Simple Ways to Unclog Blocked Drains

The pipes in our homes often get blocked, preventing water from draining away. In this post, we'll tell you how to unclog your drains, and maintain them properly.
Simple Ways to Unclog Blocked Drains

Last update: 14 November, 2019

Today, we want to focus on one of the most common and irritating household problems – blocked drains. Sometimes the pipes in our homes get blocked, preventing water from sinks or showers from draining away. In this article, we’ll give you some simple tips and tricks so that you can unclog your drains without having to dismantle them.

Our first piece of advice is to try to avoid letting your drain get blocked in the first place. Easier said than done, we know. But with the right care and maintenance, you can prevent most blockages, and keep your pipes cleaner for longer.

While you might not always have time to maintain your drains, adding it to your list of chores will save you a lot of extra time and effort later on. If you already do all this and your drains still get blocked, there are a few home remedies you can use to help combat any underlying issues.

Prevention is better than a cure

Pipes often become blocked over time.

By getting into good habits and taking a few extra precautions, you should be able to stop residue from building up in your drains and creating blockages. Cleaning your drains periodically is essential for their maintenance, and will help keep them in good working condition for longer.

Doing all this will not only prevent blockages but can also help keep harmful bacteria and bad odors at bay.

In this next section, we’ll tell you some simple things you can do to maintain your drains. It only needs to be done once a week, and won’t take up much time. You simply need to remember to add it a to-do list and plan your time properly. As with most things, prevention is better than a cure.

Maintaining your drains

Using vinegar and baking soda is an effective way to unclog your drains.
  • Never pour used cooking oil down your drains when cleaning pans or other kitchen utensils. It will quickly build up in the pipes, causing them to narrow and become blocked.
  • You should also never pour paint, solvent or other chemical substances down your drains.
  • The best thing to do is to keep any oil or chemical products in a sealed container and take it to a recycling plant for proper disposal.
  • Once a week, we would recommend pouring half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down your drains.
  • Cover the plughole for several minutes to allow the mixture to take effect. Then, pour a pan of boiling water down the drain. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to prevent serious blockages, and you’ll never have to dismantle your pipes again.

How to unclog blocked drains

Use a plunger to unclog your drains.

If all this advice has come a little too late for you and your drains, there are some simple ways you can unclog your them without requiring the help of a professional.

Unclogging your drains should be fairly easy, and you can normally resolve most issues yourself. Plus, you won’t even need special cleaning products, which are often harmful to the environment, and can be dangerous for your health.

How to unclog your drains

So, let’s start with some of the simplest methods:

  • The plunger is a must-have item for any household. It consists of a large rubber sucker and a wooden or plastic handle. Simply place it over the plughole, and press down. Do this repeatedly to create a vacuum effect. This should help to remove any residue build-up from your pipes.
  • You can also use a coat hanger wire to unclog your pipes. Unfold the coat hanger until the wire is straight, leaving the hook intact. Feed the wire into the pipes hook-first until you reach the blockage. You can then use the hook to pull out or dislodge whatever’s causing the blockage.
  • This is a really useful home remedy. Fill a 4-gallon plastic bottle with water and tip it upside down with the top against the plughole. Then, squeeze the bottle as hard as you can to send a blast of water down your drain. This may be enough to remove the blockage.
  • You can also use the same trick we saw earlier, using baking soda and vinegar to clear your pipes of any residue. If the blockage is severe, this may help to remove it.
  • Another useful trick is to use caustic soda. Use one cup of caustic soda for every 1/4 gallon of water. While this method is very effective, you have to be very careful when using caustic soda. If it comes into contact with skin, it can cause serious chemical burns, so make sure to protect your hands and eyes before you get started.

Don’t give up!

Depending on the severity of the blockage, some of these tricks might not work the first time around. We recommend repeating these methods several times before you give up. Generally, your drain should unblock after the second attempt, and you shouldn’t need to dismantle the pipes.

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