5 Simple Ways to Unclog a Drain

Everyone has dealt with the annoyance of a clogged drain at least once in their life. Let’s say you were in the shower and it suddenly became a shallow pond once you turned on the water or your kitchen sink won’t drain, even after running the garbage disposal. If these tips don't clear the clog you probably have a more serious issue that requires professional drain cleaning or rooter service.

After reading this blog, you will know exactly what to do the next time your plumbing gets clogged.

  1. Use a Bent Wire Hanger

This method may be the simplest on the list, but it is still extremely effective. Get a wire coat hanger from your closet and straighten it until only the hook is bent. If you can take the cover off your drain it will make fishing for debris easier, but if you can’t this method can still be done. Stick the hook as far into the drain as you can, careful not to push any debris further down as you do.

Once you can’t push the hook down any further, slowly pull it back up. What the hook picked up in your drain won’t be a pretty sight. We’d recommend wearing a pair of gloves so you don’t get any gunk on your hands when you pull it off the hook. Repeat this process until the water can freely move down the drain.

  1. Try Vinegar and Baking Soda

Make sure you aren’t standing directly over the drain when you try this method. Adding vinegar and baking soda creates a chemical reaction that should jostle most of the gunk in your drain free and send it down the pipes. Much like when you used these products together for a grade school volcano, it will bubble up and out of your drain, so practice this with caution. You will need ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, and a bucket of boiling water.

Drop the baking soda down the drain first and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, add the vinegar to the hot water and pour it down the drain. If you have a drain stopper, plug the drain as soon as you finish pouring; otherwise, stay clear or the hot water could burn you. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then flush the drain again with ONLY hot water. This should clear up the drain.

  1. Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

If you don’t have any vinegar and baking soda on hand, you can try to unclog the drain with just a pot of boiling water. This method is similar to the previously mentioned one. Boil a pot of water and slowly pour a little at a time down the drain in 10-minute intervals until all the water is gone. This should up the gunk stuck to the sides of the pipe and push it all free. Run cold water down the drain after you are finished to see if it has been unclogged.

  1. Put Dish Detergent in Your Pipes

Most effective when used on clogged toilets, dish detergent is another option for clearing blocked pipes. You will need ½ cup of liquid dish soap and a bucket of hot water for this to work. Pour the dish soap into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. During this time, the detergent should seep into pipes and work the debris free. After you’ve waited the appropriate amount of time, slowly pour the hot water into the toilet bowl. Make sure you don’t overflow the bowl as you do so. If this method doesn’t work for you initially, try another one or two times throughout the day.

  1. Use a Plumbing Snake

Also known as a drain auger, a plumbing snake is a large, coiled spiral you can buy at any home improvement store. To use this product, simply take it by the handle and slowly push the snake down the drain. Once you meet resistance, slowly turn the snake and push until the resistance is gone. When it feels as if the blockage has been freed up, pull the snake out and run water down the drain for a few minutes.

When to Contact a Plumber

These simple DIY tricks should help you unclog any small blockage you may come across in your day-to-day life. If you’ve tried any of these methods and your drain is still clogged, you should contact a professional plumber to fix your troubles. There could be a more serious problem lurking deeper in your plumbing that only a professional can uncover. A plumber will know how to safely check and remove even the peskiest of plumbing issues.

Call Simply Green Plumbing, Sewer & Rooter

Our Los Gatos technicians have over 30 years of plumbing experience. We understand that plumbing issues can surface at any time, that’s why we offer emergency plumbing service at no extra cost. If you have a clogged drain that won’t clear no matter how many home remedies you’ve tried, contact us today.

Call us at (408) 716-1686 or contact us online to make a service appointment.

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