As a homeowner, drain clogs are about the most frustrating things you can deal with. Not only do they happen frequently but getting rid of them can be a huge pain. You may have seen a wide selection of chemical drain cleaning and clog removal fluids at your local home improvement store, but the truth is these chemicals usually do far more damage to your plumbing than you might think, meaning you’re actually creating new problems in order to solve a different one. Instead, you may be able to find natural unclog methods using ingredients or materials that you most likely already have in your home.
On this blog, we’ll look at 8 simple, household solutions to drain clogs that may help you get rid of the problem for good.
1. Boiling Water
The simplest and sometimes most effective way to get rid of a clog in your sink is to simply blast it scalding hot water. Take a large pot, put it on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Then carefully pour it down the drain. The scalding hot water will melt away a number of different substances that cause debris to stick together and form a clog, potentially causing the clog to essentially dissolve and flow away down the drain. You might be surprised to find out how well this works!
Be warned, however: if your home has PVC drain lines, do not use this method. Likewise, this method won’t work if your sink is already full of water that won’t drain away because of a clog. Make sure your sink is empty before trying this and be extremely careful when handling hot water.
2. Boiling Water + Dish Soap
If boiling water doesn’t work, try mixing in some dish soap to help break up the grease. Take two liters of boiling water and mix in a 3-5 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. This method might require a few attempts to get a result, but it is particularly efficient against grease clogs.
If you have a toilet, you need to have a plunger. However, a plunger can do more than unclog toilets: it can dislodge sink clogs too! If you’ve got a completely stopped drain, simply remove any drain stoppers that might be blocking it then fill the sink with enough water to completely cover the top of the suction cup on your plunger. Then stick the plunger over the drain and use the same motion you would with your toilet. The sudden changes in pressure on both sides of the clog could eventually dislodge it and carry it away.
This method only usually works on bathroom and other sink drains, however. It won’t work on your kitchen sink if you have a garbage disposal installed.
4. Wire Coat Hanger
If the plunger doesn’t work, try a coat hanger. Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it except for the hook. You also might want to prepare a trash can or trash bag to easily dispose your extraction in. Then, send the hook end down into your pipe and try to fish out the clog. This is efficient against clogs caused by hair or food. When you are all down, run some hot water down your drain.
Believe it or not, some of our favorite soft drinks are extremely corrosive. While this does make them unhealthy, it also makes them exceptionally good drain cleaners. A good soda for the job is going to be a cola (name-brand Coca-Cola works best) that’s not of the diet variety. You want it to be as harsh as possible. Simply pour the cola gently down your clogged drain and let it sit for a few hours. The cola should immediately start dissolving the clog and potentially even dislodge it entirely. After a couple hours have passed, simply rinse out the drain using some hot water and you should find it’s clear again. This is a much less abrasive and dangerous alternative to chemical drain cleaners.
6. Baking Soda & Vinegar
Remember your middle-school science project where you built an erupting volcano out of paper mache? The chemical reaction you used to get it to “erupt” is the same reaction that could help you naturally annihilate a clog and get your sink working again.
The process is simple: pour about half a cup of baking soda down your drain and let it sit for a few minutes so it can settle. Then pour a mixture of one cup vinegar, one cup of extremely hot water down the drain and quickly cover it with a drain plug. Let this mixture sit for five to ten minutes, or perhaps even longer if you have a large drain. You really want to let the mixture do the work.
After time has passed, unclog the drain and pour a pot of hot water down the drain and you should find that your clog has disappeared and been flushed away!
7. Baking Soda & Salt
Similar to the concoction above, mix ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of baking soda together. This will have a very different texture than the baking soda and vinegar mixture. Pour the powder down the drain and leave it for at least 30 minutes and at most 8 hours. Once the time has passed, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to clear it away.
8. Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
For this natural unclogger, you will want to mix the following:
- ¼ cup of salt
- ¼ cup of Borax
- ½ cup of vinegar
- 1 pot of boiling water
Mix the ingredients into the boiling pot and let it sit until for an hour or until it clears. Pour down the drain and rinse it with hot water.
Are your drains frequently getting clogged? Find out why!
Professional Drain Unclogging Services
The truth is that while these solutions may help get your drain moving once again, the only way to truly get rid of the problem and make sure it won’t come back again anytime soon is to have your drain cleaned by a professional. The Charlotte plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte have extensive experience handling drain clogs of all shapes and sizes, and can offer you high-quality drain cleaning and clog removal services using state-of-the-art tools and the latest techniques. We take the care and maintenance of your home seriously, and our results-oriented approach goes above and beyond to exceed your expectations and obtain your complete satisfaction.
About the Author: William Iliev, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte
William has been a trusted plumber and owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte since 2003. With over 15 years to back him, William has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in water heater services, tree root plumbing repairs, and more.