Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clear Drain Clogs?Faizan Khan
Splashing in puddles is all fun and games unless it’s the one that your clogged shower drain has initiated. Then, double that with a mildewy scent — I’m sure a musty face mask is not part of your ideal self-care routine.
Perhaps you’re tired of attempting to clean your dishes in a pool-like sink, with scraps of food as floaties.
This guide is here to free you of your worries (as well as clogs!)
Hydrogen Peroxide as a Clog Opener
Hydrogen peroxide is a reliable drain opener, and most households keep a stock of this as a disinfectant.
Hydrogen dioxide is sold in opaque brown bottles. If you open a bottle (which you should only do when you need it since it decomposes quickly after the seal is broken), you’ll find that it is colorless and a tad bit denser than water.
It is an excellent oxidizer (even better than chlorine) and breaks down and decomposes organic matter, including bacteria and germs- which is why it is an impressive disinfectant.
It also functions as a clog opener since it eats away all debris and obstructive matter present in drains. For the best blockade-removal results, you’ll have to use 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Causes of Stinky Drain and Smelly Water
Not all of your drainage problems will require hydrogen peroxide to clear clogs and eliminate moldy scents. It’s important to avoid using hydrogen peroxide or any other chemicals when you are clueless about your situation.
Some drain issues will require simple solutions, some professional aid, and some will require hydrogen dioxide. Read on to identify which way you’re headed!
Sewer gas ventilation systems are used to guide sewer gas into the outdoors. But often, these ventilation systems end up clogged due to leaves, animal nests, and debris. Such a situation forces the sewer gas back into your home in all its glory and stinkiness.
Fix it: If these clogs are present in a safe and reachable area, you may clear it yourself. However, if it is interlocked with wirings or inaccessible, you are advised to reach your local plumbing expert.
They will have the expertise and tools to get rid of the clog without any accidents. They may also brief you on how to prevent a recurrence, according to your home requirements.
These P-traps may have trapped you into an oblivion of confusion. You don’t need to be a plumber to identify a P-trap. Peak under your sink, you’ll spot a U-shaped bend in the pipe.
This is the P-trap, and it contains water that acts as a seal to prevent sewer gases from drifting into your water systems. Instead, this U-bend directs these gases into the ventilation system, which guides it outdoors.
When the P-trap dries up due to disuse, leak, or blockage, the stench that flows into your home may be overpowering.
Fix it: If you are dealing with an unused pipe that is driving up a musty smell, all you need to do is run the tap for a few minutes to refill the P-trap. If it is due to a blockage, you will require a hydrogen peroxide rinse, which is discussed here.
A Bacteria Overcome Water Heater
You may have many more pets than you think. For example, have you counted the bacteria breeding grounds in your water heater? Bacterias are pretty gothic and are attracted to the dark, damp environment where they get a good dose of sulfur too.
Bacteria tend to make alliances with sulfur, and together they consume the metal components in your heater. Although they are located in the water heater, one would not call them hygienic as a spoilt spell overtakes many homes.
Fix it: An ‘anode’ is a part of the water heater made up of aluminum and magnesium. Unfortunately, the anode is an easy victim of the bacteria and allows it to live on and grow. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that your anodes are not aluminum and magnesium-based but rather consist of zinc and aluminum.
For this issue, using a hydrogen peroxide cleanse is also required.
The 4 Steps of a Hydrogen Peroxide Cleanse
- It’s always a smart move to remove any physical obstructions, such as built-up hair, using a plastic hair snake. (These can be found at hardware stores for only a few dollars).
- Now proceed to boil about half to one gallon of water and cool for five minutes. Next, pour it down the drain and wait five minutes before turning on the cold water tap. This process aims to solidify any leftover grease.
- The 3% hydrogen peroxide will function as a disinfectant and as a sanitizer and deodorizer. Pour ½ to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. After ten minutes, pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide.
You may notice a bit of foaming, but do not worry. That’s how you know the mixture is decomposing the waste matter that was clogging your drains. Let this go on for several hours.
