How to Unclog a Drain with Common Household Items

A clogged drain is one of the most common and recurring problems that most of us have encountered at some point in time. Whether it is a slow-draining sink or an overflowing tub the inconvenience it causes is frustrating. While there are numerous chemical drainers easily accessible in the market, it is wise to be equipped with home remedies and DIYs that can come in handy to effectively deal with clogged drains or for regular maintenance of your drain.

There are various everyday items easily available in our kitchen that can help us unclog the drain without resorting to harsh chemicals. These home remedies are not only cost-effective but also promote eco-friendly drain maintenance using everyday items that are easily available. Here are some of the items that can come to your rescue while dealing with a stubborn clog.

  1. Boiling Water
  2. Baking Soda and Vinegar
  3. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
  4. Baking Soda and Salt
  5. Baking Soda, Salt, and Cream of Tartar
  6. Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
  7. Wire Hanger

Boiling Water

Boiling water is the most simple yet effective DIY solution to deal with clogs caused by grease, oil, and soap buildups. Boiling water is particularly useful in dealing with clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks. Boiling water helps in breaking down the buildup caused by grease, oil, or soap buildup. There are simple steps that we can follow to clear the clog with boiling water.

  1. Step 1: Boil water for 3 to 5 minutes till it reaches a rolling boil.
  2. Step 2: Once the water is boiled, carefully pour the water directly down the drain. It is advisable to pause for 5 to 10 seconds and pour the water in shifts to prevent potential damage to drain pipes.
  3. step 3: After each rinse of hot water observe if gunk and grime-causing clog is being flushed or not.
  4. step 4: Repeat the same procedure a few times till you observe the water flowing down easily. In most cases, you will observe that proper drainage is restored in 2 to 4 attempts. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

How to Unclog a Drain with Common Household Items

Baking soda and Vinegar are the two most versatile items found in every household. Baking soda and vinegar are a perfect duo of commonly available household items that are widely used as a DIY that can effectively break down clogs, remove odors, and help maintain clean drains. Here are some simple steps that can be taken to reap the benefits of this dynamic duo to unclog the drain naturally. 

  1. Step 1: Pour about half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar directly down the clogged drain.
  2. Step 2: You will notice fizzing and bubbling caused by a chemical reaction which will break down the clog.
  3. Step 3: Cover the drain opening and let it sit for 15-20 minutes where fizzing will work its magic and break down the clog.
  4. Step 4: Finally, finish the process by pouring boiling water down the drain to flush away the buildup that was causing the blockage.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking soda and lemon is a simple yet effective combination that can clear minor clogs and eliminate unpleasant odors from your drain. Baking soda and lemon juice is an eco-friendly alternative that helps in dealing with the blockage caused by debris and waste in the drain. Some simple steps to use the duo as a homemade drain cleaner are:

In steps

  1. Step 1: Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda directly into the drain.
  2. Step 2: Follow it up by squeezing one lemon into the drain. Baking soda will react to lemon juice which will help dislodge debris and break down the clog.  
  3. Step 2: Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes to loosen the accumulated waste and debris.
  4. Step 3: Finish the process by pouring boiling water down the drain which will flush away the loosened debris and restore the drain.

Baking Soda and Salt

Using Baking Soda and Salt as a natural remedy to get rid of clogged drains is a very common practice around the world. Baking Soda and Salt are both environmentally friendly and using these household items requires no expertise. However, we should be mindful of the process since it involves hot water as a component. Look at the step-by-step breakdown below to learn how to use it:

In steps

  1. Step 1: Clear your drain off any visible debris that may be blocking the entrance for your baking soda/salt mixture. 
  2. Step 2 : Boil a pot of water that you will use to flush the mixture down the drain after applying. 
  3. Step 3: Measure Baking Soda and Salt in a 50:50 ratio and mix them in a bowl. Ideally, ½ a cup of baking soda and salt each is an ideal start.  
  4. Step 4 : Pour the mixture into the clogged drain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes so the chemical reaction can take place and break down the debris causing the clog. 
  5. Step 5: Take your hot pot of water and pour it right on top of the clog so it can flush down everything that’s disintegrated by the baking soda + salt mixture, clearing up the clog. 

