Are you wary of blocked toilets, clogged drains, and stinky sink odors?  Soap scum, hair, grease, oil, and paper can clog drains if left to build up over time.

In the bathroom, water backing up into your tub, shower or toilet bowl can be unsightly and cost you time, energy, and money to clean up.

Expensive drain cleaners may provide some temporary relief. Many of these drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage pipes, give off toxic fumes and harm the environment.

In the kitchen or laundry oil, grease, and laundry residues can also create blockages if left unchecked. These materials can develop bacteria and even encourage drain flies that produce unpleasant odors.

It may surprise you to know that the solution to clogs may lie right inside your pantry. Home-made drain cleaners are safer, generally non-toxic, cheap, and easy to use. They also help maintain a green-friendly environment in and around the house.


Some safe substances include:

Baking soda

Dish soap






Cream of tartar


Some materials that help clear drains include:

Wire hangers


Drain snakes

Clog grabbers

Hair removers



Despite its strong odor, ammonia is one of the natural ways to help unclog drains.  It works quickly and efficiently to clear drains.  You can mix equal parts boiling water and ammonia and pour it into the drain.

Let the cleaner sit for about half an hour. Next, give the drain a few jabs with a plunger to help loosen clogs. Afterwards, pour some more boiling water into the drain to rinse away any remaining material.



Vinegar is among the most common household cleaners. It’s non-toxic and affordable. It’s easy to apply and helps clear drains, removes bacteria and mold. It works well to clear kitchen and bathroom sink clogs.

Vinegar helps clear soap scum build-up on contact. It also disinfects to remove odors and deodorize the environment.

You can add vinegar directly into the drain either hot or cold, or with warm water and baking soda.


Start with about a ¼ cup of baking soda. You may also add some table salt to this mixture.

Pour the dry powders inside the drain and follow up with a cup of vinegar.

Close the drain and give the solution time to work. Finish with some boiling water to clear the clog. You may need a few applications to unblock tough clogs.


A solution of borax, vinegar, and salt

Borax is an age-old cleaner, proven to work in natural ways around the house.  It’s less toxic than other drain cleaners and is very versatile.

To clear drains, mix equal parts borax and salt with at least 1 cup of white vinegar. Mix the borax and salt, then add the vinegar slowly to the mixture.  The vinegar will create a fizzy reaction if it’s applied too quickly.

As the fizzing begins, pour the solution down the drain and let it work for about thirty minutes. Follow up the treatment with some boiling water to clean up any remaining sediment.


Baking Soda

Baking soda is cheap, non-corrosive and will not harm your pipes. It’s an excellent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial cleaner which helps eliminate clogs, mold, and mildew.

Baking soda and salt can also work to clear up blockages.  Mix equal parts salt and baking soda. Pout into the drain and wait for at least 30 minutes, or let it remain overnight. Follow up the cleaner with some boiling water to clear away any debris.

The baking soda will clear your drains and leave a pleasant scent in the bathrooms, laundry, and kitchen.


Hot water

If you experience allergies and prefer not to use any cleaners, hot water can also help clear clogged drains. It’s particularly helpful to melt away grease, oil, and wax in bathroom and kitchen sinks and drains.

You can let the hot water run after a shower or shampoo to help loosen up oils and grease.  In the kitchen sink, hot water can also break up cooking fat that can collect in the pipes.

You may also add about a half cup of liquid soap to the hot water to help loosen clogs.


Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can also help clear clogged drains.  Lemon is a natural, antiseptic cleaner that can remove and deodorize offensive drain odors.  You can apply lemon juice along with baking soda to help clear blockages.

Lemons can also replace vinegar in your drain cleaner if it’s not available. Use up to ½ cup of lemon juice along with baking soda in the drain. Pour boiling water to help loosen and clear the drain.


Coat hanger cleaner

Use a bent garment hanger to help loosen and remove unsightly hair in the drain. Hair is one of the more difficult substances to remove from your drain. It will mix with other gunk and choke the fittings and pipe connections over time.

Bend the end of the hanger to form a hook or U-shape. Put the bent end of the hook into the drain. Employ a pulling action and work it until the hair loosens and lifts out of the drain.


Cream of tartar

Cream of tartar is a natural metal cleaner that can clean your pipes of any gunk.  It’s a natural substance that will not create any toxins.  Use cream of tartar with salt and baking soda to help clear your drain clogs.

Mix the dry ingredients and apply them to the drain opening. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes.  Next, pour about 2 cups of hot water to activate the solution. You may need to use more than one application to dissolve tough clogs.



While home-made cleaners will work, they may take a bit more time or more than one application to clear clogs. If you kina lazy like me than you can choose some of the best drain cleaners available on the market to make your life easy.

Set a regular schedule to help keep drains clean and free of debris. At least once per week run some hot water into all bathroom drains.

It will help dissolve grease, oil, and some gunk left after showering or shampoo treatments. Regular applications of baking soda and vinegar will also help.

Regular check- ups will reduce expensive plumbing bills and save time and energy on unpleasant drain cleaning.