4 Easy Ways to Unclog a Drain at Home
As a homeowner, you may experience a clogged drain from time to time. This can happen in the shower of your en suite bathroom, the sink in your kitchen, or any other drainage system throughout your property.
The first sign that a drain is clogged will be the obvious stagnating water. If you don’t notice that at first, you may experience a not-disturbingly gross/wet smell. If not properly treated, a blocked drain will only get worse. Therefore, a clogged drain should be unclogged as soon as possible.
In this article, we’ll explain the four most effective ways to unclog a drain at home to prevent further issues.
1. Use a Bent Wire or Drain Snake
A cheap way to unclog your drain is to use a bent wire. This can be macgyvered by unwrapping a wire clothes hanger and carefully using it to remove the blockage down the pipe. Instead of a bent wire, a drain snake can also be used. Drain snakes only last a few attempts, so it’s important to use them properly to ensure you unclog your drain fully.
Here’s how to use a drain snake:
- Place the snake or wire down the drain
- Push it down several inches as far as the drain initially lets you
- Twist and pull back and forth to break up hair clumps and soap scum
2. Use a Plunger
A plunger can be used to unclog different drains in your home. You can use a sink plunger for the sinks, a toilet flange plunger for the toilet, and a bath plunger for the tub. Don’t use a toilet plunger on sinks and baths, as this is considered unhygienic.
Oftentimes, clogs are formed much further down the pipes than it appears. Using a plunger can help you remove the blockages further down the line, which will prevent the clogs from reappearing quickly.
Here’s how to use a plunger on a sink drain at home:
- Fill the sink with water
- Place the plunger over the drain
- Plunge quickly for several seconds
- Quickly pull it away from the drain
- Repeat until the blockage is gone
There are electric plungers you can hire to unclog a very difficult clogged drain at home. Because these machines are powerful, they should only be used to fix major blockages. The safety instructions should also be followed carefully to prevent damaging the sink or bathtub.
3. Use Baking Soda & Vinegar
Baking soda mixed with vinegar contains all the components needed to break down clogs in sinks. The combination of baking soda and vinegar plus hot water helps loosen drain clogs, particularly food blockages. Salt and baking soda can also be used if you don’t have any white vinegar at home.
Here’s how to use baking soda and white vinegar to unclog a drain at home:
- Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of vinegar and pour it into the clogged drain
- Let it sit for 15 minutes
- In the meantime, boil water, which you will pour into the drain
Use caution when applying these substances to your sinks and bathtubs. Certain surfaces can be stained or eroded by the chemicals, so it’s best to check the mixture is compatible with your basins first to prevent damage to a property.
4. Clean the Drain Trap
Drain clogs can be caused by blockages in the sink trap or P-trap. These types of clogs are easy to fix, as the traps are removable and very easy to clean.
Here’s how to clean a drain trap:
- Place a bucket underneath the sink to collect water
- Remove the sink trap
- Clean the P-trap
- Fix it back in place, ensuring all spaces are securely locked
- Pour hot water down the sink to clear any remaining debris
How to Fix Reoccurring Drain Clogs
All in all, drains are difficult to maintain. Keeping drains clear is one of the more frequent home maintenance tasks all homeowners have to do routinely. But precautions can be taken to prevent drains from getting clogged and reduce the chance of recurring drain blockages.
For example, you can:
- Brush hair before showering or bathing
- Clean plates properly into the trash or compost bin before washing up
- Routinely clean dishwasher filters
- Avoid using too much toilet paper in one flush
Sometimes, home drains are more likely to get clogged if you have an old property with kitchens and bathrooms that haven’t been modernized for some time. By redesigning a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen, you can install new plumbing, sinks, appliances, and amenities to prevent drains from getting clogged in the future.
Owning real estate can be tiring. There are many things to maintain, including drains and plumbing. After the kids move out, many people consider downsizing to a smaller home to reduce maintenance tasks, cash in on equity, and live an easier life.