Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

5 Ways To Unclog A Clogged Drain

by April Rivera

Clogged drains are a hassle, but they're very common, and all homeowners should know how to handle them. Here are five easy ways to fix minor clogs around the house by yourself.

With a plunger

Plungers are a great way to fix clogged toilets, but you can also use them to fix clogs in sinks or bathtubs. It's easy to unclog a drain with a plunger. First, you need to make sure that there is a few inches of standing water in the sink or bathtub. Next, cover the overflow with a rag. Press the plunger against the drain, and then pull backwards. You may have to repeat this process a few times before the clog is dislodged. 

With vinegar and baking soda

Everyone who's ever been to a kid's science fair knows that vinegar and baking soda have an explosive reaction when they're combined, but not everyone knows that this combination is also an easy way to clear a clogged drain. To do this, start by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down your drain. Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain, and quickly cover the drain with a rag. The explosive reaction will be directed downwards, into the clog, and may help to shift it out of the way.

With boiling water 

Boiling water can remove some types of minor clogs. For example, if your bathtub is clogged with soap reside and hair, boiling water can melt the soap enough to dislodge the clog. To do this, boil a kettle (or a pot) full of water, and then slowly pour it down your drain. You may need to do this more than once to completely melt the clog. 

With a drain snake

Clogs can't always be cleared with vinegar and baking soda or boiling water. Some clogs are stubborn, and need to be physically pushed out of the way. An easy way to do this is with a drain snake. You can buy drain snakes from the hardware store, or you can make your own out of a metal coat hanger. 

To clear a clog with a drain snake, first push the snake down the drain, auger end first. Twist the handle as you push the snake further into the pipe. Once you hit the clog, you will feel the snake stop moving through the drain. Twist the snake to make sure that the auger catches on the clog, and then slowly pull it back out. The clog should come up through the drain. You may need to repeat this process more than once to remove the whole clog.

With dish detergent

Dish detergent is a lubricant, as anyone who has ever used it to remove a too-tight ring knows. Dish detergent also works by breaking up grease, so if your clog is caused by kitchen oils or other types of grease, it can be very effective. To do this, pour a bit of dish detergent down the drain, and then flush it out with hot water. Some types of clogs will be broken up or even fully dislodged by this method. You may need to do it a couple times to loosen the clog, and if it doesn't dislodge fully, finish dislodging the clog with a drain snake.

Next time you have a clogged drain in your house, try one of these five easy methods. These methods are very simple and should work for most minor household clogs. If you aren't able to dislodge the clog by yourself, click here for more info or call a plumber right away. Plumbers are able to fix serious clogs that you can't fix by yourself.