If you’ve ever looked down at your shower floor in disgust, watching as dirty water pooled around your ankles, you know just how irritating a slow, clogged drain can be. At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning, we’re here to help you keep your drains flowing freely. We know it’s not always convenient to schedule professional drain cleaning, and if you only have a minor clog, intensive cleaning techniques may not be necessary. The next time you’re dealing with a drain blockage, give these tips a try. You might be surprised at what you can achieve with items you already have hanging around your house.
Break Out the Plunger
If you thought plungers were just for toilets, think again. A simple plunging can often resolve minor drain clogs in any of your home’s drains, so if you’re dealing with unusually slow drainage, plunging should be your first course of action. Ideally, though, you should have a dedicated plunger for your toilet, as well as one for your showers, tubs, and sinks. Here’s how to use a cup-style plunger to unclog your household drains (the ones that aren’t attached to your toilet):
● If you’re preparing to plunge a drain with an overflow opening, you must block that opening to create a closed system. If you leave the overflow drain open, the plunger will basically suck air back and forth between the drain and the overflow opening, which won’t do anything to loosen debris within the pipe.
● After you’ve blocked the overflow opening, if necessary, it’s time to position the plunger in the appropriate location. Position the outer ring of the plunger base so that it completely encloses the drain and seals off the opening.
● Run a small amount of water in the sink, shower, or tub—just enough to cover the cup of the plunger.
● Forcefully thrust the plunger in controlled, upward and downward motions, ensuring the seal between the drain surface and the plunger’s cup does not break. Repeat the up-and-down motion approximately six to 10 times before testing the pipe’s drainage.
● To test the drain, simply remove the plunger and observe how quickly the water moves through the drain. If drainage still proves slower than normal, repeat the plunging process until the clog clears.
Pour Boiling Water Into the Drain
This drain-clearing hack is perhaps the easiest of them all: Simply pour a few cups of boiling water down your clogged drain to begin dissolving the debris that forms the drain blockage. Usually, this hack is most effective on kitchen sink drain clogs because they typically consist of substantial grease and food particles. Boiling water works well to dissolve edible matter, or at least loosen it, but if boiling water doesn’t tackle the clog, it may be time to call in the drain cleaning professionals.
One thing to note: If you have porcelain sinks, boiling water can cause cracks, so while this method is super simple, it isn’t an ideal choice for all homeowners. Obviously, boiling water can present a significant safety hazard, too, so handle this drain cleaning hack with tremendous care.
Pour a Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution Down the Drain
Remember those volcano science experiments you had to do in middle school? Bet you never thought they’d serve a real-life purpose, did you? Well, surprise! Here’s your chance to reunite with your younger self and put your seventh-grade science project smarts to good use.
When combined, baking soda and vinegar work to loosen clogs in any of your household drains that don’t contain standing water, so this particular hack won’t work on your toilet drain. For your other drains, however, the process is quite simple:
● Allow water to drain completely from the basin.
● Add ½ cup of baking soda to the drain.
● Pour ½ cup of white vinegar down the drain.
● Let the baking soda and vinegar sit for at least one hour to allow the two substances to react. The chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide, which bubbles through debris and helps loosen buildup within the drain.
● After allowing the mixture to react for at least one hour, pour a pot of boiling water into the drain to clear away the remaining residue.
● If the process was only marginally effective, try repeating the above steps.
If your drain continues moving slowly after two baking soda and vinegar applications, you may be dealing with a more serious drain clog. To restore proper drain function, your drain most likely requires advanced, professional drain cleaning techniques.
Use Liquid Soap
Surprisingly, liquid soap—dish soap, laundry detergent, or shampoo—can help clear minor drain clogs by dissolving oily particles that clog up the pipe. The soap breaks down oils and suspends the particles in water, which then allows debris to pass through freely. For fat-based clogs, like those in your kitchen sink drain, grease-cutting dish soap is your best bet for clearing blockages.
To get started, run hot water down the drain to begin softening any buildup within the pipe. Next, pour one-half cup of soap down the drain. Immediately follow the soap with boiling water, poured straight into the drain. Essentially, this method is like washing greasy dishes; the soap dissolves grease, and the hot water then washes it down the pipe.
Drain Blaster Bill’s: Your Source for Comprehensive Draining Cleaning
At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning, our team is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality, most comprehensive drain cleaning in the Twin Cities metro area. Whether you’ve got a single backed-up drain, or you’re dealing with a more serious sewer drain clog, we have the tools, techniques, and experience to tackle even the toughest drain clogs. To learn more about our drain cleaning services or to schedule your appointment, give us a call at 763-913-8719 or fill out this form to request your free estimate. You can also message us on our contact page with any questions or concerns.