Meta-description: When unclogging kitchen sinks, using chemical drain cleaners can do more harm than good to your pipes. Try these five safe and chemical-free methods when dealing with clogged drains in Toronto.

Among the most common problems a household can experience is clogged drains. Toronto homes get their kitchen sinks clogged when excessive gunk, hair, and soap residue have built up in the drain pipe.

To get rid of the clog, homeowners use strong chemicals because they’re inexpensive and you can purchase them in a heartbeat at the nearest home improvement store. However, while they can be effective in clearing a clog, chemical drain cleaners can potentially damage your pipes. Drain cleaners contain caustic chemicals to create a chemical reaction in the pipes and break down clogs. The chemical reaction produces heat in PVC or metal pipes, and with constant exposure to this heat, the pipes eventually get weaker until they become damaged. You can also get burnt by these chemicals.

Fortunately, there are other methods that are much easier, safer, and don’t require the use of unpleasant chemicals to get your sink to breathe freely again. You may even be surprised that some of these remedies are just lying around your home!

Discover these methods below.

1. Coat hanger

If you want to unclog your kitchen sink fast, the way to do it is with a coat hanger. Using a pair of pliers, bend the coat hanger straight. Create a tiny hook at the end which you will poke into the opening of the drain. Stick it into the opening as far as you can and move it up and down with force. Pull it out to remove the object that’s causing the clog. Put away the coat hanger or keep it under your sink for future use.

2. Hot water and dish soap

Using dish soap and hot water is another effective way to unclog a kitchen sink, especially if grease is causing the clog. Pour a generous amount of dish soap into the clogged drain. Afterwards, pour a kettle or pan full of boiling water down the drain. Prevent clogs from happening often by performing this method at least once every week.

You can also use salt with hot water to clean a clogged drain from the inside. Salt works well in deodorizing and removing bacteria from the pipes. However, you need to do this many times, especially in cases of serious clogging. Prepare half a cup of salt and pour it down the drain hole, then pour boiling water over the salt (be extra careful to prevent the hot water from splashing back to your body). Turn on the tap to rinse the drain with more water.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

These two aren’t only fantastic food ingredients but they are great in clog removal too. A simple and fast solution for breaking clogs, baking soda and vinegar produce the same effect they would in those volcano experiments you might have done in grade school science, only that in the case of a stubborn clog you want to keep all the foam in instead of letting it out.

Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of baking soda. Adding them together will create a fizzing reaction, so you have to pour the mixture in the drain hole immediately. The bubbles will help get rid of the grime in the pipe drain. Once you’ve poured the mixture into the drain, leave it for a few hours. Then flush it out by pouring boiling hot water. You can also pour baking soda down the drain and follow it up with boiling water to let the bubbling reaction to happen in the drain.

4. Clean the P-trap

If chemical reactions won’t cut it, try physical removal. The P-trap is a curved pipe found under your sink. Because of its form, it usually becomes area where small debris and grease converge, resulting in clogging.

Before anything else, remove water from your sink to prevent it from coming down. Place a bucket under the trap and prepare some towels in case of leaks. Remove the trap by loosening the nuts. The trap will most likely be full of grease, food pieces, and other debris, so clean all these clog-causing substances using a bottle brush. Then wash it with hot water to dissolve traces of grease. Once finished, replace the P-trap.

5. Use a drain snake

If cleaning the P-trap still hasn’t solved the clog, use a drain snake. If you haven’t already returned the P-trap, leave it as it is. Unscrew the trap arm for this method.

Take out the drain snake and in rotating movements, insert it into the pipe that’s connected to the wall. If you hit an obstacle, move on anyway as this might be the corner of the pipe. If the snake hit into something and won’t go any further, try to push harder against it as this must be the clog. Continue rotating the snake to break the clog. Pull the snake out and clean it. Repeat the method as needed. After successfully dealing with the clog, replace the P-trap and pour boiling hot water down the drain to clean the pipes.

If none of these approaches have worked, you may need to call a professional plumber for more advanced tools and solutions. Trying to resolve plumbing issues on your own might lead to accidents and costly repairs. Expert plumbers are trained to deal with any plumbing emergencies to minimize inconvenience on your part.