Can you clean drains with salt?
Pete from Aurora, CO
By Pete Hazlet
Drain Cleaner: For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.
Drains are usually clogged with grease in the kitchen or with hair in the bathroom. Does salt have any effect on grease or hair? Not at my house. I could not clean a greasy pan with salt or salt water.
When you mix baking soda and vinegar together, you get a chemical reaction. They bubble together, and maybe those bubbles would loosen something grungy in your sink, but when the reaction is done -- you have salt water again, and carbon dioxide that has bubbled off. Baking soda, dissolved in water, should mix with grease and make soap, as that is how soap is made -- a base and a fat. Personally, for a kitchen sink, I find that hot water keeps the sink clear. If you can't dig out a hair clog, you are going to have to go to a commercial drain cleaner.
By Granylou98 (Guest Post) 12/12/2008
The way that I keep our drains clean is to pour a cupful of bleach down each one once a week, never had any kind of backup!