Clogged Drain solutions....DIY-using softdrinks???

Personally, if using a plunger or commercial chemical didn't work we've had to resort to renting a snake and running it down the lines.  (this was when a friend who lives in town was helping me clean out fridge and put an entire cabbage casserole in the garbage disposal- probably OK in town on sewage service lines...not ok on smaller lines going to septic in old house).

either way...has anyone ever used softdrinks for a stubborn clog?  It says here that they work quite well.

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December 19 2011 - US
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Replies (25)

Profile picture for KirVeWi
I have. I put a large amount of baking soda in the drain first and then follow with cola. After the bubbling stops I use a rinse of boiling water. Works quite well especially on greasy clogs. Not as effective in the shower where clogs tend to be hair based.
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December 21 2011
The neatest new invention for it was about $2 at the hardware store. It is flexible plastic and a couple feet long, lined with plastic teeth, like a fishbone spine or a comb with short teeth on both sides. Shove it down, twist, and up comes the hairy reason for the clog. No chemicals or waste of sugary drinks required.
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December 21 2011
Avoid liquid plumber at all costs.
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December 30 2011
Profile picture for ConnieK_ppm
@Martins-  why avoid at all costs?  please explain- just an avoidance of use of chemical in general or do you have more info on that?  what else might we need to know about why?  education please. (sincerely asking).
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December 30 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
There are only 3 reasons I know to avoid liquid plumber or similar:
1) Expensive
2) very toxic/caustic
3) will eat holes through many types of pipe material (over time, usually not for one application).

And of course, it doesn't deal with the root cause of the problem, such as improper slopes, roots in the lines, wrong T-fittings, non-proper venting, putting the wrong things down the drains...

For simple clogs, I prefer "drain king" or similar expansion oscillating bladder, but it won't work when one needs roots cut or has major solidified build-up.  (a mix of grease and starch and hair does a really good job of completely closing a pipe, especially if the pipe had rough edges for things to get caught on in the first place).

I've seen some lines clogged with "lint" too.
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December 30 2011
Over time it will eat through your plumbing (ABS or PVC)
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January 02 2012
And once you use Liquid Plumber or any other caustic soda based product and your clog is still there, you're severely limited as to what you can do as any attempt to plunger the drain could result in nasty chemical burns.

I had a slow moving bathroom drain (soap, shaving cream etc). I boiled a small pan of water and poured it down the drain. Problem solved.

I've also had clogged drains leading from a disposal due to putting rice down the disposal (as well as a poorly inclined drain). Only by taking the drain apart was I able to dislodge the clog. No amount of Liquid Plumber would eat through such an obstruction.
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January 02 2012
Profile picture for kyutieboi
No, not OK even if you have big pipes and sewage lines.  What was wrong with throwing the casserole in the trash?
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for interaction
Believe it or not vinegar and bleach combo clears drain faster and better than anything else I have tried.
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for TankMan5
Wow, so cool.  I will defnitely have to try the baking soda/soda combo.  On the other hand, I also like the sound of the drain king.  Thanks for the tips guys.  I really like this website.
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January 04 2012
I actually did use a diet coke for what probably was not a serious clog.
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January 04 2012
Interestingly enough a lot of people dont read the directions of how to deal with a garbage disposal, did you know for instance you should not use hot water? No celery, coffee grains etc?
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for Buster4
Dissolve 6 Alka Seltzer tablets in 2 C. white vinegar and pour down drain.  20 minutes later run water.
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
Sharon, do you know that a garbage disposal in your sink will require a lot more frequent septic tank pumping? The disposals should not even be installed. Use the scraps for compost instead.
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for DawnM.Altree
Instead of cola use good old vinegar.
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for ConnieK_ppm
I prefer compost myself (and dogs although not good for them to eat people food much) but the size of older rural home drain lines are smaller and it takes less to clog them So by "ok" i mean it would have likely passed through. ( this friend has done many similar things at my house.) Vinegar sounds smart for basic stuff! Will have to remember that. I have polished wood with vinegar and oil. And cleaned with it many things. Not to mention. Making volcanos with kiddos so it just makes sense as an option
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January 04 2012
Profile picture for MelanieShebel
Sometimes soda doesn't work right away, but if I let it sit it'll usually clear it up over a few hours. Seems to break up a lot of "gunk."

It's also really good to use soda for regular maintenance. It helps prevent against future clogs.
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January 05 2012
Profile picture for ProudFather
Thanks for the tips.  I had never heard any otf these.  Funny how a silly post topic can really end up helping folks out!
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January 05 2012
Profile picture for northwest

Yes, super thread question & posts. Could have used this info a week ago when had to call to a drain person out to unclog washing machine backflow....dog hair, muddy stuff & fir needles. Thanks Connie, & all participants for comments/suggestions!!!!

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January 27 2012
plumber friend used dish liquid to  unclog slow toilet...used it successfully many times
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February 01 2012
We are also on a septic and deliberately do not have a garbage disposal (heard not good for system). I have also found that dish liquid usually does a wonderful job of unclogging the drains with the added benefit that if the drain does need to be taken apart it is pretty clean to work with. Love the idea of vinegar, plan on trying it right away. Totally believe in maintenance. Love the idea of no chemicals. Did not know about the liquid plumber info thank you so much.
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February 01 2012
Never heard this one! Will have to try.
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February 01 2012
Profile picture for P_Guthmiller
These all seem crazy!  Why not just use the good stuff and stick with the liquid plumber.   I've been using it for years and have always been happy.  Is there really that much of a problem with it?
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February 01 2012
Kitchen sink has been an issue for sometime just not flowing correctly. Thank you Dawn, I tried the vinegar and it is running super now. Planning on trying it on bathroom sinks and shower/bath next. Can't hurt.
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February 02 2012
Profile picture for warchildbosnia
This works really well on greasy clogs and haha, definitely pasta buildup (there's always a noodle that gets away) especially if you have a sink garbage disposal.  [Hotlink removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.] also mentions the baking soda trick I use. Not harsh and it really deodorizes.
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May 30
 
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