Baking Soda, Salt, and Cream of Tartar

Adding Cream of Tartar to your Baking Soda + Salt mixture is an upgrade on the DIY drain cleaner that you love using. Cream of Tartar, also known as, potassium bitartrate contains acids that can dissolve some organic matter, fat, grease, and soap scum to clear up clogs. We have described how to use a combination of Baking Soda, Salt, and Cream of Tartar to clear clogs in a few easy steps : 

In steps

  1. Step 1 : Clearing up visible debris from the surface if possible is a big help when using natural drain cleaning methods as these items aren’t as tough on clogs as chemical cleaners.
  2. Step 2 : Measure out equal proportion of salt, and baking soda, preferably ½ a cup each and add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar on top before mixing well.
  3. Step 3 : Pour the mixture down the drain. Using a funnel to pour baking soda/ tartar mix can help prevent spills and wastage. 
  4. Step 4 : Let the mixture sit on top of the clog for at least 15-20 minutes before flushing everything away with a pot of boiling water. 

Salt, Borax, and Vinegar Homemade Drain Cleaner

Using Salt and Borax combined with Vinegar creates a very effective drain cleaner that can help get rid of minor to moderate clogs. Borax, also known as sodium borate is a salt, which produces bases when mixed with acid (vinegar in this case) and helps to disintegrate debris, soap scum, and grease when they come into contact. Here are some easy steps to make use of this amazing home remedy for clogged drains:

In steps

  1. Step 1 : Like with any other homemade drain cleaning solution, it’s best if you remove any visible debris from the clog if possible to allow the mixture that you’ve prepared to reach the actual clog.
  2. Step 2 : Measure Borax and Salt in a 50:50 ratio (preferably half a cup each) and mix them. Then carefully pour the mix onto the clog.
  3. Step 3 : Allow the mixture to dissolve and start working for about 15 minutes before adding half a cup of vinegar. 
  4. Step 4 : The acid in the vinegar reacts with salt to produce heat and chemical bases that disintegrate fat, hair, soap scum and other particles causing the clog, allow this to sit for half an hour.
  5. Step 5 : Finally, pour a pot of boiling water to allow everything to flush away along with the materials causing the clog.

Wire Hanger

Something as simple as a wire coat hanger can also be used to clear up some minor clogs in case of emergency. Using a wire coat hanger to unclog drains and kitchen sinks is a makeshift DIY solution that can help clear the blockage for a short period. However, you should make sure to get your pipes checked by professionals if you have to do this regularly. Here’s how you use a coat hanger to unclog drains:

In steps

Step 1 : Take a coat hanger made of flexible metal wire and straighten it out. 

Step 2: Form a hook-like shape at one end of the wire coat hanger by bending it with some force. 

Step 3 : Get yourself a pair of gloves and a mask to prevent yourself from getting splashed with dirty water. 

Step 4 : Insert the coat hanger right into the drain as deep as you can and try to pull out any physical debris that you encounter, slowly and steadily. 

Step 5 : Once you manage to pull out the gunk that was causing the clog, pour a bucket of water into the drain to allow things to flow smoothly. 

Call For Professional Help

Calling professional help to fix your clogged drains is the best option if home remedies or DIY techniques don’t get the job done. While natural ingredients available at home are quite useful in clearing up clogs, they are not so efficient in clearing up severe clogs that are caused by huge accumulations of gunk. Plumbers with their professional tools, years of experience, and hardcore cleaning chemicals are your best friends while fighting severely clogged drains.

Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Water Cleanup provides affordable and efficient plumbing solutions that will help restore your plumbing system to its 100%. Call Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Cleanup CA to make sure your drains and pipes are in good shape. Getting your pipes inspected by professional plumbers occasionally is a good idea to avoid any future mishaps that might be caused by years of wear-and-tear and accumulation of waste products, debris, and gunk. With years of experience in the field, we provide professional drain cleaning services, sewer repair, sink repair services, and any other issues in plumbing systems in commercial and residential buildings.