How to remove sludge build-up from drain pipes

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Nobody likes the nasty odours and slow drainage caused by sludge build-up in drain pipes. Calling a plumber each time the drain slows down is costly, time-consuming and inconvenient. You have several options before bringing in a professional.

You may have to try one or more tactics to get a smooth-flowing drain, but the result will be worth the effort.

Pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain to loosen the sludge and build-up.

Fill the sink or tub with two inches of warm water. If this is a bathroom sink, hold a wet rag over the overflow holes, which are located under the near rim of the sink. Using a toilet plunger placed over the drain, forcefully press down or plunge five or six times. The water forced through the drain should clear out clogs and build-up.

Dump 1 cup of baking soda into the drain. Follow this with 1 cup of white vinegar. The resultant harmless chemical reaction will cause a foaming action that will break down the sludge in your drain. After about 30 minutes, flush the drain with boiling water.

Pour a cup of bleach down the drain. Let it sit overnight as it dissolves the sludge and build-up. Rinse well the next morning with hot water. Ventilate the area as well as you can to minimise bleach fumes.

Contact a plumber if none of the household approaches are effective.