How to Clean Out a Clogged Drain 

 May 28, 2017

By  Xion Lab

Some of the home repair tasks are really annoying, yet they need to be dealt immediately. This blog is about one such problem that almost all of us face from time to time.

Remember the last time you noticed water pooling around your feet while you were taking shower or that kitchen sink started taking longer to drain and you kept ignoring it until one morning, you found the floor flooded with water.

Did you ever wonder why that happened all of a sudden?

Well, it didn’t really happen suddenly. There were warning signs!

That water accumulating around your feet and in the sink was actually trying to tell you about the problem with drains of your house. But, since you ignored the warning signs, you had to call plumber and spend pretty penny to deal with the problem.

No matter how much you detest facing the question how to clean out a clogged drain, the fact is that drain clogging cannot be completely avoided in any plumbing system (we can only wish to have a plumbing system that never gets clogged). So, rather than keep wishing if someone could come up with a new type of plumbing system, it is better to learn how to clean out a clogged drain before it creates a mess in your house.

How to Clean Out a Clogged Drain

Identify the Nature of Clog

The first step to unclog a drain is to find out what’s causing it. Since there are numerous things that can block the drains, you have to know the nature of the problem (i.e. the clog) to resolve it and to look for how to clean out a clogged drain?

What’s clogging Your Bathroom Drains?

If it’s your bathroom sink or the shower that’s draining slow or is flooding with water, it is because of the following two things:

1. Hair

Do you know that hair is the most common reason behind drain clogs in bathrooms?

While hair goes down the drain with water most easily, it gets stuck in the pipe, usually just below the drain. With time, they accumulate and completely block the line.

2. Soap Residue

Soap could be another reason that makes your search for how to clean out a clogged drain of your bathroom. Soap contains fat and thus, its scum is greasy. While the soap residue doesn’t create a clog overnight, it can definitely create a huge problem if the drains are not cleaned regularly. Soap particles and residue stick to the inner linings of pipes and not only create stubborn clogs, but could also corrode the pipes.

What’s In Your Kitchen Sink Pipe?

Clogs in the kitchen sink could be due to:

  • Food Particles

No matter how careful you are to not let any food particles go down the drain of your kitchen sink, it feels they somehow sneak into it and then stick to the pipes making you wonder how to clean out a clogged drain of your kitchen sink without having to call a plumber or using harmful chemicals.

  • Vegetable and Fruit Peels

Never throw vegetable and fruit peels down the kitchen sink drain, it would create the trouble bigger and worse than you could imagine. Fruits and vegetable peels easily get trapped into the curved pipe of the sinks and block them.

  • FOG

When it comes to kitchen, FOG means “Fat, Oil and Grease”. It is because of this FOG that a large number of people spend hours on the internet searching for how to clean out a clogged drain.

Liquid grease, fat, and oil easily go down the drain with water while dish washing, but as they move down the drainage, they cool down and stick to the inner lining of the pipe forming a layer of fat. With time, this fat layer becomes thicker first causing a slow drain and then, a complete blockage.

How to Clean Out a Clogged Drain – No More Calling a Plumber

Enough of calling plumber and spending large amounts of money every other month!

This blog is specifically written to help out all those people out there who want to know how to clean out a clogged drain easily, quickly and without much trouble. Here, we are discussing some simple yet amazingly useful DIY tips and tricks to clean all types of drain clogs so, no one has to ever ask again how to clean out a clogged drain?

First Step: Use Boiling Water

The very first thing to do whenever you are faced with the disgusting question i.e. how to clean out a clogged drain, is to flush the drain with boiling water. Be generous in using boiling hot water.

This can be sued for all types of clogs and in all drains whether it’s in your kitchen or bathroom. While it cannot completely unclog the tough blockages, it can make the cleanup easier. However, this could alone resolve most cases of slow drainage.

So, whenever you notice that the water is not flowing smoothly through a drain, do not wait for it to become worse and immediately flush it with a large pot of boiling water.

Second Step: Use a Plunger

If hot water has not resolved the problem and you are still worried about how to clean out a clogged drain, this means the clog is stubborn. Try using a plunger!

To use a plunger, first fill half of the sink with warm water and then give it a powerful plunging. Now, flush the drain with hot water.

This method works great for obstruction caused by the food particles, peels, or any other object that may be trapped at the curved area of the pipe.

Third Step: Use a Wire

A lot of people when asked how to clean out a clogged drain, recommend this trick.

You may need to use a wire for unclogging the bathroom drains because they may be blocked due to bunch of hair or gunk. For this trick, take a long wire and bend of its ends to make a hook.

You need to remove the drain cover to insert the wire (hook side down) into the pipe. Insert the wire as deep into the pipe as possible and then slowly pull it out. You may have to do it a few times to make sure the pipe is completely cleaned.

We know this is gross, but you have to do it for the sake of your bathroom.

drain cleaner

How to Clean Out A Clogged Drain with a Homemade Drain Cleaner

If you think the steps mentioned above are too gross for you to even try, use a homemade drain cleaner.

