trap, then put equal parts baking soda and vinegar down and let it sit. | Source
This $2 screen from Save-On Foods keeps hair out of the drain.
This $2 screen from Save-On Foods keeps hair out of the drain. | Source

Zip-It Drain Opening Tool opens clogged drains

Cobra Products 00412BL Zip-It Drain Cleaning Tool
Cobra Products 00412BL Zip-It Drain Cleaning Tool

This is the simple, effective tool every home needs to open stubborn drains and bathroom sinks blocked with hair.

 

Cheap Remedy for Clogged Sinks

Prevention is a cheap remedy for clogged sinks. As well as the homemade Drano of vinegar and baking soda to keep on hand, it is also worth investing the 2 to 5 dollars Home Depot or Walmart will charge you for a drain screen. Use it, especially in the kitchen and the shower. It will catch the debris and hair before they go down the drain, and you can clean them out every time you use the sink or tub. Put the trapped particles and hair into the garbage.

Who wants to start the day with brushing their teeth in the old drain water from the person who waltzed into the bathroom before them? Surprise the family with a fresh, clean, free-running drain and amaze yourself at the skill with which you did it yourself.


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drano

http://www.env.go.jp/en/chemi/hs/minamata2002/ch2.html

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

luisj305 profile image

luisj305 5 years ago from Florida

Great tips for the not so welcome drainage issues

Thumbs up to your hub Janis.

Thumbs up to drano!


imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

Janis....I do the vinegar and baking soda. I purchased the zipit tool about a year ago; it is an absolute wonderful cheap tool; and I have the drain screen.

I didn't regularly do the hot water thing, but after reading this I will start. I don't like the look of the drain screen, but I certainly would rather have that than a clog.

I found your photo of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda interesting. I never saw "Cow Brand" with a picture of a cow imprinted on the box of baking soda. So, of course I had to look up the history of Arm & Hammer.

The box merchandised here does not have the same imprints, so your photo struck my curiosity.

Great Hub Janis...voted Up and Useful!!!


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

Here in Canada we get Cow Brand--sometimes with a cow on the label and sometimes with the Arm & Hammer. I never thought much about the history of the brand name--interesting comment!!


precy anza profile image

precy anza 4 years ago from San Diego

Just like the tips I need for that sink that's giving me problem. Now I have something to look at on the plumbing section of Walmart the next time I'm going there. And yeah, that cat is so cute! ^-^'


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

It's a really good tool. Good luck getting your block open.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I'll have to look for a zip-it tool. We have a few different snakes around the house that we sometimes have to use but I hate using them. I would gladly use the zip it tool.

Every drain in my house has one of those screens. They're great for catching stuff that shouldn't go down the drain.

Vinegar and baking soda work great on so many things.


GoldenThreadPress 4 years ago

I am amazed that "my" famous tool for cleaning drains has been discovered! I actually had a horrific tub clog and used the baking soda and vinegar method, with no plumber's helper. Ended up that there was a low rumble, a couple of gulps and whola! the clog was blasted through without any hazardous chemicals. The trick I found was adding quite a bit of baking soda and then pouring in fresh white vinegar straight into the drain. I guess if your clog is really, really bad, add plumber's helper.--Deb


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

I have one of these! It really is a great little took for use in the tub, where hair clogs seem to be the worst. I haven't used Drano for years now - quicker and easier to just pull the hair out and it won't damage the pipes.


summerberrie 4 years ago

Okay, I need one of these! Thanks for sharing detailed information. Wilderness, it is nice to know it cuts back on Drano usage. I'm always buying it. Thanks for sharing on Facebook, Wilderness. Found this great hub waiting for me on my Facebook page.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Good on You! Let's think of those poor fish. Where I live on the Mediterranean there are soapy suds floating atop the waters along the coast now! Thank you. Good useful hub! Voting straight away!


everythingdazzles profile image

everythingdazzles 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

haha! I love the cat photo.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

Thanks for these great tips for unclogging a drain and prevention methods for clogs. These are easy enough that even I can remember to do them.

Voted up and Shared.


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

OMG i have used this tool and it is the most awsome tool around for the bathroom sink and the shower. Hubby is a machinest and he made me a version of one that works better but this tool does the job hands down . Voted up!!!

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