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Every house has its must-have’s: vacuum, favorite dusting tools, lawn mower. You may also wonder what the must-have drain cleaning tools are, and we are here to help. The nice part is that they aren’t as expensive as you might think and they aren’t toxic or dangerous, despite what household ads might lead you to buy. If you are determined about drain cleaning, this is your list of three must-haves.

Drain Cleaning Tools

The first must-have for drain cleaning is, of course, a plumber’s helper, also often called a plunger. To be very confident, you should probably have one in every bathroom and one dedicated solely to the kitchen. Bathroom germs shouldn’t be introduced to the kitchen, so keep a minimum of two of these tools so you don’t cross contaminate.

As plumber’s helpers go, you can hear a variety of opinions on which shape is the best and most effective for drain cleaning, but plumbers agree that the ability to form a tight seal around the drain is crucial in a good plunger. With that in mind, find the one that fits your budget and needs, keeping in mind that you can even find many reviews as to which is best—and the reviews even go so far as to discuss the drip tray and aesthetics!

The second tool you really want on hand is baking soda and vinegar. Using those with hot water can clear a lot of drains. The easy way is to run about a gallon of hot water down the blocked drain, then as it clears, dump about two tablespoons of baking soda down, followed by one cup of white vinegar. If possible, cover the drain so that the reaction is forced down the drain, clearing the blockage as you go.

The last tool is a drain snake, although opinions vary as to the efficacy of most drain snakes you can buy for a reasonable price.

The one tool you don’t want is caustic chemicals that purport to be safe for drains, but really aren’t. Avoid those and stick with what you can safely use on a clogged drain.