We’ve been there. You turn on your sink or shower, and instead of watching the water flow down the drain, it begins to pool up. Cleaning up the drain might seem like something you can do yourself instead of calling a plumber. But is this such a good idea? Some tasks, like drain cleaning, are better left to the professionals. Here are a few reasons why DIY drain cleaning is actually a bad idea you should avoid.

Store-bought cleaners? Bad news

So, your drain’s clogged. Your first thought might be to run to the store and grab a trusty drain cleaner. While this might seem like an effective way to clear a clog, they are not as great as advertised on TV.

Typically, store-bought cleaners are extremely acidic and corrosive. The liquid will not only eat away at whatever’s clogging your drain, but also the inside lining of your pipes. Drain cleaner will coat the inside of your pipes, and if it isn’t completely washed away, this will start to degrade and corrode them.

If drain cleaner can cause damage to tough, metal pipes, imagine what happens if it comes into contact with your skin. The substances found in drainer cleaner are extremely dangerous to come into contact with, and if it accidentally gets on your skin, it can severely burn it. Not to mention the fumes left behind after using it are dangerous to inhale.

At-home DIY drain cleaning

What about at-home methods for a clear drain? There are some methods you can go ahead and try:

  • Hot water: Pour a pot of very hot (not quite boiling) water down your clogged drain. Follow up with some lukewarm water to flush the clogs out.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: The old science fair trick – pour half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar. Plug the sink up and let sit overnight. Flush the drain with hot water the next morning.

These are definitely safer than store-bought cleaners, but they won’t be effective as a professional plumber for a drain cleaning. These DIY drain cleaning methods may work for a short time, but you will probably run into a clog again sooner. A professional plumber will have the right tools and techniques to fix the drain and prevent clogs in the future.

What you can do

Leaving the drain cleaning to the professionals is the best thing, but the next best thing is taking preventative measures to keep your drains cleaner for longer. Here are a few simple tips to follow:

  • Don’t pour grease or oil down your drain (store it in a jar, let it harden, and throw it out).
  • Scrape leftover food debris in the garbage before rinsing dishes.
  • Avoid putting coffee grounds down the drain.
  • Put a sink strainer over your drain to catch debris and hair.

Let the experts take care of it

If your drain is clogged, ditch the DIY drain cleaning and call in a local plumber. City Plumbing Services is here to help with your plumbing in Arizona. We’re located in Cave Creek, but also provide service to those in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Surprise, and most of the East Valley of Arizona.


Drain clogged? We’re here to help. Call today!