Do not worry; you won’t have to rush to the market to buy ingredients for making your own drain cleaner.

The task can be performed using some of the amazing ingredients that are most likely to be lying in your kitchen cabinet and work great for unclogging a drain. Take a look and you won’t be asking how to clean out a clogged drain ever again in your life.

Baking Soda and Salt

The Miraculous Ingredient

Long ago, there was a time when baking soda or sodium bicarbonate was only considered a key ingredient by bakers. But, as soon as people found out its amazing cleaning properties, it became an essential cleaning supply in many households.

Baking soda is one of the very few natural products that can be used for a variety of purposes. It not only makes your cakes and breads to rise, but can is also an all purpose cleaner. Moreover, it helps you maintaining your beautiful smile; baking soda is present in toothpastes, and is considered a natural deodorant.

Can you think of any other natural ingredient that serves such differing purposes? We bet, you can’t!

We all know that baking soda is one of a kind natural compound, but do you know that it is basically a salt with unique chemical properties?

Chemically speaking, baking soda is a neutral compound; it is made up of a positive and a negative ion like all other types of salts. But, what makes it unique is its pH. Its pH is slightly alkaline or basic.

It is because of this slightly basic pH that makes baking soda a wonderful odor eliminator. Unlike the scented candles and air fresheners, baking soda does not mask the odors, rather completely remove them. The science behind this odor elimination is that most smells are acidic in nature. The alkaline sodium bicarbonate reacts with the acidic odors present in the air and neutralizes them.

Baking soda is also the ultimate solution for people who want to know how to clean out a clogged drain without much hassle and spending a lot of money.

How to Clean Out a Clogged Drain Using Two Types of Salts?

The combination of two salts i.e. baking soda and table salt works amazingly for removing the nasty and stubborn clogs and is a great solution for how to clean out a clogged drain problem.

Mix equal amounts of table salt and sodium bicarbonate and pour the mixture down the clogged drain. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take a large pot of boiling water and pour it over the salts. The chemical reaction that takes place with the combination of three most simple ingredients removes some of the most stubborn drain clogs.

Try this method and you will end up suggesting it to all your friends and family members who are struggling to find out how to clean out a clogged drain.

1. Use Soda

The most favorite drink of a large number of people all over the world could actually be a great cleaner for clogged drains. So, in case you are short of cleaning supplies and ingredients and are worried about how to clean out a clogged drain, just grab a bottle of soda from your fridge and leave it outside for some time; you need it to be on room temperature. Simply, flush the drain with the soda Leave it for a couple of hours and then, pour hot water down the drain.

Beware if it is your favorite drink, you will detest doing it first, but then you will be shocked and stunned to see how effective it turns out to be for unclogging drains.

Want to know why does soda is an answer to the how to clean out a clogged drain question?

Soda is loaded with phosphoric acid; a highly effective compound to get rid of the gunk that has buildup inside the pipe. (Do you know it can even dissolve calcium and is more acidic in nature than lemon juice?

2. How to Clean Out a Clogged Drain of Bathtub?

If you are faced with the problem of how to clean out a clogged drain of bathtub, you would need baking soda once again (it seems no DIY cleaning method is complete without baking soda). Combine it with equal amount of white vinegar to create the simplest and the most powerful all purpose cleaner.

Whether it’s the grime, hair, gunk or the grease that has accumulated inside the drain causing the nastiest blockage, this highly powerful homemade cleaner will remove everything. Cover the drain with the stopper and leave for at least an hour (it would be even better if you could leave it for 3-4 hours).

Now, without removing the stopper, fill the bathtub with water. Once tub is filled, remove the stopper. The pressure with which the water will flow down the drain would dislodge all the grim, hair, grease, soap scum and gunk that have already been loosened by the vinegar and soda.

The combination of baking soda and vinegar is probably the most tired and tested home remedy by a large number of people making it the best for all those who have been looking for a simple DIY method for how to clean out a clogged drain.

drain cleaner

The Last Resort

Use a biological enzyme cleaner if nothing else works for unclogging the drain. This should be the very last resort because the chemicals that over-the-counter cleaners contain may be harmful and thus, a lot of people do not want to use them, particularly for unclogging kitchen drains. Follow the instruction written on the bottle/package when using a store bought chemical cleaner.

Final Word

How to clean a clogged drain could become a nasty and horrible task if you keep delaying it. Imagine how would it feel to wake up one morning only to find an overflowed toilet; sickening, right? You surely do not want that.

This is why it is important to regularly clean all the drains of your kitchen and bathrooms. To prevent any clogging from, food particles, soap scum and grease that ultimately have to go down the drain, make it a habit to pour baking soda in all drains, once a week. Next morning, pour white vinegar over it and wash with water. Trust us, if you include this in your weekly cleaning ritual, you would never have to spend hours searching for how to clean out a clogged drain.

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