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Natural Drain Pipe Cleaner from Gentle to Powerful

Updated on October 7, 2014
A Clogged Drain is an Unhappy Drain
A Clogged Drain is an Unhappy Drain | Source

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 1 - Drains and Plug Holes clogged with hair – the manual approach

The sink, tub or shower is draining slowly or not at all and a visual inspection of the drain hole shows the telltale clumps of hair draped unappealingly over the spokes of the plug hole. Well I'm afraid the best and cheapest solution to this is to bravely man-up and pull it out with your fingers! It might make you gag, but guy's, you will be forever a hero to the woman in your life. However you may lose all your brownie points in one go if you think giving the soggy hair back to her is a good joke. Don't forget that rubber gloves might be something to consider before you start!

If too wimpy to use your fingers there are gadgets and gizmo's with barbs that you can push down the drain hole and drag all the garbage out. Or if you are a cheapskate like me and was brainwashed by the TV show Blue Peter as a kid, you could try a wire coat hanger with the end bent over (also useful for retrieving car keys from drains or if too deep, breaking in to the car).

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 2 – taking the plunge.

As a kid I used to think that sink plungers were intended solely to be used one someone else's forehead or for scaling large smooth sided buildings. As an adult the truth is that they generally only get used for unclogging drains.

Simple enough, stick it over the plug hole, cover the overflow with your spare hand and vigorously plunge it up and down. Hopefully generating enough pressure inside the waste pipe to physically break up the blockage.

If a plunger doesn't fix it then perhaps a visit to Amazon is in order for drain cleaner stick. For less than $10 is a steal. Used in combination with some of the other methods here, you'll be jam free in no time.

If unsuccessful, stick the plunger to your forehead and skip to Level 8.

My plumbing is no one's business but my own.

Peter O'Toole

Best Value Baking Soda

Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda, 16-ounce (Pack of 4)
Bob's Red Mill Baking Soda, 16-ounce (Pack of 4)

About the best value Baking Soda with plenty of good reviews. Although it's baking soda what's to review??


Natural Drain Unclogger Level 3 – Baking Soda and Boiling Water

This works best if the clogged drain is fairly dry so that you can get the Baking Soda a fair way down the hole. Start with about half a cup of soda. Tip it down the hole then pour in two or three cups of boiling water.

Good entertainment value with lots of foaming and bubbling. Good with goo, not so good with hair (see Level 1).

Unclogging Drains with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 4 – Baking Soda and Vinegar

Same amount of Baking Soda as level 3 but this time add a cup or two of vinegar. This can be cider vinegar, which is a bit expensive and poncy or good old fashioned chip shop vinegar.

Downside is the vinegar pongs a bit but the upside is the mini volcano where your plug hole used to be.

Another benefit is that you are getting rid of smells that build up in your pipework from bacteria acting on all the crud that is building up down there.

If you want to make this technique doubly effective try heating the vinegar in the microwave first.

Give it a while to work, overnight preferably, then flush it down with a kettle of boiling water.

If the drain is still clogged and waste water is not flowing sweetly then repeat the process until the only alternative is divorce or Level 8.

Enzyme Drain Unclogger

ECOS Earth Enzymes Drain Maintainer - Maintains Free-Flowing Drains. Septic and Greywater Safe. 2 LBS.
ECOS Earth Enzymes Drain Maintainer - Maintains Free-Flowing Drains. Septic and Greywater Safe. 2 LBS.

Made with only 100% sustainable, plant-based ingredients. . Non-toxic formula does not contain petrochemicals, synthetic perfumes, or dyes.. Greywater and septic safe.

This is one of the best value enzyme drain unclogger products


Natural Drain Unclogger Level 5 – Enzymes

Getting away from the 'home remedy' angle a little but still with the enviromentally friendly thing. Commercial Enzyme drain uncloggers often contain sodium sesquicarbonate, bacterial mixtures, and proteolytic enzymes.

Again, enzymes not too good with hair which can hang around for thousands of years apparently (although not on my head), but friendly to septic tanks. Which is good because septic tanks don't have too many friends.

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 6 – Washing Soda

Stretching the 'natural' tag a little with washing soda. I'd put it more in the 'take your skin off' category. Pretty powerful stuff. Very alkaline and will do some serious damage if not handled carefully. Gloves are a must. A little goes a long way so a quarter of a cup is fine washed down with hot water. An overnight soak is best and rinsed out with lots of water.

Washing soda also works well on clogged dish washers which have a lot of small tubes to penetrate. I can stand not having a shower for a few days, but having no plates to eat off, well that's a different matter.

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 7 – dismantle the waste trap.

Back to manual solutions. If the blockage is in the u-bend or sink trap and is resisting all manner of coercion, then there may be no option but to get a bucket out and a supply of old towels and dismantle the trap. It's a pain I know but it usually works. Be prepared for some pretty gross trap contents however – not for the faint hearted but as with level 1, very good Brownie Points.

Are you ready to go natural?

Would you try a natural drain unclogger?

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An unclogged drain is a happy drain
An unclogged drain is a happy drain | Source

Natural Drain Unclogger Level 8 – the last resort.

If all else fails, get a man in. Am not being sexist here – am using 'man' as a cross gender term, if you follow me... man. If the blockage is somewhere you just can't get at then a qualified plumber will almost certainly have the tools and expertise to fix the damage. The downside is the damage to your wallet but at least you'll have unclogged drains and an unclogged drain is a happy drain.


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    • profile image 5 years ago

      Vinegar - we use it for all kinds of things - great information - thanks,


    • seigfried23 profile image

      seigfried23 5 years ago

      Easily the best information I've found today - thanks for taking the time.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      I don't know why plugged drains can be amusing - must be a long tailed derivative of toilet humour ;-)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Another funny plugged drain guy! They are coming out of the woodwork around here! Cheers!

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      I agree, vinegar in particular has so many uses.

    • birthordertraits profile image

      birthordertraits 6 years ago from Singapore

      I like the baking soda & vinegar tip. It's not only good for unclogging, they're also great as household cleaning agents around the house, (and for cooking of course).