Use Wood Ashes for Clear Drains

Okay, this is going to sound a little wonky but trust me. To keep your drains clear and your septic system working a little better, pour the very finest white or gray wood ashes from your fireplace or heater down the kitchen drain, the bathtub and sink drains, and even rinse some down the toilet from time to time. Make sure the ashes are dry, have never been wet, and are powdery, not clumps.


The reason this works is because wood ashes contain potash, and when wet, that creates lye. Lye was mixed with grease and lard in olden days to make soap, and is even used today in lots of cleaners.

So when you rinse them down the drains, they mix with any oily residue in the pipes and floating in the septic tank. Just like the old homemade soap, the lye mixing with the fats and oils in the drains and becomes a healthy drain cleaner without adding dangerous chemicals. Plus the drains will smell better.

By Gloria Hayes from Darien, GA

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

As a plumber I am all about the green solutions. Can't say I agree with this at all. Just like the coffee grounds that I find and clear with much agony after a home owner thought they were doing the right thing for a few years. No, no, no.


Vinegar & soda 1/2 cup vinegar to 3 Tbs of soda follow with boiling water a bit at a time, hear the sizzle... then pour the other half a pot down.

If this does not rectify, get a hand auger open your p-trap and put labour into it. If you hp grease out of your Kitchen drains, Put a hair trap in your bath drain, and baby wipes (no matter how flushable they CLAIM to be out of your toilet, you will never need to clean. They are designed to flush themselves if you don't abuse them.

I have been a service plumber for 10 years I have seen everything. Follow simple rules and save your time and money in the future. Hair traps are $2.00 at most and can save you $80 or more! "Plumbers protect the health of the nation". I stand my our moto proudly!

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful

I'm the wife of a retired plumber-contractor. This might work best on metal pipes and systems on septic tanks.


We're on city water, and most modern buildings use PVC. Kinda makes me lonely for the good old days, though.

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