Keeping your drains clean is essential if you want to avoid inconvenient blockages, smelly situations and the expense that goes with getting the necessary drain services for unclogging operations. But you’re environmentally-aware, right? You don’t want to use harsh chemical products that are going to leach into the groundwater around your home and poison the roots in your vegetable patch.

Here are some ways to clean your drains without causing contamination of the soil that lasts through the next decade.

Boiling Water

Pouring a few jugs of boiling water down your kitchen drain each week helps to prevent the build-up of grease and fat, which is all to often the main cause of a blockage. In fact, it’s one of the first thing most contractors who provide drain services suggest you try, because it frequently flushes out the pipes without the need for any further attention. Don’t wait until you see a blockage, however; there’s nothing more environmentally friendly than water, and it has the added advantage of naturally killing much of the bacteria in the pipes as well.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This convenient household product is one of the most important to keep handy, not least because it takes care of stains as well as drains. Pour a cup of baking soda into your drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. Give it a few minutes to dissolve and then pour another cup in, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Plug the drain (or both, if it’s a double sink) and let it sizzle and foam for a while. Flush it through with more boiling water to clear the drains out.

Try this method before you contact your local drain services company, because it will give you an indication of how severe the blockage is. The information will give the plumbing contractor an idea of what might be required to resolve your problem.

Enzymes

Don’t have time for home-made solutions? Then you can try one of the enzymatic biological drain cleaning products available. These contain a combination of natural bacteria and enzymes that open drains and keep them clear. They’re non-corrosive and non-combustible, and they’re available locally right here in Toronto.

Bleach

This might seem like something of a paradox, but bleach is a very common cleaner for household drains. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually a corrosive chemical, either. In fact, bleach is made from sodium hypochlorite, which contains chlorine. It’s able to kill bacteria and dissolve outgrowths of algae and moss in the pipes, and it breaks down harmlessly into the soil. It doesn’t contaminate the groundwater because it doesn’t survive after treatment in septic systems or sewage treatment plants. It’s even added to drinking water for purification purposes in third-world countries, so it’s completely harmless in the right quantities.

Hydro-Jetting

It’s also advisable to get drain services to provide a professional cleaning every few years, even if you don’t have problems with clogging. Hydro-jetting is an environmentall-friendly way to do this, and it provides you with a thorough cleaning that’s quick and relatively inexpensive and helps to keep most problems at bay.