Have a clogged drain? Most of the time you can fix it yourself quickly and easily. Below are simple solutions — without using potentially dangerous and damaging chemicals — for common clog causes.
Usually caused by fat, oil and grease (also known as FOG) or food particles.
- Plunger – Fill sink with warm water and then use a rubber plunger.
- Liquid dish detergent and hot water (hot water melts FOG, soap helps to dissolve it) – Boil a large pot of water and stir in a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap; slowly pour the mixture down the drain, then flush with hot tap water. Repeat if necessary.
- Salt and hot water (hot water melts FOG, salt acts as scouring agent) – Pour one-half cup of salt down drain, then follow with near-boiling water and flush with hot tap water. Repeat if necessary.
Bathroom Sink or Tub/Shower Drain
Usually caused by hair or gunk buildup.
- Wire hook – Wire hangers work great; use pliers to bend one end of a straightened wire hanger into a small hook. Remove drain cover, then use hook to remove hair, gunk, etc., from drain. (It’s not pretty, but it’s effective.)
- Hair clog snake or plumber’s snake (cable auger) – Can be found at hardware stores; similar to the wire hook described above but specially made for drain cleaning. (Also not pretty, but also effective.)
FUN FACT: The word “plumbing” comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. (The first effective pipes used in the Roman era were made of lead.)