We all dread it, but it will likely happen in our homes at some point. Whether it is the kitchen sink or the bathtub, one or both drains will decide to act up one day and these home remedies for a clogged drain may be our saving grace. Most of the items used for these remedies are things you will likely have at home.
Hence, you can choose the one that is best convenient for you and apply it to remove clogs from your drain. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking to save some money, these remedies offer a great starting point for solving your clogged drain problems.
Effective Home Remedies for a Clogged Drain
Plungers are not just useful in the toilet. You can use them to free up your drain too. However, you should use a different plunger for your drain and toilet for hygiene’s sake, especially if it is a kitchen drain. On the other hand, if you do not already have a plunger, you can get one at the store. It is pocket friendly and using it does not require special skills and expertise.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain Using a Plunger
- Grab a plunger specifically designed for sinks or drains. It should have a flat bottom and a handle for you to hold onto.
- If there is any standing water in the sink or tub, remove as much as possible. You want the plunger to make direct contact with the drain.
- Place the plunger over the drain opening, ensuring a tight seal. If it’s a sink or tub, you may need to cover the overflow opening with a wet cloth or plug it in with a stopper.
- With a firm grip on the handle, push down on the plunger forcefully and then pull back up quickly. Repeat this motion several times, maintaining a good seal between the plunger and the drain.
- After a few rounds of plunging, remove the plunger and test the drain by running some water. If the water flows smoothly, then you’ve successfully unclogged the drain.
Extra Tip: Avoid using excessive force when plunging, as it may cause damage to your plumbing. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s always wise to seek professional help.
2. Hot Water and Salt
Though simple, hot water and salt are effective home remedies for a clogged drain. Over time, kitchen sinks can accumulate oil, food particles, and soap scum, leading to blockages. Hot water helps to melt away grease, while salt acts as a mild abrasive to loosen and dissolve the debris.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain With Hot Water and Salt
- Start by boiling a kettle of water. You’ll need enough hot water to pour down the drain and flush away the clog.
- While waiting for the water to boil, measure half a cup of table salt. Salt works as a natural scouring agent and helps to break down the blockage. Once measured, pour the salt directly into the drain.
- Carefully and slowly pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot water will begin to dissolve the salt and work its way through the blockage, breaking it apart. Be cautious not to splash yourself with the hot water.
- Allow the hot water and salt mixture to sit in the drain for about 10-15 minutes. This gives it time to work its magic and penetrate the clog, softening and dislodging it.
- After the waiting period, flush the drain with more hot water. You can either use the remaining hot water from the kettle or run the faucet with hot water for a few minutes. The hot water will help carry away the dissolved debris, effectively unclogging the drain.
- Finally, test the drain by running water down it to see if it’s flowing freely.
3. Drain Snake
What makes a drain snake one of the best home remedies for a clogged drain is its ability to reach deep into the pipes and physically break up the clog. Unlike some other methods that rely on chemical reactions or pressure, a snake allows you to directly target and dislodge the blockage. Its long, flexible design allows you to navigate through the twists and turns of your pipes, ensuring that no clog can escape its grasp.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain Using a Drain Snake
- Make sure you have a drain snake appropriate for the size of your pipes. You can find them at most hardware stores or online. Additionally, consider wearing gloves and protective eyewear to keep yourself safe during the process.
- Carefully insert the snake into the drain, pushing it in as far as possible. You want to reach the clog and ideally get past it to ensure complete removal. If you encounter resistance, it’s a good sign that you’ve reached the clog.
- Once the snake is in place, start rotating and manoeuvring it. The goal is to break up the clog and pull it out. Use a combination of pushing, pulling, and twisting motions to dislodge the obstruction. Be patient and persistent, as it may take a few tries to fully clear the drain.
- After breaking up the clog, carefully remove the snake from the drain. As you pull it out, you may notice remnants of the clog clinging to the snake. Wipe off any debris and clean the snake thoroughly before storing it.
- To ensure the clog is completely gone, run water down the drain for a few minutes. Then check if the water flows smoothly without any backups.
4. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are long-standing cleaning agents. It’s good to know that their usefulness extends beyond cleaning surfaces to unblocking drains. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive, while vinegar’s acidic properties work to dissolve the blockage. When combined, they create a fizzy reaction that helps to loosen and dislodge the clog. This puts them among the best home remedies for a clogged drain.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Make sure you have baking soda, white vinegar, and a pot of hot water. These are the basic ingredients needed for this unclogging method.
- If there is any standing water in the sink or tub, try to remove as much as possible. You want the baking soda and vinegar mixture to come into direct contact with the clog.
