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DIY Tips to Unclog Drains Without Chemicals

Louw Bros professional plumber unclog the drains.

Clogged drains are just about the most common problem found within many households. These problems can prove to be very frustrating and cumbersome at times. 

Basically, most people feel like using the chemical cleaners for drainage, not knowing how it is badly affecting their plumbing and the environment. Fortunately these days, there are quite effective do-it-yourself methods to unclog drains without the use of chemicals. 

In this blog, we will discuss a few natural techniques that can help in keeping your drains freely flowing. Of course, if you want serious assistance, then experts at Louw Bros are just a phone call away.

Why Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners?

Chemical cleaners seem like an easy and precise solution; unfortunately, they have some rather serious drawbacks:

  • Health Hazards: The fumes of the chemical cleaners are not safe to inhale, and the liquids can scald your skin on contact.
  • Environment: Such chemicals can be lethal to aquatic life if it gets into the water system.

It’s also harsh on your pipes—those harsh chemicals are going to create some long-term corrosion that will eventually bring on further plumbing issues in the future.

DIY Ways of Clearing Your Clogged Drains

1. Boiling Water

Probably the easiest way to clear a drain is by using boiling water. This works best with blockage by grease.

  • Instructions: Boil a kettle of water and pour it down the drain slowly in two to three stages; between the stages, give an interval of a few seconds.
  • Efficiency: Cuts through grease and other gunk that builds up in your drains.

2. Baking Soda

Another of these older methods for cleaning and clearing drains is the use of baking soda and vinegar.


  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar

Instructions: Fill the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s suction cup. Set the plunger over the drain, forcefully push down, then suddenly pull up. Repeat this process half a dozen times to loosen up the blockage.

How It Works: The baking soda-vinegar reaction is chemical and catabolic, dismantling organics as well as clearing the clog.

3. Plunger

The plunger is useful in removing blockages to sinks, showers, and toilets.

  • Instructions Step: Fill up your sink or tub—in short, fill it enough to cover your plunger’s suction cup. Place the plunger over the drain, then, with force, push down hard and suddenly pop it upwards. Repeat this about half a dozen times to really loosen the blockage.
  • Effectiveness: A plunger sucks down on the blockage, breaking it up and effectively clearing the obstruction.

4. Plumbing Snake (Drain Auger)

For tougher blockages, the plumbing snake, or drain auger, does the trick.

  • Instructions: Insert the plumbing snake into the drain and turn the handle to go through the blockage. Feel for resistance, then rotate the snake to break up the clog, and finally pull out.
  • Effectiveness: As the snake can reach deeper into the drain, hence it is effective on more persistent clogs.

5. Wire Hanger

If you don’t have a plumbing snake, you can easily use a straightened wire hanger as an ersatz substitute.

  • Directions: Straighten the hanger a bit, then leave a small hook on the end. Feed the hooked end into the drain to retrieve the offending hair or other material.
  • Effectiveness: This catches hair/debris close to the surface which is causing the obstruction.

Prevention Tips to Keep Drains Clear

Undoubtedly, preventing blocks is way more convenient than repairing them. Following are a few helpful tips that will keep your drains clear:

  • Install screens over drains: This will prompt the catch in hair, food particles, and other stuff.
  • Do not pour grease down the drain: Instead, collect grease in a container and dump it in the trash.
  • Regular Maintenance: Every once in a while, after filling your drains with boiling water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, flush to prevent any buildup.

When to Call the Professionals

Although in most cases, these DIY methods are very effective, at times minor clogs might need professional attention. Suppose you have done all of the above, yet still there you are – faced with that stubborn clog. 

Now it’s time to call experts. Louw Bros. is here to help with professional, reliable services. Their experienced team can diagnose any problem and resolve even the most challenging clog issues quickly and get your plumbing system up and running.

Final Thoughts

Nothing wastes valuable time like letting clogged drains get in the way of your schedule. With these do-it-yourself cleaning methods, you will never again have to waste your time on a clogged drain. 

If the DIY plumbing work is too much for you or you are busy, Call Louw Bros. today for help with all your plumbing issues. Rest assured that with their expertise and plumbing knowledge, the drains shall flow free for effective and continuous use.

Louw Bros Plumbing: Your Trusted Partner for Comprehensive Plumbing Solutions

With branches in Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, and Knysna, Louw Bros Plumbing offers a wide range of expert services, from leak detection and geyser installation to drainage maintenance and emergency repairs, ensuring the highest quality and customer satisfaction across South Africa.