Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners

Like to keep your drains squeaky-clean, but don’t like all of the harsh chemicals in commercially-available drain cleaners? We don’t blame you. The ingredients in commercial drain cleaners can be toxic, especially to people who are sensitive, like children or the elderly, or have allergies.

Some of our favorite alternatives to commercial chemical drain cleaners include:

Dish detergent & hot water

What’s one of the best grease cutters in your home? Dish detergent!

Dish detergent is made to cut through nasty, greasy, caked on messes… which is exactly what starts to build up in drains. Use a skinny, long-handled, coarse brush to work the detergent down into the drain, then rinse thoroughly with hot water.

Salt, Borax, vinegar, and/or baking soda

If you’ve ever looked up a homemade drain cleaner or clog remover, there’s no doubt you’ve encountered one of these four ingredients. Different places give various ideal measurements of each, or may not include one or the other, but at the end of the day, you can rest assured knowing that pretty much any combination of these four household staples will clean the crud out of your drains. Just don’t leave the vinegar sitting in the drain for too long, since its acidity can cause damaging corrosion if left for extended periods.

Drain snake or a coat hanger

Have a clog that just won’t budge? Sometimes a little manual pressure is in order. By using a drain snake (available at hardware and most big box stores), you can break up that clog and get things flowing again.

Don’t have time to run grab a drain snake? No worries. Just grab a wire coat hanger, untwist it so that it’s a straight line, and then use it just like a drain snake. Some people believe leaving a small hook at the end of the hanger is the best way to break up the clog.


Plungers break up clog in toilets, so why not in sinks too? If you’ve tried everything else to no avail, grab the trusty plunger for a cheap and quick fix to stubborn drain clogs. Just don’t forget to clean the plunger thoroughly (extra points for using bleach) before using it in a sink.

Quality Plumbing Service in Tampa Bay

If you’re dealing with drain grime or clogs you just can’t beat, it might be time to call in the professionals. Friend’s Plumbing in Clearwater has the experience and equipment needed to handle even the worst drain issues. Call us at (727) 934-0323 at any time for fast and reliable plumbing service all over Tampa Bay. We even offer 24/7 emergency services for any drain problems that pop up after business hours, overnight, or on the weekends!