About Me

Great Home and Garden Improvement Tips

Hi! My name is Gary and this is my home and garden improvement blog. My passion for working on my home and garden began when I bought my first house. It was a run down little place in the suburbs of Sydney. Even though the place was in a bit of a state, it was in a fantastic location. I spent many hours reading up on DIY and gardening tips before setting about improving the place. It was a lot of hard work but it was also a lot of fun. I learnt a lot during that time so I decided to start this blog.



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Great Home and Garden Improvement Tips

How To Unblock Drains Without Harsh Chemicals

by admin

Slow-moving or completely blocked drains are no fun. However, you don't have to tackle clogs—and the unbearable stench that accompanies them—with chemical drain cleaners. Chemical cleaners tend to be effective, but most contain sodium hydroxide. This chemical is known to irritate the respiratory system and burns skin on contact, so why not give this gentler method a go?

Natural Drain Cleaner

When vinegar is combined with bicarbonate of soda a reaction occurs that creates sodium acetate and carbon dioxide. This results in mildly abrasive foam forming that works by loosening and dissolving the blockage as it fizzes and expands in the drain.  


  • 500g bicarbonate of soda
  • 250ml distilled white vinegar
  • 2 litres boiling water


1. Remove any excess water and gunk from around the drain and pour half of the bicarbonate of soda into the drain.

2. Pour 500ml of the boiling water into the drain and wait for 5 minutes. The water and abrasive bicarbonate of soda should begin to loosen the blockage.

3. Pour the remaining bicarbonate of soda into the drain, immediately add the vinegar and cover the drain. You will hear fizzing as the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda react, but keep the drain covered as you want the foam to push down on the blockage rather than escape out of the drain.

4. When the fizzing has stopped, pour the rest of the water into the drain to get the gunk moving.

Using A Flexible Drain Rod Plunger

If the drain is still blocked, you can use a drain rod plunger to finish the job. Flexible drain rods are inexpensive and enable you to reach the site of the blockage. The pressure created by the plunger should loosen and break up any stubborn clogs.

Simply attach a drain rod plunger onto the end of the rod and insert the plunger into the drain. When you reach the blockage, the water pressure that has built up by the plunger moving through the drain will force the blockage to clear. Once you've cleared the obstruction, pour another litre of boiling water into the drain to clear it.

Drain rod plungers are available in different sizes, so measure the width of your pipes before purchasing one.

Don't use the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda with any chemical cleaners as they may react and produces toxic fumes or corrode your pipes. If you're unable to clear the drain yourself and decide to call in the professionals, such as Richmond Plumbing & Roofing, ask them to use drain rods first and only turn to chemical cleaners as a last resort.