If you have a clogged drain, there are tricks you can try to unclog it yourself before calling a plumber. Depending on the type of clog and plumbing system, you may have to try several tricks before discovering the one that works. Here are six drain cleaning hacks:
1. Create a makeshift snake
You can use a wire hanger to create a makeshift snake. Simply straighten the end of a wire hanger and bend the end until it creates a hook small enough to fit inside the drain. Slide the hook down your drain and fish out as much hair and gunk as you can.
2. Use vinegar and baking soda
Vinegar and baking soda work together to create a heavy duty homemade drain cleaner. Vinegar and baking soda react to form carbon dioxide bubbles, and these bubbles loosen the hair, grease, and gunk trapped in your drain. Simply pour a spoonful of baking soda down your drain and then add a cupful of vinegar.
3. Boil water
If your plumbing is sensitive to chemicals or you live in an older building, there are chemical free ways to clean your drains. One of these ways is to pour boiling water down your drain. Simply fill a kettle or pot with water and boil on your stove. Carefully pour the water down the drain. The heat from the water separates the clog from the pipe.
4. Drop tablets
For a clog that's backed up, but isn't severe enough to need drain cleaner, an Alka-seltzer tablet just might do the trick. Drop 2-4 tablets down the drain based on the size of the clog, add about a cup of water, and let it fizz for ten minutes. The carbonation will loosen the clog and you can follow up with boiling water or a hanger to get the rest.
5. Brush your pipe
If you have the right tools and basic plumbing knowledge, you can get rid of even the nastiest clog. First, place a bucket under the trap pipe, also known as the s-pipe. Use a pipe wrench to remove the trap pipe. Use a pipe cleaning brush to push out and remove as much of the clog as you can. Then, clean the pipe with liquid detergent before reattaching the pipe.
6. Use a plunger on your kitchen sink
If you have a stubborn clog in your kitchen
- Block the tub next to the basin with the garbage disposal with a thick towel or rag. This creates a seal in the plumbing that makes the plunger more effective.
- Add a couple inches of water to the tub with the garbage disposal.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger to create an effective seal.
- Place the plunger over the garbage disposal and work it up and down until the water drains completely.
- Remove the towel or rag from the other tub.
These are six ways you can clear your drains of any clog. If these methods don't work, contact a plumber. To find out more, contact a business like Maryland Sewer & Plumbing Service.