The Pros and Cons of Using Natural Drain Cleaners

Household cleaners are often a homeowner’s best weapon when fighting against the natural wear, tear, and build-up that happens. These fast-acting commercial products are useful in a pinch, especially when dealing with clogged drains. However, unless every ingredient being poured into your pipes is clearly stated on the label, you could be setting yourself up for bigger problems later on.

Although commercial drain cleaners have their time and place, there are also benefits to natural—sometimes homemade—solutions. Using natural alternatives is better for the environment and, in many cases, provides equally effective results as their commercial counterparts.

Natural drain cleaners are typically recommended for anyone looking to remove stubborn blockages or clogs without dealing with the effects of chemical products and odours.

The next time you have plumbing issues, consider the following pros and cons of using natural drain cleaners.

What are natural drain cleaners?

Every clogged drain is unique. With a wide variety of possible causes, it’s difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Things like hair, food, grease, or soap inside your pipes could result in a blockage. For each of these different problems, there are specific products that you will want to try first.

Natural drain cleaners can be store-bought if you pay close attention to the contents of each bottle. However, many staple household ingredients can also easily be transformed into an effective, DIY solution for unclogging a stubborn drain. The majority of standard drain issues can be resolved with a little patience and the proper mixture.

Some examples of natural drain cleaners include:

Baking soda and boiling water: This is a great option for dissolving residue build-up within your drains. The reactive components of baking soda are known for removing stubborn clogs.

How it works:

Add half a cup of baking soda to the drain. Let it stand for about five minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain. Then, repeat the process as needed.

Baking soda, salt, and vinegar: Similar to the above solution, the salt helps add extra grit to remove tough blockages, while vinegar activates a natural chemical reaction with the baking soda, removing any residue build-up.


How it works:

Mix half a cup of salt with half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. While that mixture sits, boil one cup of vinegar before adding it to the drain. Be prepared to cover the drain as the chemical reaction begins. Continue the steps as many times as necessary.

Baking soda and lemon juice: Drains sometimes give off an unpleasant odour due to the different things that get poured into them. Baking soda and lemon combined will help neutralize the various smells escaping from inside your pipes.

How it works:

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, immediately followed by half a cup of lemon juice. The combination of these two ingredients will cause a reaction, sometimes resulting in foam bubbling out the top. Before starting, you should have a rag ready to plug the drain in case this happens. Finish the process by pouring some boiling water down the drain to rinse away any remaining residue.

What are the pros of using natural drain cleaners?

Some homeowners may be skeptical about using natural drain cleaners. With so many available options, it can be difficult to know which solution—commercial or natural—best suits your specific drainage needs. Before attempting any DIY plumbing, take time to assess your situation and understand what the appropriate solution may be.

There are many benefits to using natural drain cleaners that often get overlooked. Instead of running to the store right away, consider checking your cupboards first, as you may already have everything you need.

Natural drain cleaners are:

Safe for everyone

Exposure to certain chemicals can be dangerous for both people and pets, especially children. Opting for natural alternatives when possible minimizes the risk for everyone who lives in your household. They are also good for anyone who has allergies or skin sensitivities.

Environmentally conscious

It’s no secret that many chemicals found in commercial drain products have a negative impact on the environment. Certain chemicals do not break down as quickly as natural products, meaning they remain both on surfaces and in water treatment facilities for longer. This results in potential toxins entering local ecosystems, further extending the effects.

Less corrosive

Owning a home is a big investment, and you want to protect it. Most natural drain cleaners are effective at removing stubborn clogs and blockages without damaging the pipes or appliance surfaces. Depending on the materials of your plumbing system’s pipes (such as copper or aluminum piping), they may be more likely to corrode after exposure to harsh chemical cleaners.

If you are unsure how to apply a natural drain cleaner or feel like the issue requires a more extensive approach, contact a plumber in Etobicoke.

Are natural drain cleaners effective?

The effectiveness of natural drain cleaners depends on multiple factors. While they are beneficial for the removal of day-to-day clogs, certain natural products may not have the necessary strength to deal with more severe problems such as trapped foreign objects, significant blockages, or damaged pipes. In these instances, it may be necessary to apply a commercial chemical drain cleaner or refer to a professional for further assistance.

When approaching any plumbing issue, it is better to be overly cautious than risk causing further damage to your drains, pipes, or home as a whole. Always take time to assess the situation fully before choosing to resolve it yourself. If you attempt a natural drain cleaner and it is ineffective after a few applications, consider one of the other available options.

What are the cons of using natural drain cleaners?

  1. They can be ineffective in the removal of more severe drainage problems.
  2. You may not always have the necessary ingredients on hand.
  3. They will not work in situations where there is a mineral deposit build-up within your pipes.
  4. Sometimes, they require multiple applications before resolving a clog or blockage.
  5. They are not appropriate to use during a plumbing emergency.

Why choose a natural drain cleaner?

Maintaining the daily upkeep of your plumbing can save both time and money, while also keeping your home looking and smelling fresh. Most recommended products are already accessible within your home, making them a quick and easy solution for tackling clogged drains. Thus, don’t underestimate the power of natural drain-cleaning alternatives.