Picture this: That dreaded water level has been rising in your bathroom sink for a couple of days. At first you tried to ignore it, but it looks like it’s settling in. Time for a quick Google to see what you can pour down the drain to unclog it and please make it stop!
Bleach! Fantastic, I have some right here in the cupboard.
That’s right. While bleach is a powerful disinfectant and stain remover with many fabulous uses for cleaning (if handled safely), when it comes to your drains – it’s a big no-no!
Why Bleach is a Bad Idea
Firstly, bleach will do absolutely nothing to break down blockages in your drain. Nada!
But here are several more important reasons why bleach is a bad idea when it comes to cleaning drains:
- It’s harmful to your health. Bleach is a toxic substance that can have a dangerous reaction with other residual substances sitting in your pipes. Vinegar is a particularly potent combination, as it can release potentially lethal chlorine gas into your home. Ammonia, acids, acetone, and any kind of disinfectant or cleaning product can also release highly toxic fumes when mixed with bleach.
- It can do permanent damage to your plumbing system. This type of chemical reaction creates heat, which can lead to corrosion and major destruction of your drains, even causing your pipes to burst!
- It kills beneficial bacteria that breaks down septic waste. Without this breakdown of solids, your waste system may clog or fail to drain your yard properly, leading to further permanent damage.
- It’s extremely harmful to the environment and sea life.
So, if not bleach, then what?
Using a metal strainer to catch hair, food particles, and grease trying to sneak into your drains is a good first step.
If you do encounter a blockage:
- Use a plunger to try to dislodge it.
- Pour boiling water, or a commercial cleaning product, down the drain.
- Mix 1 cup of vinegar with ½ cup of bicarb soda and leave in the drain overnight.
- Unscrew the u-bend of the sink and attempt to remove from there.
If you find you have a stubborn drain on your hands, it could be time to call in a plumbing professional who specialises in repairing blocked or damaged pipes and drains.
Help! I accidentally poured bleach down my drain!
You wouldn’t be the first, so don’t panic. Turn your hot water tap on and let it run for several minutes to flush the drain trap and pipes out. And don’t do it again!
As you can see, there is a whole host of reasons you should be handling bleach with great care while cleaning, and NEVER ever be pouring it down your drains.
The team at Domestics Plus have been carefully trained in safe cleaning practices, so when we are cleaning your house, you can relax knowing that your drains and other household fixtures are being well taken care of!