View Full Version : Keep kitchen sink drain clear, safely~

June 7th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Okay, we lived in this house five years and knew it was draining slowly in the kitchen, but having no dishwasher made us not want to put harsh chemicals in the sink where our dishes lie in dishwater, of course, so......we finally had a plumber out last weekend and he cleared it.

He suggested we use Draino once a month and that it'll never get even severely slow again. Hmmm. YECH!~

Any suggestions on what REALLY works to get the grease out monthly, or every six weeks, etc??

I found one product online that uses enzymes, probably digestive enzymes and "friendly" bacteria like garden bacteria, but it is like a two day treatment. Nope, won't work...this is our only kitchen sink, can't "not use" the sink for that long.

Any suggestions that really work? a safer product I can buy online, on island or anything natural that works better than vinegar and baking soda?

Thanks in advance for any replies. :confused:

June 7th, 2007, 11:53 AM
Things found online, might mot be useful. But I am bored today (:

Are there any environmentally safe alternatives to common household chemicals such as Drano?

—Mosun Mah, Los Angeles, CA

While many common household chemicals may be convenient, some are fairly toxic. Ken Giles of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that some of the most toxic chemicals in everyday cleaners include bleach, ammonia and chlorine. These chemicals can result in side effects including fatigue, headaches, nausea and irritation to eyes, nose and throat. If ingested, they can cause liver and kidney damage.

Many companies, such as Seventh Generation, Country Save and Heather’s Natural and Organic Cleaning Products, now sell household cleaners made of natural, non-toxic ingredients.

An even cheaper alternative is to create your own cleaning supplies using such common ingredients as baking soda, lemon and vinegar. Baking soda, for example, is a naturally occurring substance that absorbs odors and acts as a non-abrasive cleaner on counter tops, bathtubs and ovens. Seventh Generation recommends clearing clogged drains with a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and boiling water. Do be careful, however, as mixing chemicals can be dangerous. “When you start mixing things up at home you end up with a product with no label,” cautions Giles. “And it may not be child resistant.”


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Tel: (301) 504-6816

Re: Natural Drano?Sat, July 8, 2006 - 11:02 AM
A couple less-caustic options I found:

Baking Soda Drain Cleaner
If water hasn't yet backed up in your drain, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 3 cups of boiling water. The boiling water will change the chemical composition of baking soda, making it more alkaline. Repeat a few times until the drain is clear.

Washing Soda Drain Cleaner
If the water isn't going down the drain, pour a cup of washing soda over the drain area and let it set for a while to work its way down to the clog. Once the clog is loosened, use the baking soda method, above. Washing soda is more alkaline than baking soda, with a pH of 11. You never want to use washing soda if a commercial acid drain cleaner has recently been used in the drain, as they will strongly react with each other. You also shouldn't overuse washing soda if you have PVC pipes, as the caustic nature of washing soda can slowly damage the plastic.

The Bubbling Method Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
Baking soda and vinegar react with each other to cause bubbles and fizzing. Sometimes the fizzing can unlodge clogs. Follow the baking soda and boiling water formula, above, with 1 cup of vinegar.

Enzyme Drain and Garbage Disposal Maintenance
All natural living enzyme culture drain cleaners will actually eat and break down any organic matter. Using enzyme drain cleaners once a month, such as Bi-O-Kleen's Bacout, will help not just your drains, but your septic system. They will also significantly reduce odor from garbage disposals. Colonies of enzymes will actually continue to grow and break down organic matter in your drains .

Washing Soda Maintenance
Enzymes don't work as well on hair clogs, so to keep drains clear that tend to collect hair, such as in the shower and bath, a few times a month pour 1 cup of washing soda followed by a thorough flushing of water.

So why doesn't the baking soda and boiling water work? I can't use chemicals in our home, because of health concerns. And I pour about a half box of baking soda in the sink drain, little by little. The I have aboiling pot of water and I mean BOILING! and I slowly let it go down until about half way then dump it in.

I have never used Drain-O, and never had a stopped up sink or slow moving sink.

Leo Lakio
June 7th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Depending on the age and makeup of the plumbing system, use of Drano, Liquid Plumr, or any of the corrosive chemical-based clog removers can do great damage to your pipes. Every decent plumber I know (I used to manage apartment complexes) recommends AGAINST using them, as they usually do far more harm than good.

We do the baking soda/vinegar/boiling water treatment monthly on all drains, and they work wonders on a system that is about 35 years old.

Karen, if you have a garbage disposal as part of the kitchen sink, be very careful what goes down it. Basically, anything that isn't primarily liquid should not go in one, especially things like potato skins and banana peels. Also, NEVER pour oils or greases down the kitchen sink - that's an invitation to major trouble and clogging.

June 7th, 2007, 03:13 PM
If it's possible, you could try changing the plumbing a bit, in order to make a grease-trap, and bail out the gunk every few weeks or so. Cheap ladels from the dollar type store are useful for this.

June 7th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Or maybe try a compost pile, instead of dumping things down the drain? Or wrap them in paper and toss them, instead?

Or feed them to the chickens? Pig?

June 7th, 2007, 04:18 PM
We've tried it, several times in fact, never worked. So much for enviro-friendly products.

June 7th, 2007, 08:54 PM
I throw my coffee grounds into the non-disposal side of the sink followed by running water every other day. Something my dad taught us to do since I was a kid... supposedly keeps the pipes clean.

June 8th, 2007, 07:05 AM
One thing you should NEVER put down the drain is RICE. Ohmygawd it swells up soo much!
I had never heard that coffee grounds help the pipes; there is, to an extent, a bit of an oiliness to coffee grounds.