How To Unclog A Drain Without Harsh Chemicals

Unclogging a kitchen drainAre your drains bubbling at you or taking FOREVER to drain? This is one of the first signs of a drain clog that can ultimately lead to an unwanted, expensive plumbing emergency.

We recently covered why you should never pour fats, oils, and other grease products down the drain, and what can happen when these substances build up in your home’s plumbing system.

This week, we are going to cover how to unclog your drain and safely loosen up the build-up! Get rid of slow water drain or other issues without using harmful commercial chemicals.

Why should you avoid chemical drain de-cloggers?

A clogged sink or drain can be very stressful and usually, the first reaction of most people is to rush to the store and buy a liquid drain cleaner. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

The main issue with chemical drain de-cloggers is a lot of times they can do more damage than good. When overused, the corrosive chemicals can eat away at the pipes themselves, causing a much costlier problem down the road.

Here’s a much more eco-friendly and healthier alternative for removing tub drain clogs:

Step 1: Remove The Clog Manually

  • You can try the same plunging trick we used for the kitchen sink. Be sure to unscrew the drain cover first. For very small issues, this may clear things up.
  • Larger clogs may require snaking. Unscrew the drain cover and use your drain snake to fish out whatever caused the clog.
  • If it seems like there isn’t any real clog in the drain, the cover itself may be to blame. Soap scum can build up, slowing the draining after a bath or shower even without a physical problem in the drain itself. Unscrewing (or using a lever to pop up, in the case of shower drains that have no screws) and cleaning the drain cover with a mix of hot water and vinegar should take care of this problem.
  • After the clog is cleared, be sure to run very hot or boiling water down the drain for at least thirty seconds. This should help make sure things stay clear.

Step 2: Try The Baking Soda & Vinegar Method

If you can’t remove the clog using one of the physical methods above, use this tried-and-true natural drain cleaner method.

What you’ll need

  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2 cups of water (to boil)


  • Remove the strainer from the top of the drain. Drop the baking soda down the drain, and then slowly pour the vinegar in after it. This will create a bubbling reaction. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil the water. At the end of the 30-minute waiting period, carefully pour the boiling water down the drain.
  • Repeat the process as necessary.

Maintain Healthy Drains

Of course you won’t have to worry so much about clogs if you can keep them from happening in the first place. For healthy drains:

Need Help? We’re Here For You.

When you’ve exhausted these options and the clog still won’t budge, Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling is ready to help! We’re happy to send out our service professionals, day or night, to make sure your drains are clean, clear, and safe for your household. Give us a call at (215) 855-2014 or schedule service online at any time!

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