5 helpful tips for unclogging your drain

November 19, 2014

Here are five great tips for unclogging a blocked drain.
It happens to the best of us. No matter how clean you keep your home, at some point you will be faced with the nasty task of unclogging a clogged drain. It’s gross. It’s dirty. It’s not always worth calling the professionals. Most small clogs can be cleared away with a little elbow grease and the right tools.

Below are a few tips on how to clean your clogged drains yourself.

1. The wire hanger

If you have a wire hanger handy, then you're set to go. This method works best on clogged bathtub and sink drains.

  • If there is a drain cover, remove it
  • Unwind the wire hanger and straighten it out
  • Make a hook at the end of the hanger
  • Use the hook to pull out hair and other items that may be clogging up your drain
  • Be sure not to accidentally push the clog further into the drain
  • If you’re one of those fancy people who only use fancy clothes hangers, try a crotchet hook or make your own wire hook using straightened metal paper clips

2. Home-made drain cleaner

If you want to try making your own environmentally friendly drain cleaner, do the following:

  • Combine 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a large container
  • IMMEDIATELY pour the liquid down the drain. You want to do this right away because as soon as you mix the vinegar and baking soda, it’s going to fizz. That fizz is what will hopefully dislodge the clog
  • Once the fizzing has stopped, pour hot water down the drain
  • HELPFUL HINT: You may just want to turn on the hot water tap, but it might take a minute for the water to get hot enough to work. Instead, have a bucket of hot (not boiling) water standing by so it can follow the fizzy mixture right away

3. Snakes in the drain!
If the above two methods don't remove the clog, you may need to go shopping. Most home repair and hardware stores sell manual and electric plumbing snakes that will get deeper into the drain and hopefully dislodge the clog. These plumbing snakes aren’t too expensive and are handy to have for emergencies.
4. Over-the-counter clog-dissolving products
If the clog is in your toilet, it is not recommended that you use these products. The chemicals can damage the porcelain and can sometimes explode in the pipes, leading to a much larger problem.

If you have plastic pipes, these types of drain removal products can be quite damaging and can even corrode metal piping over time if used too often.
5. Call the professionals
If the above methods don’t work, or make matters worse, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

5 helpful tips for unclogging your drain
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