Does Pouring Salt Down a Drain Clear Clogs?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

Can Pouring Salt Down the Drain Clear Clogs?

Pouring Salt in a Drain
Pouring Salt in a Drain

Not long ago, articles on the internet trended with a clickbait ad that teased “Pour Salt Down Your Drain, Here’s Why”– but the “why” was never answered. This ad has actually stimulated a spike in Google searches and questions related to the benefit of putting salt down drains.

So is there really any benefit to it? What does it do, and how does it work, if it works at all? Can it really harm your plumbing? The short answer is no.

Read along to find out what the plumbing experts say.

Does pouring salt down a drain help anything?

Short answer: not really. Salt, by itself, does not really do anything beneficial for your plumbing system. The theory we’ve seen online is that due to the fact that salt is coarse, it will create a scouring action that scrapes debris from within your pipes, particularly when you flush it with boiling water afterward.

The irony is there’s no evidence that this is what really happens. In reality, you would need a lot of salt to be abrasive to the whole interior of your pipelines, and we never recommend dumping a large quantity of anything but water down your drain pipes.

It ought to also be kept in mind that if your drain is made from a PVC pipeline (rather than CPVC, which is heat-resistant), putting boiling-hot water down the drain can warp the pipeline material and cause leakage.

Is salt used in Homemade Drain Cleaners?

Generally, salt is only part of old “homemade remedies” for clearing clogged drains. A couple of these “drain cleaners you can make at home” are included on One remedy calls for integrating a half cup of salt and a half cup of baking soda and putting the mix down the drain.

The directions state to wait thirty minutes (or overnight for a difficult clog) before flushing the mix down the drain with a pot of boiling water. Other services include a similar mixture of ingredients, such as salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in addition to salt, vinegar, and borax.

Are any of the homemade drain cleaners worth the trouble?

That depends. If your drain has actually some gunk built up along the inner walls, and you want to eliminate the odor it’s producing, among the techniques above baking soda can probably assist to absorb the odor.

Sodium bicarbonate is well known for its absorbent residential or commercial properties. Boiling water and soap (or comparable substances, like borax), are effective at cutting through grease, a major clog-causing representative, so this type of cleaner could help prevent future blockages or “clogs-in-the-making”.

The foaming action of vinegar and baking soda are likely the only effective ingredients other than hot water. The salt will do little to nothing.

Sewer Line Jetter-Charlotte
Sewer Line Jetter-Charlotte

Different clogs and locations

There are different types of clogs and locations of clogs. Keep in mind if there is a persistent blockage deep in your pipes, you will not fix it by pouring a homemade or store-bought solution down the drain.

At that point, the most effective options are snaking (or cabling) the drain with a drain snake or employing a plumber to carry out hydro jetting. Both of these professional drain cleaning approaches require no chemicals and are the very best long-lasting options for difficult obstructions that a plunger can’t dislodge.

South End Plumbing specializes in all drain cleaning, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.

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