- Start by pouring about half a cup of baking soda directly into the drain. Make sure it goes as far down as possible, reaching the clog.
- Then, pour about half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Immediately after pouring the vinegar, plug the drain tightly with a stopper or a cloth. This step is crucial because it allows the fizzy reaction to occur within the pipes, helping to break down the clog.
- Allow the baking soda and vinegar mixture to sit in the drain for about 30 minutes. During this time, the chemical reaction will be working its magic, breaking down the blockage and clearing the pipe.
- After the waiting period, remove the stopper or cloth and flush the drain with a pot of hot water. The hot water will help wash away the dissolved clog, ensuring the drain is clear.
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5. Wire Coat Hanger
Similar to the drain snake, the wire coat hanger provides flexibility and the ability to reach deep into the drain. More so, its long and slender design makes it an excellent choice for tackling clogs that may be just out of reach for other tools. And since a coat hanger is something you probably already have in your closet, it is among the convenient and cost-effective home remedies for a clogged drain.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain Using Wire Coat Hanger
- Start by taking a wire coat hanger and straightening it as much as possible. You want to create a long, narrow tool that can easily navigate through the drain.
- Using pliers, bend one end of the coat hanger into a small hook shape. This hook will help you catch onto and dislodge the clog from the drain.
- If there is any standing water in the sink or tub, try to remove it before starting. This allows you to have a clearer view and better access to the clog.
- Carefully insert the straight end of the coat hanger into the drain, pushing it in as far as it will go. Slowly twist and manoeuvre the hanger to hook onto the clog.
- Once you’ve hooked onto the clog, gently pull and twist the coat hanger to break up the obstruction. Be patient and persistent, as it may take a few attempts to dislodge the clog completely.
- After breaking up the clog, flush the drain with hot water to wash away any remaining debris. This step helps ensure that the drain is clear and free-flowing.
6. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
This combo also works using the same mechanics as the combination of baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive while lemon juice’s acidity adds cleaning power. When you mix them together, they create a bubbling reaction that can loosen and dissolve the blockage. Hence, it is among the effective home remedies for a clogged drain.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain Using Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
- Make sure you have baking soda, fresh lemon juice, and a pot of hot water. Fresh lemon juice works best as it contains natural oils that enhance the cleaning process.
- Start by pouring about half a cup of baking soda directly into the drain. Ensure that it coats the drain as evenly as possible.
- Then, squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon into a bowl or container. The acidity of the lemon juice will enhance the cleaning power of the baking soda.
- Slowly pour the lemon juice over the baking soda in the drain. As they combine, you’ll witness the satisfying fizzing reaction, which signals that the cleaning process has begun.
- Allow the lemon juice and baking soda mixture to sit in the drain for about 30 minutes. During this time, the fizzing action will work to break down the clog and eliminate any unpleasant odours.
- After the waiting period, flush the drain with a pot of hot water. The hot water helps to wash away the dissolved clog and ensures the drain is clear and flowing smoothly.
- To verify that the clog is completely gone, run water through the drain for a few minutes.
7. Soda Drink and Hot Water
Soda drink is a good unclogging agent. And when you use it with hot water, what you get in no time is a free-flowing drain. The carbonation and phosphoric acid content help to dislodge, dissolve and remove the buildup that contributes to clogs in your drain pipes. This is one of the environmental-friendly home remedies for a clogged drain.
Steps for Unclogging a Drain With Soda Drink and Hot Water
- Select a can or bottle of soda drink that contains carbonation and phosphoric acid. Cola-based sodas tend to work well due to their carbonation and acidic properties. Avoid using diet or sugar-free options, as they may not produce the same effervescent effect.
- Boil a pot of water on your stove or heat some water using a kettle. You’ll need enough hot water to flush the drain and help wash away the dissolved clog.
- Carefully pour the entire can or bottle of soda drink directly into the drain. Also, ensure the soda covers the clogged area and goes through the pipes.
- Allow the soda to sit in the drain for about 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, the carbonation and phosphoric acid will work their magic, helping to break down the clog.
- After the waiting period, carefully pour the hot water down the drain. The hot water will help to flush away the dissolved clog and any remaining debris, ensuring a clear flow.
Now that you know these home remedies for a clogged drain, you can roll up your sleeves and get unclogging. Remember, prevention is key, so adopting good drain maintenance habits and being mindful of what goes down your drains can help you avoid future clogs. However, if the clog persists or if you’re dealing with more serious plumbing issues, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber.
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