5 Simple Tricks to Unclog a Drain

There is nothing that ruins the clean feeling that comes with a shower, like a clogged drain forcing you to shower in ankle-deep water. If you find yourself standing in your shower water or start noticing your sink is draining at a dreadful pace, don’t call a plumber just yet. There are a few things you can try at home to safely clear out the clog and get back to showering in peace

Ditch the Drain Cleaners

First things first, don’t panic, and don’t
pour that drain cleaner down the drain. When a sink or shower stops draining
properly, it can be tempting to reach for a liquid drain cleaner, but most
plumbers recommend avoiding them at all costs. While these products promise to
clear stubborn clogs, they typically contain harsh chemicals that can damage
your pipes and lead to costly repairs down the line. If other cleaning products
are still present in the drain, adding a liquid drain cleaner could lead to a
chemical reaction that causes toxic fumes and can contaminate the water supply.

 

Fortunately, there are several plumber-friendly DIY ways to unclog your drains:

pot-of-boiling-water

Flush the Clog with Boiling Water

For minor clogs, a large pot of boiling water might be able to do the trick. Boiling water can soften some types of PVC pipes, so you should only attempt this if you are sure you have metal pipes. It can also crack porcelain, so you should take care to pour the boiling water directly down the drain.

baking-soda-and-vinegar-chemical-reaction

Clean a Clogged Drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you’re looking to get rid of a clog and clean out your drains, you’ll find a dynamic duo in these two household staples. On their own, both of these products are pretty useful. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline powder that breaks down grease and its slight disinfectant properties can help to combat any unpleasant odors. Vinegar is a strong acid that can help dissolve dirt, grime, and soap scum.

Together, these cause a chemical reaction that’s powerful enough to break down most household clogs. 

To get started, remove any drain stoppers and dump half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Let it sit for thirty minutes and then slowly pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait 3 minutes and then flush with hot water to remove any remaining residue.

Try Baking Soda and Salt

Some plumbers recommend combing baking soda and salt at a 2:1 ratio, as both can be effective in breaking down grease and fats. Combine one cup of baking soda with half a cup of salt and scoop it into the drain. Leave it for at least 3 hours (but ideally overnight) and flush with boiling water.

Use a Drain Snake

Some plumbers recommend combing baking soda and salt at a 2:1 ratio, as both can be effective in breaking down grease and fats. Combine one cup of baking soda with half a cup of salt and scoop it into the drain. Leave it for at least 3 hours (but ideally overnight) and flush with boiling water.

hair-clogging-drain

Tips for Preventing Clogged Drains

The best way to prevent clogged drains is to pay attention to what’s causing them and take steps to avoid having those things go down the drain in the future. In the kitchen, it can be as simple as collecting grease instead of pouring it down the drain or being more vigilant about what goes into the garbage disposal.

If you suspect hair could be clogging the drains in your bathroom, installing a mesh drain catcher in the shower or bath can prevent hair from going down the drain. The mesh will filter out more than just hair (including a solid white residue called soap scum), so make sure you clean it regularly to help it drain faster.

And if the culprit is soap scum (or you find it collecting on your recently-installed drain catcher), it may be time to look at your water. Soap scum forms when soap binds with the minerals in hard water. It’s a precipitate, which means it doesn’t dissolve in water, so it can be tricky to remove and will continue to cause problems. But it doesn’t just collect in your drain to create a clog—soap scum can also build up on your skin and leave it feeling dry and irritated. The residue that it leaves behind can clog pores and cause breakouts.

Contact Aquarius for Your Free Water Analysis

Is soap scum ruining your shower experience? Installing a water filtration system can help you eliminate soap scum for good and protect your pipes. If you’re tired of soap scum, contact our team for your complimentary water test and we’ll help you find a water softener solution that fits your water supply’s needs. 

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