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Person putting baking soda down kitchen sink drain to help remove a clog.

How to Unclog a Drain and Keep It Flowing

Have you ever finished washing dishes and the water is frustratingly slow to drain? Or your feet are left soaking in standing water after you turn off the shower? Yes, clogged drains are a nuisance, from a kitchen sink backed up with grease to hair and soap scum keeping the shower or bathtub from draining, it’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out (at least from that clogged drain).  

So how can you prevent clogs and keep the water flowing freely? Below are a few tips that can help clear clogs and prevent them in the future. 

Unclogging Household Drains 

Here are some common items you can use to clear clogs: plunger, white vinegar, baking soda, and a drain snake. 

How to Unclog a Sink Drain  

A clog-free drain is essential to keep things running smoothly in your kitchen. Unfortunately, while preparing and cleaning up after meals, your sink can quickly clog up with food scraps that aren’t disposed of properly. Here are four ways to unclog a sink drain: 

  1. Clear the Plug: Start by cleaning the gunk under the drain stopper. Sometimes this is the main cause of slow sink drainage. 

  1. Sink Plunger: Pour hot water down the drain to loosen the clog, and then use a plunger to break it up and wash away any remaining debris. 

  1. Baking Soda and White Vinegar: Here’s a great way to clear a clogged drain using some common household items. Start by pouring hot water down the drain to soften the clog. Follow this with a ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar down the drain. Secure the sink plug and let the mixture sizzle for a few minutes. Flush the drain with hot water again to clear the drain completely. 

  1. Use a Drain Snake: For those really tough clogs, you may have to use a more aggressive method, a drain snake. This is a flexible auger or steel cable that can reach deep into the pipe to clear stubborn clogs. Cranking the handle on the snake (some models connect to an electric driver) will allow it to rotate and send it deeper into the pipe where it can latch onto the troublesome clog. When it feels like you have connected with the debris lodged in the drain, pull the auger out and remove the material (have some rubber gloves ready for this disgusting task). 

Related TopicCan You Put Coffee Grounds Down the Sink? 

How to Unclog a Tub Drain 

Waiting for bathwater to drain can be annoying, especially if someone else is waiting to take a shower. Try the methods mentioned above (How to Unclog a Sink Drain) to clear a troublesome bathtub drain. 

  • Clear Hair from the Plug 

  • Use a Plunger 

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar 

  • Drain Snake 

Drain Clog Prevention Tips 

Drain clogs are bound to happen but taking a proactive approach can help minimize the impact they have on your household. Here are a few simple tips you can follow to help prevent drain clogs: 

  • Clean hair from the bathroom drains after every bath and shower.  

  • Monitor what goes down your kitchen sink. Tough, starchy, greasy food scraps and fish skins should always go in the trash. 

  • Deep clean your drains every few months with boiling water and white vinegar to melt away any collecting grease or debris. 
     

Stubborn Drain Clogs? Call in the Pros 

A badly clogged drain can not only stop the flow of water, but it can also put a stop to cooking, cleaning, and other household activities. So, when the methods mentioned above fail to clear your clogged drain, it’s time to call in your local plumbing pros at Mr. Rooter. We have the tools, expertise, and experience to clear clogs quickly so you can get back to your normal routine. We’ll also provide you with some tips and advice that can help prevent clogs in the future. And if needed, we can do a whole home plumbing inspection to make sure your system is operating efficiently. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call (855) 982-2028 or request an estimate online today.