Can Saltwater Help Clear a Drain?

Can Saltwater Help Clear a Drain?

Slow drains in the kitchen make clean-up a hassle and you may be looking for a quick fix. Liquid drain cleaners promise to purge your pipes of gunky build-up, but their corrosive chemicals can inflict some serious damage in the process. In your search for a safe, natural drain cleaning alternative, you may have seen numerous references to salt. It’s the go-to ingredient cited by many DIY blogs as an effective yet gentle means of breaking up blockages. But does it really work? Let’s dive in!

What Causes Kitchen Sink Drains to Clog?

Remember the acronym F.O.G. That stands for fat, oil, and grease. Fatty substances are the main culprit behind slow draining sinks. As a liquid, grease is easy to wash down your drain. However, grease congeals into a sticky clump as it cools farther down the drain line. This mass accumulates more grease, along with other food particles, forming a stubborn plug of goo.

Your garbage disposal plays a role in stopping up your drain, too. Potatoes, pasta, rice, and other starches expand in water. These things form a sticky paste that can adhere to the drain’s interior.

So, Can Salt Clear a Drain Blockage?

Salt helps break down fatty acids and given that your sink drain is likely clogged with grease, salt seems like it would work, at least in theory. However, by the time a stubborn clog forms, saltwater will likely prove too little, too late. But, hey, it’s worth a shot! And to better your odds, trying pairing salt with baking soda, which has powerful cleaning properties of its own. Follow these tips to get your drains flowing again:

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt down the drain. You may need to work it through the basket strainer however you can.
  • Bring a pot of water to a near bowl and flush the ingredients down the drain.
  • Repeat as necessary.

Well, That Didn’t Work. Now What?

Like we said, the salt trick isn’t going to be all that effective against tough clogs. It is, however, a good preventative measure, so try flushing your drains with a saltwater/baking soda solution periodically.  But first, we need to clear your drains.

We recommend the BioOne® process. BioOne doesn’t include any harsh chemicals. Instead, it uses naturally occurring enzymes that eat through clogs, restoring your drain’s functionality. BioOne qualifies for the EPA’s Safer Choice label, which means it works just as well or better than comparable products that use toxic and corrosive chemicals.

However, if you have multiple backed-up drains, even BioOne isn’t going to cut it. When all your drains are slow or clogged, that indicates a blockage in the sewer line. The solution for that is hydro jetting, a process that uses pressurized water to blast through tree roots, sludge, and grease.

For professional drain cleaning services, turn to the pros at Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection by calling (702) 500-0936.