10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains
So the signs are all there the sink is draining slowly, water is gathering around your feet in the shower and strange odours are affecting your home; all signs that you might be facing a completely clogged up drain.
This needs to be dealt with quickly and will often require a professional drainage company to come and unblock your drains.
Below are our top tips to try before calling out a company to unblock your drains.
1. Baking Soda + Vinegar
Ahh, the old miracle cure, every problem in the world can be fixed with baking soda and vinegar it seems, no but really it does work.
Mix 125ml of baking soda with 125ml of vinegar and as it starts to fizz get it down the plughole. The fizzing helps dislodge hair and grime in the pipe. Don’t wash it down quite yet let it sit for at least an hour or if possible overnight ( if you can bare a vinegar smell for 24hrs). Flush this out using hot water.
2. Bent Wire Hanger . . . Bent Wire.
I have used this multiple times, living with two long-haired ladies who seem to not want to clear out the plug holes I have to keep an eye on the soap and hair that accumulates over time.
I prefer a piece of strong wire, one that can keep a hook shape when pulling back up from within the plug hole. Go fishing by pushing the wire softly down the plughole, if you meet resistance along the way don’t be tempted to push hard as this can push the blockage further down. I am always amazed at how much can be fished out relatively easily, and then with an after flush of hot water, the job is done.
Please be aware you need a fairly strong stomach when doing this. What comes out can be mistaken for some sort of alien lifeform, be prepared.
3. Wet & Dry Vacuum
Ok, set your vacuum cleaner to vacuum liquids. Cover up the vent in the sink to prevent mess and create the tightest seal you can over the drain around the vacuum pipe. This can be strong enough to draw out the clog into the bag/vacuum. Worth a go.
Easy as 123, get the kettle on and boil some water. Now carefully pour this down into the drain. Do this in three stages allowing a little time in between each pour. Often this is the quickest and most successful way to unblock drains.
5. Caustic Soda
You need to be careful with this one, make sure you wear rubber gloves because Caustic soda is uhmmmm caustic and can cause nasty chemical burns. Homecare Caustic Soda will do the job. Be careful also when using this as the fumes are pretty tough on your lungs, make sure the room you use it in is well ventilated. Many drain products sold in shops contain caustic soda so you might as well by the real deal. Always closely follow the instructions and safety precautions that come with the product.
Pour your mixture it into the clogged drain and leave for 20-30 minutes, then flush the drain with boiling water. Repeat if necessary. This is fast working on organic blockages.
6. Cleaning out the Pipe
Another one I have personally done and another one that is pretty nasty. Place a bucket under the U shaped pipe beneath the sink. The bucket will collect water that is left in the pipe. Loosen the slip knots on the pipe with a plumbers wrench. Free the trap and then turn it upside down to tip out any matter that is in the pipe. Also, poke around with a piece of wire or better still a bottle brush and clear the pipe out entirely. Rinse in water and that’s the job done fix your trap back onto the sink pipes.
Note to self: Remember not to rinse the pipe in the sink you took the trap off of unless the bucket is still in place.
7. Snakes on a Drain ( Drain Snakes )
Yes, I said drain snake. A simple low tech piece of equipment that is a miracle. It’s a long flexible rope made of metal with a spiral on the end. Called flexisnake sometimes and also made of plastic. Look it up on amazon. Lots of youtube videos showing you how to use them. it’s not difficult.
8. Salt and Baking Soda
Mix 125ml of table salt and 125ml of baking soda then pour down the drain. Leave this for a good 20 minutes. Boil some water and pour this carefully into the drain. This produces a nice chemical reaction that should dissolve some fairly stubborn organic blockages.
9. Dish Washing Liquid
70ml of detergent and mix with boiling water, pour down the sink. Next, get a plunger and start to carefully plunge at first so not to scald yourself on the boiling water.
9. Dish Detergent
If your toilet is clogged, pour 1/4 cup of dish detergent in the bowl. Then boil some water. The dish soap will act as a lubricant and help break up any greasy residue. Then pour the hot water down, and get ready to start plunging. If the plunger doesn’t cut it, rubber gloves may be the next option.
10. Baking Soda, Vinegar, Gravity, and Pressure
Using tip number 1 , then put the plug back in. Leave for 40 minutes. Then fill the bath with water and pull the plug out, the pressure of the water should dislodge the blockage. If not maybe try a flexisnake or plunger to help the nasty stuff on its way.
If none of the above work its definitely time to call a drain company who will send an engineer to locate the issue and get your drains flowing freely again.