Want some home remedies for blocked drains? Of course you do! A blocked drain can be expensive. Plumbers will charge you about a $100 for a job that you could do yourself, if you only knew the right way to do it. There are actually several different solutions you can use to clear that clog. In this article, we’ve listed them in the order that you should try them, depending on the clog type.
- Most bathroom clogs can be cleaned with a simple home solution – a baking soda volcano! Did you ever combine baking soda and vinegar as a kid to make a foamy explosion? If not, here’s your chance to try it out. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into your drain. You may want to use a funnel to get it all in there. Then pour in 1/2 cup of vinegar and stand back! Well, not really. It may foam up around the top of the drain, but the mixture likely will not explode. You will want to let it sit for at least three hours or overnight to allow it to do its work. When the time is up, pour about 4 cups boiling water down the drain to flush it out. If this method doesn’t work then …
- Are you trying to clean a drain that may be clogged with grease? This is not uncommon in the kitchen. Grease does not dissolve in water, and it will harden over time to completely block your drain. There are a few things that will break up a tough grease clog – namely, salt, dish soap, and hot water. You will want to pour 1/2 cup salt mixed with a 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain and leave it sit for about twenty minutes. Then pour about 8 cups boiling water down the drain. If this method doesn’t work, you can try it again or move to the next step.
- The dreaded plunger. It seems like such a simple device, yet it can prove so hard to use. The trick is getting a good seal and building up sufficient water pressure to move the clog. What you will want to do is first block the overflow drain to help increase your seal. This is best done with a wet washcloth or rag. Next, you will want to put some petroleum jelly around the lip of the plunger. This helps you make a better seal. Then, make sure there’s enough water in your sink to cover the plunger. Next, slide your plunger into sink and overtop of the drain. Then, you will want to pump the plunger up and down rapidly about a dozen times. You should not lift it off the drain during this time – just concentrate on feeling the water move under the seal. After you build up pressure (you’ll feel it pulling on the plunger), lift the plunger rapidly straight off the drain. The pressure will pull the water on top down, forcing the clog through. This process can be repeated several times.
- If this doesn’t work and you have a trap under the drain, you may want to clean the trap. This involves taking the trap off and manually removing any hair clogs. Once you get it off, you’ll be able to see anything in there easily.
- What if that doesn’t work? Then you may want to look into an auger. An auger is a thin metal tube with a crank. You feed it down the pipe behind the trap until you feel a blockage. Then you move it back and forth until you work the clog loose. Then, slowly pull it out.
- Now, if you don’t want to do steps 4 and 5, I understand. They are a little more difficult. Another option at that stage is to use a store bought drain cleaner. Just don’t use it in standing water, as the corrosive chemicals can actually eat away at your pipes if they are left to sit in them. Follow the package directions for the brands that you get for this.
Hopefully, one of these remedies for blocked drains will work for you!
Photo courtesy of Sustainable Sanitation via Flickr.