Fun Hack: While you’re waiting, you may use some of the leftover baking soda paste to disinfect your tub or sink surface.
- Now pour some more hot water down the drain to rinse away the remaining blockage. It is important to always allow the hot water to cool for five to ten minutes so that it won’t damage any pipes.
Preventing Recurrent Drain Blockages
Consistency is key — even in the case of a hydrogen peroxide cleanse!
Pouring 1 cup of hydrogen dioxide down the drain every 14 to 15 days will prevent it from regularly choking.
You may also need to invest in better sink stoppers to prevent unwanted materials from going down your drain in the first place. (Also commonly known as setting yourself up for success).
You’ll find that we have listed the appropriate stoppers for all the different drains of your home. All you have to do is go to your hardware store and pick out the correct one.
- Kitchen sink- Sink strainer x basket catcher
- Bathroom sink- Strainer x hair catcher
- Tub drain- Bathtub strainer x hair catcher
How To Identify Which Drain Is Clogging
There is a range of scents that your drainage may bless you with- sulfur, mildew, rotten eggs, or a clear natural smell. Although we aim for a clear natural scent, stocked-up residue, overpopulated bacteria, or contamination may prevent you from achieving it.
And although we have identified ways to get rid of those obstacles, one might still face the issue of not being able to identify which drain is giving off that dank smell.
Here’s a simple trick to catch the culprit drain. First, cover the suspected drain with a plastic bag or tape (you can use both of them together for increased effectiveness). Then proceed to air out and ventilate the room for a while.
Come back and give the room a whiff. If the smell is gone, your suspected drain is indeed the culprit. If the rotten smell is still present, you need to apply the same trick on your next suspect. Continue to do so until you identify the stinky drain!
How To Dispose of Hydrogen Dioxide
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide is available at stores from a concentration level of 3% to 35%.
The 35% hydrogen dioxide is dangerous and must not be poured down the drain. Make sure to equip yourself with goggles and gloves if you are dealing with a high concentration solution. For more protection, you may wear an apron of rubber and neoprene material.
You will firstly have to dilute the 35% hydrogen peroxide solution with water. Afterward, you’ll have to decompose the diluted solution with sodium sulfite. The diluted and decomposed hydrogen peroxide is now safe to pour down the drain.
A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can be poured down the drain without any special administration.
Considerations and Precautions
A 3% hydrogen peroxide lasts about three years in a sealed bottle but decomposes quickly once the seal is broken, lasting only 3-6 months.
If you would like to unclog your drains using H2O2 but are unaware of when the bottle was opened, we have a simple trick to determine whether it is expired.
Splash some onto a sink; if it sizzles, it is still effective. It is essential to carry out this process because you do not want to waste your energy unclogging a drain with an ineffective solution.
Remember to store the peroxide in the opaque bottle that it comes in, as transferring it to another bottle will increase its decomposition rate.
Moreover, even though the 3% hydrogen peroxide is not as harmful as other chemicals (like bleach or chlorine), it may still cause a burning sensation in the eyes or skin. Therefore, if you are particularly sensitive to chemicals, it will be advised that you wear goggles and gloves.
If the hydrogen dioxide is consumed, it may lead to vomiting, stomach pains, heartburns, among other health issues. A case study showed that over three years, 95,000 toxic exposures were reported, out of which 0.34% were due to hydrogen peroxide, and 60% of the victims were children under the age of six. It is therefore vital to store it away from the reach of children or pets.
A general rule of household cleaning is that two chemical products must never be merged, for they may lead to caustic and poisonous fumes erupting, which can cause death, as in the case of a manager, Ryan Baldera.
If you spill or use two chemical products together, do not attempt to clean them; get out of the area and call your local police department.
Some guides may encourage you to use vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together to clear clogs. However, you must be very careful and use them one after the other.
A Safe Unclogging Experience
We hereby present you with a quick plumbing solution. Off you go to unclog your drains and enjoy warm showers without a musty obtrusion.
Make sure to be safe and handle the hydrogen peroxide with caution!