We put our drains through a lot. If clean water were the only thing we’d pour down our pipes, there would never be a problem. But, as clogged drains are as common as they come, it’s typical to want to find a quick and easy fix rather than schedule an appointment with a plumber. While ClearView Plumbing doesn’t condone mixing household chemicals that may potentially be hazardous, there are some tried and true tricks we can’t deny.

Drain Snake
It may look like just a thin, long metal coil, but it’s a pretty powerful tool that unclogs your drain by pushing away loose debris and coiling into the actual clog to allow you to pull it out. Drain snakes, or augers, are great in a pinch, but if you’re having to unclog your sink often, take a look at the obstruction to figure out what the main culprit is. Common offenders are hair, grease, plastic, and food debris. Next time, lay a strainer over your sink to prevent foodstuff from going down. If grease is your problem, running boiling water and detergent through your pipes may just help prevent buildup. However, you should never be pouring grease down your sink, as it hardens like a clogged artery.

Baking Soda and Salt
The beauty of this trick is that you likely have these ingredients sitting in your kitchen cupboard. This method is so easy that anyone can do it. Simply mix equal parts salt and baking soda and pour the mixture down the drain. After 20 minutes or so, slowly pour boiling water down the drain. The chemical reaction should easily suck debris right off the sides of the pipe. Before calling your local plumber, try this method, as it is safe, effective, and cheap.

Boiling Water
Depending on how tough the clog is, boiling water might just be all you need to shake up whatever is clogging your drain. Be careful not to pour too much too quickly, as you might cause a nasty spill and burn yourself. Instead, take your time and pour the water slowly over the clog. If that doesn’t unclog your drain, you may have to resort to stronger measures or call your plumber.

Soda and Vinegar
The last time you saw this neat trick was probably in science class. The chemical reaction of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar causes the mixture to instantly fizz and foam. When that happens, you should immediately (but carefully) pour the brew down the drain and leave it overnight. Rinse with hot water. The fizzing and foaming reaction helps break apart gunk and debris that’s stuck to the sides of the pipe. If it doesn’t help the clog the first time, try again or call your plumber.

Metal Hanger
A metal hanger isn’t always guaranteed to work, but when it does, it’s fast, cheap, effective, and pulls up a whole wad of gross garbage. If you need to use a metal hanger to unclog your sink, chances are you’re pouring things down the drain that has no business being there. To use this method, simply untwist the hanger and slide it down the side, pushing as you go. Use the end to break up the clog and pull out the obstruction. If it’s your bathroom sink that’s acting up, remember to always use a hair catcher. If it’s your kitchen sink, avoiding rinsing dirty plates without scraping them in the garbage first.

While these cheap and easy tricks can easily help us unclog our drains, they don’t always work. There could be a bigger problem going on than food and hair buildup. If none of these remedies is helping, please feel free to contact ClearView Plumbing or book an appointment.

Written by Grant Higginson