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Think quick… what poisons are lurking under your bathroom sink?

If you’re like many homeowners, you may have a bottle of Drano, Liquid Plumbr or other chemical drainer cleaner stashed under there. However, these products should be examined a bit more carefully before just dumping them down our plumbing. Although most of these products claim to safe for pipes, they’re both made of extremely harmful chemicals that can cause damage to metal, plastic or even our own bodies if properly used.

In fact, the Illinois Poison Control has outlined chemical drain cleaners as The Most Dangerous Poison Around The House and made the list of the Top 5 Most Toxic Substances in your Home. The active ingredients in drain cleaners (sulfuric acid and lye) are caustic and can cause skin burns, blindness if they come into contact with eyes, or death if swallowed.

Beyond the personal safety risk, chemical drain cleaners can ruin your plumbing. When chemical plumbing agents are unsuccessful at removing a clog from a pipe, they tend to build up and sit for extended periods of time, corroding the pipe. Repeated use can lead to these chemicals eating their way through the pipe.

Rather than resort to toxic measures for drain clogs, we recommend families opt for these safer, manual alternatives:

  • Baking soda and vinegar – Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a cup. Pour down drain and let it sit for 1 hour to rid drain of gunk, hair and grime. Flush with hot water.
  • Boiling water – Boil a pot of hot water. Pour it slowly down the drain in 2 – 3 stages.
  • Use a sink plunger / mini plunger
  • Use a drain snake / auger
  • Our #1 tip? Prevention. Clean the pop-up stoppers in sinks frequently. Hair often collects here and causes clogs.

With a little work, you can ensure you’ll never have to use chemical agents that are harmful for your plumbing and your family.

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