Not many people know how damaging drain-cleaning products can be over time. The chemicals in those products are designed to destroy and completely eliminate the blockage in your pipe, but, the more you use those chemicals, the more they can erode the metal of your pipes and cause serious water damage in your home.
Alternative Methods to Unclog Drains
You do not always have to resort to the drain cleaner you can pick up in the grocery store to clear a clogged pipe or drain. I have some alternative methods that should clear up the problem and make it so you can use your sink or bathtub regularly again.
The Wire Hanger Method
Oftentimes, particularly if there are a lot of people in your household who have long hair, the drains in the home can be clogged. Usually, the hair gets caught somewhere just below the surface of the drain and continues to accumulate over months of usage.
If you take a wire hanger and unwrap it so that it is mostly straight with a tip that acts as a hook, you can usually stick it down into the drain (once you have, of course, made the draining pipe accessible by removing anything designed to block it) and pull up several hairballs.
This can be a messy process, so I suggest that you get a garbage bag or a grocery bag to put the clogging substance into. That way it can be easily disposed of when you have cleared the drain.
The Baking Soda Method
If the wire hanger method did not work, or if you are not excited to see the nasty stuff that is in your clogged pipe, I suggest you move forward with the baking soda method.
You are going to need a half cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar, a rag or hand towel, and some hot water. First, pour the baking soda down the drain. Next, have the hand towel in one hand while you pour the vinegar in. Clog the drain with the hand towel and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes is up, remove the hand towel and pour the hot water down the drain. It should be unclogged, but, if it is not, you can repeat this process once more.
Resorting to the Plunger
As another alternative method, you can use the plunger, which is traditionally used for toilets. It works in a variety of situations, so you can definitely put it to work to clear your drain if the previous methods do not sound attractive to you.
If you are trying to unclog your sink, I suggest buying a smaller plunger that will fit better before you try this.
All right. Roll up your sleeves and make sure that there is some standing water in the bathtub or sink to help with suction. Now, quickly push the plunger down against the drain and pull up repeatedly until the drain is clear. If needed, add more water to the basin as it disappears down the drain.
If All Else Fails!
If you have tried everything and nothing works, I would suggest either taking apart the pipes below your sink yourself or calling a plumber to take care of it for you.
If you do decide to tackle unscrewing the pipes yourself, make sure you turn off the water and have some sort of bucket near you that you can use to catch the debris that comes out. You do not want that all over your bathroom.