How to Clean a Clogged Washing Machine Drain

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Did you just enter the laundry area and found water and detergent all over the floor?

Ah! Your washing machine has ditched you and has even created a mess.

Are you worried about the huge pile of clothes that are yet to be washed? Not to talk about the additional task of cleanup.

What are you going to do to deal with the situation?

It is most likely that you immediately look for your cell phone to call a plumber.

But, have you ever tried to resolve the problem on your own?

No worries, if you have not; there is always a first time!

While there are many things that can go wrong with a washing machine; many a times what seems to be a huge technical problem turns out to be only an issue with the drainage system.

This is why we emphasize that you learn how to clean a clogged washing machine drain and save the money that you otherwise pay to the plumber.  One of the best drain openers for this applicaiton is our Safer Drain Opener.  Click here for more information about this great product.

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However, before we discuss how to clean a clogged washing machine drain on your own, it is important to find out what has caused the blockage so that appropriate measures can be taken.

What’s Clogging Your Washing Machine Drain?

Learning about the primary causes of washing machine drain clogs is the groundwork for the DIY repair task that you have decided to take up. Discussing how to clean a clogged washing machine drain without telling you about the causes is like dealing only with one half of the problem while ignoring the other.

This is because only by knowing the cause of the blockage will you be able to prevent it from happening again. Also, when you what’s clogging your machine, you will be able to locate the clog and know what fixtures need to be removed or disconnected to resolve the issue. Otherwise you will find yourself struggling with how to clean a clogged washing machine drain every now and then.

Clogs in household laundry units usually occur because of:

  • Gunk and grime. It is quite normal that gunk and grime buildup inside the washing machine drain, if not cleaned for a long time.
  • Soap scum buildup
  • Oil and grease on clothes keep depositing on the walls of the pipe creating clog, if not cleaned regularly.
  • Pet hair, lint and clothes’ fibers.
  • Some external material. It is very common that small objects, such as buttons, coins, keys, children’s socks, hair clips and bands, screws, nails and small toys, get stuck in the washing machine’s drainage system and prevent the water to drain properly, making people worried about how to clean a clogged washing machine drain .

Wondering how external objects make their way into the washing machine?

According to professionals, 85% of the washing machine clogs are because some external object has stuck somewhere in the drain; this is more common than we think!

The major reason that leads to this problem is that people do not usually check clothes before putting them into the washing machine. As a result, smaller items, such as coins or keys from the pockets and loose shirt buttons etc. make their way into the drain pump and get stuck.

What makes the situation worse is that the problems caused in washing machines due to any foreign object are not covered by the warranty as it comes under users’ neglect and not manufacturing fault.

Unable to claim warranty repair, many consumers end up paying plumbers for the tasks that they can easily do on their own.

The very purpose of this article is to educate all the consumers out there about how to clean a clogged washing machine drain on your own and save money.

Locating the Clog

Knowing tips for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain, but not being able to find out the site of the clog is not going to serve you any purpose. This is why we have made how and where to look for the blockage, a part of the how to clean a clogged washing machine drain blog.

Clogs in the washing machine that create problems in the drainage and make people worried about how to clean a clogged washing machine drain usually originate in:

·       Drain Tube

Washing machine drain clogs mostly occur in the drain tube due to which the water from the washing machine could not be pumped out. So, whenever you are faced with the question how to clean a clogged washing machine drain, the very first thing to do is to remove the drain tube (it is attached to the washer) and check if there is any blockage inside it.

The easiest way to ensure that is to blow air through the drain tube. You can use vacuum cleaner for this purpose; remove the cleaning head and directly blow the air from the hose.

·       Pump

If no blockage is found in the drain tube, experts suggest checking the pump. A poorly working or dysfunctional pump prevents water to get out of the washing machine when the cycle ends. If this is the problem, you may need to replace the pump or get it repaired.

·       Drain

If you notice that the water is seeping out of the washing machine while it is running and it is not draining properly as well, it is highly likely that the clog is at the drain. When the drain is clogged, the water backs up into the pipe and spills outside the machine.

To locate a clog in the drain, fill the machine with water and then turn it to the drain/ spin setting. Make sure to keep your eye both on the drain standpipe and the washer dial and notice how long the water takes to come out of the drain pipe. If it takes only few seconds, it means the clog is very close, but if it takes some time that means the clog is deep down the drain.

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How to Clean a Clogged Washing Machine Drain?

Once you have detected the cause and the site of the clog, it is time to get ready to face the big question and learn how to clean a clogged washing machine drain on your own.

1.     Hot Water

Running hot water down the drain of your washing machine helps to clear clogs that are either partial or not too stubborn, such as those caused due to the buildup of soap residue inside the drain pipe.

However, this may not work if you already run the hot water cycles, quite often, for laundry. This is because if a clog occurs in a washing machine that runs on hot water, it is most likely a stubborn clog or an obstruction caused by some foreign object(s).

This simple tip is likely to work for people who either run the washer on cold or are faced with the question how to clean a clogged washing machine drain during the freezing winters. During very cold weather, ice can form anywhere inside the drainage system of washing machine and the hot water will melt any ice buildup and remove the clog.

