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Not sure if this counts as "Home Improvement", but it's worth a shot:

I'm currently in an apartment where I'm not supposed to use chemicals to clear drains, like in the sink/tub.

I've cleared out the tub drain before (obviously hair buildup) but for some reason it doesn't seem to take long before it's draining slower than the shower is spraying.

It seems that the funk in the drain in a contributing factor, helping the hair to cling/build up in the drain.

Is there a home made or DIY (or "apartment safe") solution that will help to really clean the drains?

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Velcro Snake Drain Cleaner instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Velcro-snake-drain-cleaner –  staticx Aug 7 '10 at 14:31
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4 Answers 4

I've heard that plumbers swear by bio-clean.

I guess the idea is that all the anti-bacterial soaps that people use tend to kill the "good" bacteria in the drain lines that naturally digest the crud that gets stuck in there. This stuff restores those bacteria so they can clean the pipes out naturally.

My experience with it has been pretty good for cleaning out slow drains with lots of buildup on them, but I don't think it'll do much to larger hair-type clogs (although if the pipes are clean, the hair clogs might not form in the first place).

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There a several kinds of liquid enzyme drain cleaners that will help with slow drains and to prevent future clogs. –  Dennis Williamson Aug 7 '10 at 0:41
    
Thanks! I'll be trying this within a couple days and will provide results/pick an answer. –  anonymous coward Aug 10 '10 at 15:14
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This article might be helpful.

or this one

Drain Cleaner

  • Pour together: ½ c. borax in drain followed by
  • 2 c. boiling water

OR

  • ¼ c baking soda down the drain, followed by
  • ½ c. vinegar
  • Cover drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with 2 qts. boiling water.

OR

  • Use a plumber's "snake" and boiling water.
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I've used the boiling water/dish soap method to unclog a tub drain before and it worked wonders. –  Agent_9191 Aug 22 '10 at 23:22
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A can of Coke or Pepsi.

Pour a can (or two) down the drain and let it sit overnight.

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My experience is that when tub drains clog, it is usually because of hair. Drain cleaner will loosen the gunk inbetween the hair and allow water to seep through, but the drain will clog again soon. It is better to remove the hair mechanically with a small snake. They make little ones that can be inserted without removing the drain cover/cap. The snake should cost $20 or less.

Using it is quick and easy: insert, twist a few times, and pull out. Repeat a couple of times until most of the hair is gone.

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I had a drain that kept getting worse until it was at the point where it took 2 weeks after using a bunch of draino and it would be clogged again. I broke down and bought a snake (a lot like this one: amazon.com/Cobra-Products-88250--25-Foot-Clearing/dp/B000VLETJ6/…). It cleared out a small pile of hair and gunk, and well, come to think of it, I've only used it the one time, probably 5 or 6 months ago. Drain is still working fine. –  gregmac Feb 1 '11 at 3:58
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