There are plenty of DIY solutions for unclogging drains in the shower, bath or bathroom sink that have clogged due to excess hair or other materials that have built up over time. These are simple ideas that can prevent you from having to pay for a plumber, so take a look and see how easy it is to save yourself some money by doing the job yourself.
The first thing you can try is to pour boiling water down the drain. This can sometimes break down a lot of the soap and grease that is causing the blockage and could solve your problem in an instant. Just be careful to stay clear of any backsplash as it could end up scalding you. One good way of protecting yourself from this is by using a simple kitchen funnel to direct the flow.
The plunger is the traditional tool of choice for most blockages but success depends on what is causing the blockage and how your drains are designed. For example, a lot of hair is difficult to get out with a plunger because there is a constant flow of air between the strands, which stops suction from forming. Given that costs and effort are nominal, it’s worth trying a plunger for any blockage, although results tend to be mixed.
A little known fact among a surprising number of home owners is that drain covers on your sinks and tubs come off. Get some rubber gloves and a screwdriver, if necessary, and simply remove the cover before looking down the drain to see if you can find the cause of the blockage. It may even be possible to reach it with your fingers, or, alternatively, you can try and drag it up with a long piece of wire such as a coat hanger, for example, shaped into a hook. You’d be amazed at how often this works!
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Instead of using harsh, damaging chemicals, try using a simple mix of baking soda and vinegar. Pour a cup of soda down the drain and wait five minutes or so. Then pour a cup of vinegar down behind it and leave it to work for at least a couple of hours. After this time, pour some boiling water down the drain and hopefully it should clean everything out. If it doesn’t, then it may be time to implement more extreme measures.
Some people hate snakes but this is the “good kind”. Plumbing snakes are often the most effective tool for DIY’ers to remove stubborn hair clogs that are bit deeper down the pipe. They’re fairly simple to use too. The ones that are made for in-home use are fairly compact and come with a long metallic coil rolled up in a plastic casing with a handle on the side which is turned to uncoil the snake. You can find them at home improvement stores for about $25 dollars. First, you’ll need to remove the drain cover so you can navigate the tip of the snake down the pipe. Then, insert the end of the coil into the drain and begin turning the handle to push the cable as far down as it will go. There’s a hook on the end of the coil that will catch the hair clog and then bring back up the drain as you rewind the handle. Easy peezy!
Your local hardware store will have plenty of options for you when it comes to strong chemical cleaners. Make sure that you follow all of the directions to the letter, however, because these can be somewhat dangerous if used improperly. You will need to wear goggles and gloves, and you may also want to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling vapors. It’s also vital to avoid mixing chemicals in case of a nasty reaction. Be aware that using some chemicals may damage your drainage pipes, especially if you do this type of thing regularly.
We hope these clogged drain tips have been helpful. If you have any other great ideas or tips for unclogging bathroom drains, leave a comment below. Like what you see on Bay Area Bath? Let us know!