unclog drains

Easy Ways to Unclog Drains

Here are some easy ways to unclog drains

At some point, everyone deals with a clogged, stopped, or slow drain. Not only is it annoying, but it makes simple tasks, such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower, almost impossible. If left unattended it can lead to bigger problems. Fortunately, this isn’t always a plumbing emergency. The truth is that many drains can be unclogged without the assistance of a professional. To get rid of a clog, here are the easiest most effective ways to unclog a drain.


Every household needs a good plunger. This basic tool has a handle with a simple round rubber cup on the end that covers the drains entirely. If the drain is clogged there is probably standing water in the sink or toilet. If it’s a slow drain, then fill it with a small amount of water. Next, make sure the cup forms a strong seal around the drain. Pump up and down with a steady, smooth motion. If you do it, too hard then water will splash and make a mess. After 20-30 seconds, pop the plunger off the drain for extra pressure. If the water starts to immediately swirl down the drain, then your plunging was effective. If not, try a second time. If plunging doesn’t work after 2-3 times you might want to try another suggestion.

Wire Hanger

If you do not have a plunger, a wire hanger can be used to unclog a drain. Unwrap the hanger but leave the hook in its formed shape. Using a pair of pliers, flatten the hook so it will fit down the pipe. Feed the hook down the drain. When you feel the hook hit the clog, wiggle it around and pull it back up. Be warned that a clog is a combination of your hair, soap, and dirt that’s been sitting for months. They don’t look or smell pretty. 

Boiling Water

This is a simple, yet surprisingly effective way to unclog drains. However, you should know that it works best when there isn’t standing water in the sink or toilet. (You can use a cup to get rid of any sitting water.) After bringing water to a boil, slowly pour it down the drain, while flushing.

Salt and Boiling Water

If boiling water isn’t effective on its own, you can repeat this step using salt. Pour ½ cup of table salt down the drain BEFORE pouring the boiling water in. After sitting for 2-3 minutes, flush with hot water.

Dish Detergent

If you suspect your clog is caused by greasy buildup, dish detergent may be exactly what you need to easily dislodge the clog. Pour a quarter cup of detergent directly into the drain. Follow it with hot water. For the best results, you may also want to use a plunger.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar will cause foaming, fizzing bubbles that is ideal for removing any buildup in your drains. Start by pouring half a box of baking soda directly down the drain. Follow this with a half cup of vinegar. Next, place the cover the drain with the drain plug and allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes. Finally, remove the plug and pour boiling water down the drain.

If All Else Fails

If none of the methods above are successful, you may have a severe clog that requires professional intervention. Fortunately, you can call First Service Plumbing & Drains for the expert help you need. Our prompt and courteous service will have your drain flowing right in no time.

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