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How To Clean Your Drains On A Budget?

How To Clean Your Drains On A Budget?

Let's face it; cleaning the drains is an unpleasant task, and we'd all happily avoid it if we had an option!

Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and if you think ignorance is bliss, we've got some news for you. Not cleaning the drains can result in the build-up of debris (grease, gunk, hair, etc.), and before you know it, you'll be swaddling through puddles and wafting out a foul odour.

And then, one fine day, you are likely to have a burst pipe and a blocked drain!

Regular cleaning is the easiest way to avoid this nightmare altogether and keep expensive plumbing services at bay. But, if you do end up with a blocked drain, we have some quick hacks that'll help clean it.

So, without further ado, let's look at a few ways you can clean your drains on a budget!

Graphic Of A Drain Being Cleaned

Tips To Clean Your Drains On A Budget

In this guide, we have listed some cleaning hacks that'll keep your drains in proper condition and avoid clogging. You'd be pleasantly surprised to know how effective some regular products lying in your pantry are for drain cleaning. So, let's check them out.

1. Vinegar, Boiling Water, And Baking Soda

White vinegar and baking soda are two common kitchen ingredients that can help clean your drains and eliminate any musty odours. Bring out the largest cup in your house and fill it with ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda. If you want to concoct a smaller quantity of the mixture first, use ⅓ cups of both the ingredients.

The mixture will start fizzing immediately; so, you can pour it down the drain before covering it to avoid foaming. Let the solution sit for 15 to 20 minutes (the longer, the better) before pouring one cup of boiling water on it.

Baking soda and vinegar combine to form a solution of concentrated carbonic acid that is fantastic for breaking down gunk and other residues that accumulate in your drains over time. In addition, vinegar is acidic and can kill bacteria too!

It starts working on the drains immediately and is even more effective if left overnight.

2. Caustic Soda

Known in laboratories as Sodium Hydroxide, caustic soda is a budget-friendly alternative to expensive drain cleaning chemicals. Although it is readily available at most hardware stores, it is highly corrosive, so bring out a pair of gloves and wear eye protection while working with this compound.

To make this solution, combine 750ml of the compound with 3 litres of cool water in a bucket and mix thoroughly with the help of a stirring spoon.

You'll notice the water fizzes and heats because of the chemical reaction, and this is when you pour the mixture into the clogged drain. Leave it for 30-40 minutes before flushing it down with simmering water.

Sodium Hydroxide is powerful enough to break up gunk, forcing it to slide down the drainpipe with ease. Besides, it can convert hard debris like food particles, dirt, etc., into liquids that can easily slide down the drain.

3. Clean The P-Trap

If simple concoctions don't work, then the problem at hand might be more severe. However, there's nothing to worry about. Cleaning the P-trap (the curved shape pipe under the sink) often solves most drainage issues.

Before you take off the P-trap, place a bucket underneath the tap to collect water. Since the P-trap is attached to two pipes on either side, you'll need a wrench to loosen the screws on either side of the pipe.

Once the trap is removed, use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to clean the gunk, food build-up, and other materials that have accumulated inside it over time. Next, rinse the trap with hot water to remove any residual grease before putting it back in place.

4. Use A Drain Snake

If you have gone through the trouble of taking out the P-trap, you might as well use a drain snake to go further inside the pipe and look for blockages. Drain snakes are pretty popular among local plumbers since they help unclog the drain and remove hair and debris easily.

Plumber Using A Drain Snake On Bath

Therefore, we'd advise you to invest in a drain snake, as you can quickly unclog the drain with it without calling for a plumber every time there's a blockage.

Insert the drain snake inside the pipe opening and keep rotating it. The barbs along the tool will trap and break down all the gunk that has been clogging your drain, and it will come out once you pull the snake back.

5. Use Wire Hangers

If you don't have a drain snake lying around, you don't have to rush to the local market to buy one. Instead, simply grab any wire hanger and straighten it out.

After that, bend one end in a hook-like position and push it inside the drain. The hook will trap hair, debris, and other solid waste. Remember to pull out the wire and clean it before going any further.

6. Bring Out The Wet And Dry Vacuum

Now, we're sure you know that a wet and dry shop vac is a versatile device, and if you don't have it lying around, maybe it's time to invest in one. Trust us; you won't regret it! If all other tried-and-tested methods have failed, using a vac is an excellent way to unclog your drain.

Since cleaning your drains with a vacuum is a complicated process, we've broken it down in a step-by-step format for your convenience.

Step 1

The first step will be to remove the filter from the drain and cover it with a rag to prevent spills.

Step 2

Then, turn on the tap and allow the rag to be completely soaked. Next, insert the hose of your vac inside the drain hole and wrap this rag tightly around the nozzle to form a seal.

Step 3

Switch on the vacuum and allow it to clean the drain. Usually, if there is a clog, your vac will make a distinct, gurgling sound. Keep vacuuming until this sound disappears, and then turn it off. That said, if it is taking a lot of time, turn off the vacuum in between to avoid damage to the pipes.

Step 4

After the sound disappears and all you can hear is the device sucking air, turn it off and carefully pull the hose out. As the last step, flush some boiling water down the drain and watch it glide through smoothly!

Final Words

With that, we come to the end of this guide.

Although drain cleaning is a tedious task, it is easier to carry it out from time to time rather than letting the debris build-up. Besides, all the tips we have listed in this guide are affordable, simple, and highly effective.

So, it is time to bid farewell to your chemical cleaners and opt for these DIY concoctions and easy-to-use devices.

That said, sometimes, the problem at hand might be much larger than what is apparent. So, if these methods do not bring any relief, contacting a plumber will be the best way to go.

That's all for today. Do let us know your favourite budget-friendly drain cleaning hack in the comments below. We'll be back soon with more such guides, but until then, happy cleaning!