Clogged drains are a part of being a homeowner. Whenever they happen at home we just wish we were kids again to not have to worry about it at all, right? However, you need to face the challenge and deal with it. For starters, let’s understand why clogged drains happen and then I’ll tell you a bit more about how to unclog a drain pipe. Sounds good? Then keep reading!

“It's easy to underestimate the real cost of home ownership. - Suze Orman

What Causes Clogged Drains

Shower Drains

Don’t wait too long to get the drains cleaned.
Don’t wait too long to get the drains cleaned. Source: Unsplash

Clogged shower drains usually happen after a while because of buildup of things like hair, soap, and skin flakes. These things accumulate and stick to the pipe walls, causing the water flow to slow down - or completely stop. One way to slow down the clogging process in your shower drain is to always remove the fallen hair right after you take a shower.

Clogged Toilets

Clogged toilets are a real hassle. The most common things to cause a clogged toilet are flushing down items that don’t dissolve in water, like dental floss, diaper wipers, cotton-tipped swabs, and feminine hygiene products.

Bathroom Sink

Don’t let hair and dental floss fall into the sink. Source: Pixabay
Don’t let hair and dental floss fall into the sink. Source: Pixabay

It’s hard to see a bathroom sink getting clogged, but it can happen. The reason is usually because of soap, hair, and dental floss that can block the pipes.

Kitchen Sink

Not only food will make the kitchen sink pipes blocked, but also things like fat, oil, cooking grease, and detergent soap. These greasy substances falling into the sink are a nightmare for any homeowner, they’re extremely hard (and annoying) to clean. There comes a point where no water will go through and then you’ll have a real problem to deal with, so don’t wait till there’s sitting water in your sink to get your pipes cleaned.

Bad Pipe Installation

Make sure you hire a professional to take care of your plumbing. Source: Pixabay

Make sure you hire a professional to take care of your plumbing. Source: Pixabay

Badly installed pipes can cause clogging too. Whether you DIYed the installation or if you hired a poor service, if pipes haven’t been properly installed they can lead to incorrect water flow, damaged pipes, and worst of all: expensive repairs. So make sure to always have a professional plumber to deal with your plumbing!

Outdoor Drains

Plants and dirt from your garden can easily block your outdoor drains. Not only the debris that falls onto the drains but also the underground roots that can break your piping. It’s important to keep your garden clean at all times and if your drains keep clogging, call a plumber to deal with the broken pipes situation since that’s most likely the problem you’re dealing with.

Foreign Items

We all know accidents happen, right? And sometimes they happen and can cause clogged drains too. If any foreign objects fall into the toilet or in the sink, that can give you a headache later on. Things like children toys (or pieces of toys), keys, coins, and even kitty litter can block the pipes. Be careful!

How to Unclog a Drain at Home

Boiling Water

Boiling water can resolve simple issues. Source: Pixabay

Boiling water is probably the easiest DIY to unclog drains you’ll find. All it takes is boiling the water and pouring it down the drain in stages (two or three times should be good), giving enough time in between each stage so the water can do its magic.

If the problem is simple enough, this trick will dissolve whatever’s blocking the pipes. However, this should only be used in metal or ceramic pipes. If your house has PVC pipes, you can use hot water, but never boiling water!


Mostly used for clogged toilets, it can work just fine on clogged drains as well. But remember that the plunger is useful when it comes to solid blockages! If the problem of your clogged drain is grease buildup or mineral deposits, for example, a plunger won’t do you any good.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This short-term solution for clogged sinks is great. Source: Pixabay
This short-term solution for clogged sinks is great. Source: Pixabay

This magic mix is just amazing to deal with clogged drains! I’ve used it over and over again in my kitchen sink and I love how it works every single time. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda on the drain and pour half a cup of vinegar, let it sit and do its thing and then pour another tablespoon of vinegar to take any baking soda excess off.

If you do this and complete with a cup of boiling water, your sink will be good as new!

On the same idea, you can also try mixing salt, baking soda and boiling water. Pour down the drain 1/2 cup of table salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda and after 15 minutes pour boiling water. This should create a reaction that will dissolve pretty much whatever gunk there is in the pipes.

Wire Hanger

Even though this trick can be really effective, it’s one of the nastiest things ever. So if you easily get sick when looking at dirt and gunk, I do not recommend trying this at home. What you need to do is take a wire coat hanger, straighten it out, and then make a small hook at the edge. Use this hook to fish out whatever is blocking water flow in the drains.

Dish Detergent

Dish detergent works as a degreaser. Source: Pixabay
Dish detergent works as a degreaser. Source: Pixabay

The dish detergent hack is one that I found surprisingly effective for clogged toilets. Use 1/4 cup of detergent and pour boiling water on top. If it’s necessary, you can even use the plunger afterward for a more complete clean, but whenever I did this trick at home, I never needed the plunger. The detergent by itself already did a great job.

Why You Should Call a Plumber

A plumber knows what needs to be done! Source: Pixabay
A plumber knows what needs to be done! Source: Pixabay

The problem with unclogging a drain with a DIY method is that it keeps happening again and again, since the solution is only temporary. Besides, your draining issue can be more serious than just gunk buildup.

You may have broken, damaged, or badly installed pipes, or you can have a sediment buildup that won’t go away with any of these tricks. There may even have something wrong with your water pressure. So don’t hesitate in calling a plumber to inspect and resolve your issue once and for all!

Call a local plumber today and get a free quote!

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