Clogged Drain? Here Are 8 Effective Options – The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Gainesville Restoration and Remodeling.
Clogged Drain? Here Are 8 Effective Options
Plumbing systems may clog over time, and that is normal. After all, you use them every day, so you can’t always keep them free from grease, grime, dust, and other elements.
But the good news is that there are ways to clear the clog once and for all: use specialized cleaning products and tools or seek professional help.
In this post, we’ll discuss the available options for clearing clogs in your plumbing system. However, before we do that, let’s figure out why your plumbing system sometimes gets clogged.
Why Clogs Happen
Hair clumps are the most common culprits behind a clogged shower drain, while toilet paper build-up is the popular cause of a clogged toilet. Large food particles and grease in the pipes, on the other hand, are usual reasons your kitchen sink clogs.
You see, water cannot flow properly once debris and other solid particles accumulate. As a result, your plumbing system may slow down or clog. To make matters worse, you will never know your plumbing system is clogged until you experience these problems:
- The toilet overflows or won’t flush, no matter what you do.
- It takes longer than usual to drain water in the bathtub, sink, and shower.
- There’s an odd smell coming from your plumbing system.
- You find standing water around the dishwasher, laundry machine, or toilet base.
How to Unclog Your Drains
There are many ways to unclog your drain, but it can be challenging to identify which option works best for your plumbing system. As a general rule, start with the easiest and gentlest solution to avoid making the problem worse.
Here are some easy methods to unclog your drain:
1. Use a hanger to unclog the sink.
Food particles, hair, and dirt can get stuck in your drain pipe walls. If not removed, they can slow down water flow and cause your plumbing system to clog.
A quick solution to this involves the use of a simple hanger. Find a coat hanger, straighten it out, and bend it to form a small hook shape at the end of the wire. Slowly push the hook down to the hole and start to fish. Do not push the hanger downwards. This will only cause the blockage to move further down the drain. It is best to use gentle hooking motions to remove the gunk that is blocking your drain.
2. Use a dish detergent.
Hair can easily clog the shower drains, whereas wipes, tissue paper, and female sanitary products tossed into the toilet bowl are notorious for blocking the toilet.
As a quick fix for clogged shower drains and toilets, use dish detergent. This product can break the build-up and lubricate your drain. Start by pouring a cup of dish detergent, then flush it with boiling water. To make it easier to remove the blockage, use a plunger.
3. Add baking soda and vinegar.
Who knew that our science class project is key to unclogging your drains? Believe it or not, baking soda and vinegar aren’t just for the DIY volcano project we had during our early years at school. The fizzing power created by these two ingredients can help eliminate mild clogs!
Pour boiling water into the drain and wait for it to be cleared. After that, pour one-half cup of baking soda. Follow that with one cup of vinegar and another cup of hot water. Wait for about an hour as the ingredients work their magic. Lastly, use tap water to drain the ingredients away. Your drain should work properly at this point.
4. Use washing soda.
If the previous method did not work, find a stronger alternative, such as washing soda.
Also called sodium carbonate, washing soda is a common cleaning product used for unclogging drains. Compared to baking soda, this ingredient is more alkaline, making it a stronger and more effective drain cleaner.
To use, pour boiling water down the sink and follow it with a cup of washing soda. Next, pour another cup of boiling water and leave it there for 5 minutes. Any blockage should be removed by then. If you notice that your sink is still not draining quickly, repeat the process.
5. Use a wet/dry vacuum.
As the name suggests, a wet/dry vacuum cleans liquids and dry dirt by vacuuming. This is commonly used to suck waste from clogged drains, especially if the blockage is near the surface.
Before you start, make sure to create a seal over the hole to prevent creating a mess. You can use an old or broken plunger head for this. Then turn on the vacuum and choose the liquid setting. Use the most powerful suction if possible. Put it over the plughole. Leave it there for 1-2 minutes. Then turn it off and pour tap water to see if the sink is now unblocked.
We know that coke makes for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. But did you know it also works as an effective clog drain fix? Simply pour 2 liters of cola down the drain and let it sit for at least an hour. Then add hot water to drain it away. Watch how blockage is removed.
Unlike commercial drain cleaners, coke is quite effective but far milder. So, it’s definitely safe to use. However, note that it can also leave a sticky substance because of its sugar syrup content. Hence, it is recommended to use only when dealing with major plumbing system blockages.
You can also use tools like plungers to unclog your drains. But make sure you use the right type because plungers are not created equal. A simple toilet plunger won’t work if you are dealing with a sink blockage. For that, you need a cup plunger.
To use a plunger, unscrew the stopper and position the plunger into the drain. Create a tight seal. Then start plunging. Run water every now and then to see if the clog has cleared. Repeat the process if necessary.
8. Caustic Soda
Caustic soda is a harsh ingredient and can cause chemical burns if not used properly. So, when you use it, you need to wear eye goggles and rubber gloves. Also, ensure that there is proper ventilation in the area to avoid suffocation.
To use caustic soda in unclogging drains, add three-quarters of a gallon of water and three cups of caustic soda to a bucket. Stir well using a wooden spoon. You should notice that the solution starts to fizz. Pour it down the blocked drain and leave it there for half an hour. Rinse it with boiling water. Repeat the process if needed.
Never Have to Worry About Clogged Drains!
Clogged drains can be annoying, especially if they become a regular problem. But before you resort to harsh chemicals, try to remove the visible blockages first and opt for natural solutions. They are safer for you, your pipes, and the environment.
However, if you are not confident about what to do with your clogged pipes, seek help from experts. Professional plumbing service providers can fix clogged drains, so you don’t have to. They also offer drain cleaning services to prevent clogged drains! Plus, they can recommend the best course of action to unclog those drains.
About the author
Merrie is a Marketing Manager for the Rooter Ranger brand. Her focus is on results driven strategic marketing efforts that deliver sales and profit growth. In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors and traveling the world.