2.     Use the Miraculous Ingredients

If you have ever taken up a DIY cleaning task, it is very likely that you know what we are talking about.

Let us give you a hint; it is called an all purpose cleaner and is made up of only two very common ingredients from your kitchen cabinet.

Yes! You guessed it right.

We are talking about the simple yet miraculous homemade cleaner that is made up of white vinegar and baking soda and often works better than many commercial cleaners.

How to clean a clogged washing machine drain with baking soda and vinegar?

Put one of the ingredients in the drum area and the other in the detergent compartment. Now run the washing machine on a shot hot water cycle.

This will not only clear out the clog in the drainage system, but will also cleanse your machine from inside; removing dirt, bacteria and any bad odor. This remedy works great for drain clogs and you will never be searching for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain effectively, ever again.

Alternative Way to Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Do you want to know how to clean a clogged washing machine drain with baking soda and vinegar, but do not want to run the ingredients through your washing machine?

Do not worry; we have an alternative way to use the miraculous ingredients.

Separate the drain pipe. Boil about 2 cups of water. As soon as it starts boiling, pour about one cup of baking soda directly into the drain immediately followed by the boiling water. Let them work for about 10 to 15 minutes. Clog will loosen up and start to break down.

Pour another cup baking soda into the drain again and immediately pour the same quantity of white vinegar.

Place a rubber stopper over the drain and leave for another 10 – 15 minutes. The chemical reaction that takes place between vinegar and sodium bicarbonate will completely dissolve the clog. Lastly, flush the drain with boiling water. Be generous with the water at last (use at least half a gallon). This is important to remove all the debris from the drainage system so that they won’t get stuck anywhere again making you get worried again about how to clean a clogged washing machine drain.

3.     Washing Soda and Salt

If all other methods that you have searched for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain do not work, try this powerful remedy that works great for the most stubborn of all clogs. For this, detach the drain pipe from the washing machine and pour abut a cup of washing soda directly into the drain. Leave it for 4 to 5 hours (overnight is even better). Now, combine one cup of baking soda and about 1/4th cup of table salt and pour it down the drain. Leave it for another 4 to 5 hours (overnight is better here as well).

Take a pan and mix 2 cups of water and white vinegar in it. Boil the mixture and pour it slowly down the drain. You will see the fizz. Once the fizzing stops, flush the drain with hot water.

Voila! You will be surprised to see the amazing results. Some people may think this remedy takes too much time to work, but if you have ever experienced a tough clog you must know how difficult it is to remove them. Try this once and you will be suggesting it to everyone around you who have been looking for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain without having to call a plumber.

This home remedy totally worth your time and effort!

4.     Commercial Drain Cleaner

While commercial cleaners definitely works great for removing various types of clogs, a lot of people now prefer to abstain from using any harsh chemicals for any household cleaning task. Therefore, they are often found searching for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain with natural ingredients.

But, if you do not really mind using commercial cleaners, pour it down the drain along with hot water. For this, you need to separate the drain line from the machine and pour the cleaner directly into the drain.
Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, flush with regular water. Or follow the instructions written on the package.

If commercial cleaner is your answer to the how to clean a clogged washing machine drain question, then do read the ingredient list carefully to make sure it does not have any chemicals that could cause harm to your machine, pipes, drainage system or to the environment.

5.     Drain Snake

If the problem of how to clean a clogged washing machine drain does not resolve even after using the cleaners, then get ready to use some elbow grease.

Get hold of a drain snake, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Remove the drainage hose from the washing machine and insert the snake down the drain pipe. Push it as deep down the drain as possible; you would feel when it reaches the clog. Once you reach the clog, rotate the snake’s handle so that the sturdy wire gets hold of the debris. Move the snake a little in and out of the drain pipe to make sure it effectively removes all the clogs.

Check the drain pipe by flushing water through it. You may need to use the snake two to three times if there are multiple blockages. If you don’t do this, it is likely that the question of how to clean a clogged washing machine drain will arise again after a few days.

drain cleaner

Conclusion

Many people search for how to clean a clogged washing machine drain when the problem has already got worst. While the tips and tricks that have been discussed in the blog are effective in removing clogs from the washing machine drain, you may have to try a couple of them if the clog is too stubborn.

Therefore, once you get rid of the clog make sure to prevent it from happening again as much as possible. Although you cannot completely rule out the possibility of blockages in the washing machine drain, you can certainly increase the gap between them by undertaking small preventive measures. The most important is to check all pockets of clothes before throwing them into the machine; if you make it a habit it is very likely that you will not have to deal with the how to clean a clogged washing machine drain problem for a long time to come.

Also, keep a check on the washing machine drain and make sure to clean them frequently so that any soap scum, dust, grime or gunk buildup could be removed before they create a complete and stubborn clog and makes you freak out about how to clean a clogged washing machine drain.

We are a family owned and operated small business in the USA. Our mission is to bring industrial strength cleaning chemicals to the retail market, with the safety of the consumer and the environment in mind.


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