Living in modern times means modern conveniences, but with those come modern problems. Such is life; we do our best to find solutions in fields we are sometimes not qualified for. For instance, most of us aren't plumbers. However, a clogged drain is something that seems simple enough. You know, poke it, pour stuff down it, the usual tricks. But how many of those tricks work? And are you helping your pipes, or are you hurting them?
One of the most common tricks in the book is the salt down the drain trick. It's a method that has been tried and tested since drains have been clogged. Does it work? We'll answer that for you, plus other questions you might have about pouring salt down your drains.
Salt in drains: fact or fiction
Of all the things to go viral on the internet, one of them was the idea that you should pour salt down your drains if they are clogged. Maybe TMZ was having a slow week. Either way, this inspired many people. If the internet says to pour salt down your drain, then you pour salt down your drain. Well, maybe not everyone. It was a tip that went viral but never had any backing evidence for its effectiveness.
So, is pouring salt down your drain to unclog it an effective treatment? Turns out, no, not really. At least not by itself, it's not.
The reasoning behind the myth
Why pour salt down the drain? It makes sense when you think about it. Salt is a coarse substance, and pouring a rough substance down your drains should break up whatever is clogging your pipes. It also might make sense in theory that the chemical makeup of salt would somehow react with whatever causes the clog, causing it to clear up. Come to find out, and this is simply not true. It is possible that if you used an unreasonable quantity (read: substantial) of salt and poured that down your drain, it might help a little, but pouring large amounts of anything but water down your drain is something we would never recommend.
So, no, salt in drains does not equal an unclogged drain, even if you leave it overnight for several nights. Even if you keep pouring more in, your drain will be clogged with salt.
All mixed up
If you are a bit salty because this turned out to be a myth, we have news for you. It isn't entirely false.
If you pour salt down your drain, it will not do anything to unclog it. However, salt is recommended as an ingredient (mixed with many other components) to help clear up clogged drains. It is also a recommended ingredient for mixtures that keep fruit flies at bay.
The most common of these homemade recipes simply involves baking soda and salt. As for its effectiveness? It's pretty hit or miss. Mostly, it depends on how bad of a clog you have. The worse the clog, the less likely this mixture is to work. In fairness, there is no guarantee that it would work even on a minor clog.
It is effective in one sense:
When pipes get clogged, they tend to build up a nasty odor. While salt and baking soda may not clear up the clog, they will do wonders for the odor.
Don't get burned
Maybe salt doesn't work, but what if you poured boiling water down the drain with it?
Folks: please do not do this! There is a myriad of reasons why.
First off, you don't want it to splash back up, burning yourself in the process. This is especially true if you have a curved sink.
For those with porcelain sinks, it could cause your sink to split in half. That's both dangerous and expensive.
Second, if the piping in your house is PVC and not CPVC, it could severely damage the pipes in your home! This is also dangerous and expensive.
So, what's the best thing to do? The answer to that is to call an experienced plumber. They can get your pipes all cleared up while giving you advice on how to deal with them in the future.
If you are looking for a plumber to solve the issues in your drain, please get in touch with us today.