Slow drains can be a pain in your neck! Not only do they take a long time to drain, but they can leave sediment, dirt, and grime around the sink, toilet bowl, or shower drain. These three simple tips can help you fix most clogs, but what do you do if it’s a more serious one that isn’t eliminated by any of these methods? That’s when it’s time to call in a plumber.
- Dissolve the clog. If the clog is severe, you may need to use something stronger to deal with it. Pour a ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Quickly plug up the drain with a rag or the stopper to direct the chemical reaction deeper into the pipe. After 10 to 15 minutes, pour a pan of boiling water down the drain. This should help to flush your pipes and deal with any remaining clogs.
- Use a coat hanger. If you suspect the clog is near the end of the drain, get a coat hanger and bend one end into the shape of a hook. Insert the hooked end into the drain and root around to try to find the clog. If you’re trying to de-clog a sink, you’ll likely need to remove the U-shaped trap beneath the sink to get at the clog in the pipes. A bent coat hanger can be the perfect homemade plumbing snake to help you deal with clogs near the surface.
- Plunge the drain. Sometimes, a bit of forward or backward pressure is all you’ll need to break up the clog. Get a sink plunger to unclog sinks specifically, as it creates a tight seal over the smaller hole—unlike the large seal used for toilet drains. Plunge 5 or 10 times in quick succession, and pour water to test the drainage speed. Plunging can be a simple, efficient option for getting rid of smaller clogs.
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