A clogged drain is a common issue that happens to homeowners at the most inconvenient times. Clogged drains are typically due to a build-up of hair, oils, or dirt and are often difficult to remove and clear the drain. The chemicals used to clear drains can sometimes be dangerous for people, animals, or even the environment. This isn’t always the case, but there are alternatives to these chemicals that can still help you unclog your drain without having to use heavy-duty chemicals.
One way to remove the debris that is creating the clog is by using chemicals is to use manual power. A plunger may be effective in unclogging a drain and is effective for use in toilets, bathtubs, and sinks. Prior to using the plunger in a sink or bathtub, make sure the plunger has been thoroughly cleaned in order to avoid cross-contamination from the toilet. In order to unclog a drain using a plunger, you should first cover the drain opening with the plunger. Then, move the plunger up and down in a pumping motion in order to loosen the material that is creating the clog. After plunging for approximately one minute to three minutes, remove the plunger and run the water to see if the drain is clear. If the drain is still clogged, continue plunging the drain in order to further loosen the debris creating the clog.
A Coat Hanger
We’ve heard of some people clearing clogs using a wire coat hanger too. First, you straighten the wire coat hanger into a vertical line and bend a hook that is small enough to fit into the drain at the bottom. Next, put the hook down into the drain until you are able to feel resistance. After you feel resistance, wiggle the hook until you are able to feel that you have collected or loosened the debris that is creating the clog. Then, remove the hook to see if you were able to remove any of the debris that was creating the clog. After removing the debris, run the water to make sure the drain is cleared. If the drain is not completely cleared, continue the steps to loosen the debris until the drain is completely cleared.
A Plumber’s Snake
Instead of a wire coat hanger, we’d recommend purchasing a plumber’s snake from your local hardware store. You can find them in various sizes and they can be very effective for unclogging drains.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can even use baking soda and vinegar to clear a clogged drain. Vinegar and baking soda can loosen clogs in the drain through pushing gas in into the clog and possibly dissolving some of the debris. A half cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar should be poured down the drain and allowed to sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has elapsed, run the water to see if the drain has cleared.
IMPORTANT: If you’ve tried some or all of the above to clear your clog and you still are not getting results you may need to call a professional plumber. The clog could be worse than you are realizing and at this point, more harm than good could be done.