The average home is so stuffed with cleaning products made from nasty chemicals that we take them for granted.
In fact, it doesn't have to be this way.
Some of the strongest chemicals under your sink are drain cleaners. They're made from ingredients like lye that can burn your skin with just a touch.
They're often so corrosive they can actually damage the pipes they're meant to clean.
If you're looking for a more natural solution, you're in luck. There's a number of eco-friendly but effective ways to unclog your pipes.
1. Baking soda and vinegar
There are disputes about how effective this old trick really is, but it's great for small clogs and to clean the gunk that clings inside your drain.
Pour in a 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Then, chase the mixture with up to four cups of boiling water.
The products breaks down fat and grease in your drain, and the water flushes the leftover particles away. As simple as that!
2. Salt and water
If you notice your bathroom sink is draining slowly, there may be a buildup of soap and grease inside.
Just like with the baking soda and vinegar, pour in 1/2 cup of salt (any kind will do) and chase it down with boiling water.
The grittiness of the salt is like a scrubber that scrapes all the grease, hair, and gunk off your pipes.
3. Dishwashing detergent
Just think about it: this kitchen staple is designed to be tough on grease but gentle on your skin. Sounds like the perfect thing to clean your pipes with!
Just pour a little in before flushing it out with hot water, and you should see results quickly as the detergent melts away any blockages.
4. Get physical
Sometimes the only way to clear a blocked pipe is with some elbow grease. Just remember to work smarter, not harder.
Installing a drain basket or screen on top of your drain will prevent clogs from building up.
When they do form, you can usually force them to break up using a plunger (keep two separate ones for the sink and toilet) or a plumber's snake.
In extreme cases, the suction power of a wet-dry vacuum an also come in handy.
If you've been forced to break out these tools but the clog is still there, it's probably time to replace some pipes, so call a plumber.
5. Live enzymes
If you want to be totally eco-conscious, there are a handful of cleaning products that use live enzymes to eat up clogs.
Like dish soap, these products dissolve the greasy, hairy messes that jam up your pipes.
Look for cleaners with live enzymes in your local hardware store, including brands like Biokleen and Earth Enzymes.
What's your go-to trick for clearing a stubborn clog?