House & Garden

Cleansing Drain Pipes: The Step-by-Step Process to Mold Removal

Mold needs very little to grow. It can form anywhere that’s dark, moist, and offers an ongoing food source. Unfortunately, drain pipes check all the right boxes for many strains of mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

A home’s drain pipes deliver dirty water to a city’s municipal sewer lines, and that water is usually filled with food waste, dead skin, human hair, and other tasty treats for mold. Over time, they build up in the pipes and start to reproduce, eventually creating a thick coating of biological sludge in the drain that can produce foul odors and lead to clogged pipes. Instead of waiting until the situation gets out of control, homeowners can follow the step-by-step mold removal process described below to cleanse their drains and keep microorganisms at bay.

Step One: Inspect the Plumbing System

The first step to dealing with a mold problem is to confirm that microbial growth is, indeed, causing the clogged drains and unpleasant smells.

If there are signs of mold growing inside the drains, it’s worth taking the time to try the DIY fix described below first. Signs of mold growth include unpleasant odors coming from the drainpipe and slow-moving drains.

Step Two: Gather Materials

The best part about this DIY cleansing method is that it uses materials that most people already have on hand. Homeowners will be making an easy and effective homemade fungicide out of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, and hot water. Unlike bleach, which should not be used to clean drains because it can cause dangerous chemical reactions, damage the pipes, and degrade the environment, the baking soda mixture is completely safe.

Step Three: Pour In Some Baking Soda

Pour around half a cup of baking soda slowly down the affected drain. It’s best to perform this step at the end of the day when no one will be using the sink for at least eight to ten hours. Leave the baking soda in place overnight so that it can start killing off the mold and drying up the slime.

Step Four: Pour in the Cleaning Solution

Measure out two cups of either hydrogen peroxide or white cleaning vinegar, then pour it down the offending drain. When it comes into contact with baking soda, it should foam up. The foam will act as a natural fungicide, continuing to kill off the mold. It will also help to loosen the hold of any slime or buildup inside the pipes.

Step Five: Heat Some Water

Once the vinegar or hydrogen peroxide has had time to loosen the mold colonies and their byproducts from the sides of the drain, it’s time to wash everything safely away. Heat up five to six cups of water in the microwave or on the stovetop to a simmer, not to a boil, then pour it down the drain. 

The End Results

Once homeowners have completed all of these steps, they should notice the difference immediately. Expect the unpleasant odors to be banished and the water to start flowing down the drain as it should. If at the end of this process, you continue to experience problems with your drain, local plumbers like recommend hiring a professional to assess your situation.

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