Having a clogged drain is one of the biggest problems that many homeowners face. However, in many cases, it’s one of the easiest things to solve. The key here is to learn about the home remedies that you can use to unclog your drains and bring them back into good shape. Some of these remedies include:
1. Using a Plunger
Using a toilet plunger is helpful if you have a fully clogged drain. Before doing anything, though, make sure to wear gloves, goggles, mask, and boots since they help protect your hands, eyes, mouth, and feet, respectively, from dirty water and the bacteria it contains. Once you’re fully protected, get your plunger and apply petroleum jelly to its lip; this step is optional, but it can help in creating a strong seal and ensuring your plunger works great.
If you have a clogged sink, fill it with water until it’s halfway full or at least until the water covers the head of the plunger. If you have a clogged bathtub, fill it with around five inches of water. Put your plunger over the drain, then pump it rapidly for around 30 seconds. Doing this creates water pressure that will hopefully dislodge the clog and make your drain function like new. After 30 seconds, pull up the plunger quickly; if the water doesn’t rush down the drain, repeat the procedure two or three times.
2. Using Kitchen Ingredients
If you have a partially clogged drain (i.e. water still drains out but at an incredibly slow pace), you might be able to solve it using the things that are found in your kitchen. These include:
Sometimes, hot water is all you need to clear up a clogged drain. Just make sure it’s really hot to melt any grease and grime that’s blocking your pipes; lukewarm water won’t do the trick and may even make it harder for you to clear the clog because it just sits on top of it. Get your largest pot, fill it with water, and boil it on the stove; once it’s boiling, pour it down the drain. Be careful not to burn yourself! If you notice that water flows down the drain at a faster rate, continue pouring hot water through it.
You probably already know that you can use baking soda to clean your fridge and keep your clothes smelling fresh, but did you know that you can use it to remove blockages from drain pipes? That’s right; you can even combine it with other ingredients to come up with a powerful, all-natural cleaner that can effectively remove clogs. Here are two recipes that you can try:
Baking Soda and Salt
Get half a cup of salt and half a cup of baking soda and pour them down the drain, followed by a teakettle-full of boiling water. Let them sit overnight, then drain with hot water the next day.
You can also mix the ingredients. Get one part of baking soda, one part of salt, and four parts of boiling water, and mix until the salt and baking soda are melted. Pour this mixture down the clogged drain, allow it to sit overnight, then flush with hot water the next day.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
You probably used these two ingredients in grade school to make your own volcano. Well, it turns out that you can use their intense chemical reaction to melt clogs and make your drain work like new. Simply pour one part of baking soda down the drain, followed by one part of vinegar. Leave it for at least a few hours or even overnight to let the chemical reaction scrub your drainpipes clean. Flush with hot water the next day.
You may have heard that soda, or pop, can be used as a toilet cleaner because it contains acids that can remove gunk from your toilet. Well, it turns out this is true and that you can use soda to remove clogs from your drains as well! Simply get a bottle of Coke, Pepsi, or any other kind of pop and pour it down a partially clogged drain; leave it for a couple of hours then pour hot water down the drain to see if it now works.
3. Using a Drain Snake
Sometimes, plungers and kitchen ingredients don’t work, particularly if you’re dealing with a large clog. If this is the case, you might want to try using a drain snake or a closet auger, which you can easily buy from your local hardware store if you don’t yet have one in your DIY toolbox.
Feed the auger’s long, thin, flexible tube down the drain until you reach an obstruction (i.e. the clog). Once you do, move the wire back and forth to break up the clog into little pieces; if this happens, you’ll notice the water rushing down the drain. If the wire can’t break down the blockage, push it further to make it latch on to the clog then turn the handle to bring the wire back up. Hopefully, it will bring up with it whatever is blocking your drain, which is definitely gross but will at least solve your problem.
Of course, take note that feeding the auger down the drain isn’t your only option. If this doesn’t work for a clogged sink, you can remove the clean-out plug from under the sink and feed the auger through it to locate and dislodge the blockage. If feeding the auger through the bathtub drain doesn’t work, remove the overflow plate so you can work the auger through the overflow pipe and hopefully find the clog.
These are just some of the home remedies that you can use to fix a clogged drain. They work most of the time for simple, minor blockages but, if you’re dealing with a major clog in a hard-to-reach area, you might find that they’re not really effective. If this is the case, you’ll need to get the help of a professional plumber, who can assist you in getting your drainage system back into great shape.