It happens to the best of us. Everyone, at some point, encounters a sink or tub which drains slowly, or doesn’t drain at all. Sometimes these things happen over time, and you don’t even realize it’s a problem until you find the water pooling around your ankles as you have your morning shower.
Clogged drains are never pretty, but the good news is that they are never permanent. Before you call in for help, we have the top 3 DIY tips for unclogging drains. Try these yourself to get the water draining. All these ideas are safe for your pets, kids, septic systems, and they are environmentally responsible.
Not the reptile! A plumbing snake is a tool to physically reach down into the drain and push through, or pull up, whatever is clogging it. It looks like a thick twisted wire, and is often on a spool, or it attaches to a drill. Pick one up at your local hardware store. No need to go with professional level quality, since you won’t be using this often. An alternative to the snake is a wire hanger. When the clog is a clump of hair and soap caught on a bobby pin, straw, or small toy - this will help you scoop out the whole mess.
Plunger and Hot Water
If you’ve used a snake or a wire to clear out gunk, but the water still drains slowly, clear it more with a plunger and hot water. Alternate plunging with pouring very hot water directly into the drain. Be sure that the water isn’t boiling to avoid any damage to pipes and porcelain. Wear gloves to protect your hands.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
The fizz of baking soda and vinegar can often be the extra push to clear our that clog. This may be the most popular DIY tip for unclogging drains. The best mixture is ⅓ cup of baking soda and ⅓ cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain right away. Let the fizz do it’s thing for 10 minutes, and then flush with hot water from the tap.
Once everything is flowing again, get mesh baskets for your sinks to prevent the small stuff from getting into the pipes. These are especially effective when you have children, whose toys and straws and hairbands can cause clogs so easily. A extra bonus is that it also saves you from losing jewelry down the drain!