A clogged drain starts to stink with time and is best dealt with as soon as it happens. To avoid the bad stench and prevent the problem from escalating, learn some simple do it yourself methods on how to clear a clogged drain naturally without chemicals. We explore home remedies such as baking soda and vinegar as well as simple tools such as a drain snake or hanger wire.
How to Clear a Clogged Drain
The method used in cleaning up clogged drains depends on the severity of the blockage. While some methods only work for slightly clogged drains, there are some that will require to be unclogged by professionals.
In most cases though, where the blockage is handled immediately the signs of slow drainage in sinks or stagnation in the bathroom are observed, simple DIY home remedies will work. Below are various options on how to clear a clogged drain.
How to Clear a Clogged Drain Naturally with Baking Soda and Vinegar
The use of baking soda and vinegar is an effective eco-friendly way of unclogging drains. When combined, baking soda and vinegar react to produce a fizzing sound accompanied by bubbling which helps to unclog any blockages. Followed with hot water flushing, this method is likely to work wonders. Below is how to use it:
- Boil some water and while still boiling hot, pour a whole pot down the drain. This will help to loosen whatever is lodged in the drain.
- Follow this up with one cup of baking soda poured down the drain. Allow this to sit for a few minutes.
- Mix one cup of vinegar with a cup of hot water and pour the solution down the drain. This should cause some bubbling.
- Use a drain plug to cover it up and ensure that the reaction is kept beneath the surface not above the drain. Allow the ingredients to work on the drain for 20 minutes.
- Finish up the process by flushing the drain with boiling hot water one more time.
How to Clear a Clogged Shower Drain Using a Wire Hanger
The greatest culprit in clogged shower drains is mostly hair. This, in most cases, only causes slight clogging that can be dealt with simple tools. A wire hanger can be the right solution to your problem. The method is simple and the hanger wire can be used over and over again whenever a clogging occurs. Here is how to clear a clogged drain using a hanger wire:
- Get a wire hanger and unwind its neck.
- Straighten out the elbows without touching the hook which should be left intact.
- To give the wire a handle, bend the last three inches on the opposite side of the hook.
- With your wire now set, insert it into the drain until some resistance is felt. Where the hook cannot fit through the cover, remove the cover before lowering it.
- Once some resistance is felt, push the wire down then pull it up for about five times before pulling it all the way up. This should come off with the content of the drain causing clogging.
- Repeat the procedure until all the clog is pulled out and no more resistance is felt.
Plunger to Unclog Drains with Standing Water
Plungers are designed to force water through a pipe and thus push out clogs out of drains. The classic style plunger is made of rubber and a handle. This is best for use on clogged sink drains. There also are other plungers that have flange on the opening allowing it for use in unclogging toilet drains. A bellow plunger is made of plastic at the base as opposed to rubber. It allows for greater pressure exertion and thus more effect.
How to Plunge a Clogged Sink in the Kitchen, Shower or Bathtub Drain
With these, you can make use of the standard plunger.
- Ensure that the plunger is completely covered by water even if this means adding water into the already clogged area.
- To avoid water from being released through the over flow drains, seal them up before beginning the procedure.
- With the plunger completely submerged, press it down and rapidly pull it in quick succession.
- In case the water drains out, add more and plunge again.
- Test if the drain has been unclogged by running some water. Repeat procedure until water flows normally.
How to Clear a Clogged Drain with a Drain Snake
The drain snake which is also known as a drain auger is a piece of flexible equipment designed with a spiral end that helps to catch hair clogging the drains. They are normally long enough and can reach clogs deep in drain pipes.
- Get the drain snake and push its end through the drain opening down the pipe.
- Continue pushing until you can feel resistance.
- Apply some pressure to ensure that the end of the snake bends into a tight curve into the clog.
- Rotate the snake within the pipe so it can gather as much blockage as possible around it.
- Pull it out and repeat until the snake goes through the pipe with no resistance.
- Flush the drain with some water and see if the clogging is cleared.
The Wet and Dry Vacuum to Clear a Clogged Drain
Some wet and dry vacuums come with unclogging attachments. There is a wide variety on these and usage depends on different brands. Check out the manufacturer instructions for the same and follow them. This option on how to clear clogged drain is best for heavy clogging that could include concrete clogging. It will help achieve full drain unclogging within a short time.
How to Clear a Clogged Toilet Drain Using Toilet Bombs
You can make use of homemade toilet bombs to get rid of clogging in the toilet drain. You will need some baking soda, Epsom salt, liquid dish soap, muffin tins and liners.
- Mix two cups of baking soda with quarter a cup of Epsom salt.
- Add to this nine tablespoons of the liquid soap and gently stir it into the mixture.
- Pick up the muffin tins and put the liners into place.
- Scoop the mixture and put it into the tins. Allow them to dry overnight or for at least eight hours at room temperature
- Once dry, peel off the muffin tin liner and place the bomb into the toilet.
- Follow it up with five cups of hot water.
- Allow it to work on the toilet for four hours before flushing.
Drain Stick to Clear a Clogged Drain Past the Trap
A drain stick works in the same way as a coat hanger or a drain snake.
- To clear a clogged drain using the stick, remove the stopper or strainer.
- Insert the drain stick down the drain past the trap.
- Twist it around and embed its tip as deeply as it can get.
- Remove the stick from the drain and get rid of any material it snags along. If necessary repeat procedure.
- Run water down the drain to wash off any loose debris.
- Reinstall the stopper or strainer.
Chemical Drain Cleaners to Unclog Blocked Drain Pipes
Although non-chemical methods on how to clear a clogged drain are most recommended, they may not always work. Where this is the case, you can make use of chemical drain cleaners as a last resort. With these, you have to get the right product for the specific kind of drain clogging you want to clear.
- Purchase a chemical drain cleaner from your closest store. Those containing sulfuric acid and potassium hydroxide are known to be effective on most types of clogs when properly used.
- Ensure that the cleaner is suitable for the part of the drainage system you want to use it on. If you are not certain, inquire from the store attendants.
- Check out manufacturer instructions given on the product and follow each one of them for your safety and to effectively clear the drain.
- Once the chemicals have worked on the drain, flush off with cold water
When to Call in a Professional over Clogged Drain
Where the above clogged drain solutions do not yield results, it is time to call in a plumber. The clogging may be too deep or hidden in unreachable places necessitating a backup beyond unclogging with household items. Ask around for referrals and have the drains checked for effective unblocking.
Tips on How to Clear a Clogged Drain Line
You do not have to wait until water is no longer flowing to act on drain clogs. It is possible to clear up tiny pieces of gunk before it builds up and cause problems. Try the following tips to avoid clogging.
- Often run hot water down the drain after each use. This helps to clear up any fresh buildup thus letting it drain as opposed to holding onto the pipes.
- Do not empty grease, coffee grounds, food leftovers or any other material likely to solidity or clump up in the drain pipes.
- Make use of stoppers and strainers in your drains. These will help in catching things that could clog your system. Remember to clean them up to get rid of any trapped material.