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3 Eco-Friendly Ways To Clean Your Pipes

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When I became more conscious of what I would eat and making a concerted effort to stop ingesting chemicals, I also became more aware of how many chemicals are in common household products. These chemicals are not good for us humans and they aren’t great for the environment either, so I started looking at natural, eco-friendly ways to do everything from household cleaning to unclogging pipes. In addition to being better for everyone, these methods are also a lot cheaper.

1. Buy white vinegar

Vinegar is an amazing tool that has many great uses around the house. I make natural house cleaner from vinegar and citrus. However, it’s great for the pipes too. Pouring vinegar and baking soda down the kitchen drain can unclog a lot of drains. It reacts very quickly, so it’s probably best to pour the baking soda down the drain first and then add the vinegar. It’s also not a bad idea to go ahead and test it out in dish just to gauge how much of each substance is needed. A general rule is half a cup of baking soda and then half a cup of vinegar, followed by three cups of boiling water added in small intervals. Also, don’t worry about the smell of vinegar – the smell will dissipate when the vinegar dries.

2. Plunge it

This may sound old-fashioned and sort of gross, but the plunger is a great multi-purpose tool for all around the house. Many people only think of plungers for toilet repair, but plungers can be used on all kinds of drains. Sinks and bathtubs can get clogged as well, and loosening the clogs with a plunger is a very effective way to handle them. This method can also help when the baking soda and vinegar has loosened the clog but can’t full dislodge it, sucking it out with the plunger can definitely clean the clog out. I’d recommend buying two plungers – one for the toilet and one for everything else.

3. Snake it

A lot of plumbers will do what’s called “snaking a drain”, which essentially means they have an instrument that they push down the drain to force the clog out. The good news is that instruments like these are sold at local hardware stores, usually for less than $3. It’s essentially a barbed, thin piece of plastic that will grab onto the hair and other gunk that clogs drains and pull it out. Be warned – it can be a pretty gnarly, nasty process and isn’t for the faint of stomach. Hair causes the majority of drain clogs, so be prepared to be pulling someone’s lovely locks out of the pipes. Follow this up with the vinegar and baking soda method for sparkling clean pipes. Be careful using this method with garbage disposals – the blades on the machine can damage the instrument, and the instrument can damage the blades.

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