A clogged up bath, sink, or shower drain, can occur when too much hair, gunk, or soap residue has accumulated in a drain pipe. Using strong chemicals is usually not needed to help you unclog your drain. We use them often because they are cheap and so readily available. There are many homemade remedies to using a product common to drain-o but without harsh chemicals. There are some non-harmful natural chemicals you can use to clear away that clogged drain. Even better, there are things you can use around your home that don’t even involve chemicals.
Most of the time a harsh or even a safe chemical is not needed to fix a clogged drain. The average drain clog will usually be a mass of clumped hair or thickened soap residue. These types of clogs can be quickly and safely removed with a simple and inexpensive plastic drain cleaning tool. Keep one of these under your sink and use it in the bathtub, bathroom sink, shower, and kitchen sink. You do not need to mix up chemicals or take anything apart as this simple $3 dollar tool works perfectly well and will be the solution to most clogged drains.
Here are the best ways to clear a clogged drain without using harsh chemicals:
1. Vinegar & Baking Soda
Simply mix a 1/2 of a cup of vinegar with a 1/2 of a cup of baking soda. Upon mixing it will fizz up, so pour it down the clogged drain ASAP. This bubbling mixture will dislodge the grime in the pipe drain. After pouring it down the drain leave it be for a few hours and then pour boiling hot water down to flush it out. You can also just dump the baking soda into the drain and then pour the vinegar down after it to let the fizz action happen initially in the drain.
2. Wire Clothing (Coat) Hanger
The simplest and fastest way is to use a coat hanger. Get a pair of pliers and bend that hanger straight. Make a tiny hook at the end you will be putting into the drain opening. Stick it into the drain opening as far as possible and move it up and down. Pull it out of the drain and guaranteed you will have some of the nastiest stuff ever come out. This is what was clogging your drain. Leave the bent coat hanger under your sink for next time.
3. Zip-It Drain Cleaning Tool
This cheap drain unclogging tool is the easiest thing you can buy that will pull out and unclog just about anything that can be clogging your drain. Push it, pull out. Done.
4. Boiling Hot Water
Yes it is as easy as it sounds. Boil some water. Pour it in the clogged drain. Repeat. Test to see if the hot water unclogged your drain. If not, use another method we have in this list (try the coat hanger method).
5. Common Plunger
That nasty plunger that you have sitting around can be of some use here. First off, if you have used it in the toilet, then don’t use it in your sink. Fill the sink or bath with a little hot water. Then with a new plunger, plunge the drain using up and down motions. If you are plunging a bathroom sink, you may need to put your finger over the overflow hole to not let the air escape.
If you need to unclog a kitchen sink drain that has a garbage disposal, you will need to do things differently. First plug up the opposite side of the sink using the included plug drain or similar. Plugging this is necessary to avoid the air from coming out of that drain while you use a plunger on the side with the disposal. Next, run hot water into the sink where the disposal is located. Run the disposal for some time to try and let the clog fix itself or loosen. If the water is still not going down then use a clean brand new plunger and plunge the kitchen sink using up and down motions. Keep trying this as there is obviously something lodged in the pipes possibly from food or debris.
If none of the above ways unclogged your drain, try removing and cleaning the drain “trap”. Look under the sink and locate the “J” shaped plastic or metal trap. Get an empty bucket and place it under the trap. Remove the trap by unscrewing the 2 large nuts. Remove the trap and clean out any type of gunk and grime that may be lodged inside of it. DO NOT use the same sink to clean out the trap as you just took it apart! Water will go everywhere (hopefully into the bucket we told you to get) and you will have a wet mess. Once the trap is cleaned out replace it and test for proper water drainage.
If none of these unclogging methods have worked for you, then you most likely have a major plumbing problem and a professional plumber may be needed. :(