Unblocking Your Drains Without Harsh Chemicals
The occasional blocked drain is a fact of life. Perhaps you're not a fan of the highly corrosive chemical drain cleaners that are readily available, but this doesn't mean you can't unblock your drains with ease. There are three key methods for unblocking your drains without the need for those harsh chemicals.
This is the easiest method when it comes to blocked drain cleaning, and it can be surprisingly effective. Simply boil your electric kettle and pour the scalding water down the blocked drain. The heat will often dislodge any blockage (particularly oily or greasy deposits caused by cooking or grooming products). Exercise extreme caution when using this method in order to avoid splashback from the scalding water. If this fails to remove the blockage, then you might wish to use baking soda and vinegar.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
When combined with white vinegar, baking soda creates an effervescent, frothing mess. When this chemical reaction occurs in your pipes, the frothing action can dislodge those pesky blockages. The amount that you need will vary depending on the severity of the blockage, but you should try for a half and half mixture. You should not need more than a cup in total. So put an amount of baking soda into a bowl with a spout. Place the same amount of white vinegar into the bowl and immediately pour the mixture into the drain. Place the plug into the drain to contain the frothing (and to avoid the unpleasant odour that results from this method). You should do this directly before you need to go out and run some errands, to allow the mixture some time to work its magic. If you are unsuccessful, you will want to go to your wardrobe for something more intensive.
Grab a wire coat hanger and straighten it out. Create a small hook at one end (pliers can be helpful with this) and simply push it down into the blocked drain. Gently rummage around in the drain, periodically removing it from the drain. You will be surprised at how much hair (and general gunk) you will retrieve. This is essentially like a DIY version of a plumber's snake. If you have difficulty removing the mess from the drain guard, use a pair of tweezers to extract it once it has been brought up as close as you can manage (but please sterilise the tweezers with boiling water before you use them on your body afterwards).
Naturally, if the blockage is beyond your ability to remove, then it's time to call in a plumber. Sure, you will pay for the privilege, but it won't take them long to return your pipes to perfect working order.