A clogged drain can be a very distressing situation and repair costs can very quickly add up. Most homeowners when they encounter a blocked drain would like to try to fix it themselves.
Firstly, if you are looking to clean your drains then one of the things that we don’t recommend are using chemical drain cleaners. Whilst there are many brands available and in the short term, they might do the job, they are also very harsh and can cause your pipes to corrode and possibly even start sprouting leaks or even a larger clog. Here are some home remedies which you could potentially try.
One of the simplest methods which most people will have available in their home is the plunger and if not, they can be found quite cheaply in most shops.
Firstly, be sure your plunger is cup-shaped, not flanged-shaped. Then remove any metal strainer and the stopper.
Next, take the plunger and cover the whole drain with it, then for 30 seconds press and pull the plunger quickly. If water then begins to slowly drain, add some more water to the drain and repeat until the water drains more rapidly.
Another very simple method of cleaning drains is to pour boiling water down the sink. Before starting you should check that your pipes aren’t made of PVC and that your sink basin isn’t made of porcelain as it could loosen or melt joints in the pipes or even crack the sink bowl.
You should also make sure that the clog is being caused by organic matter, such as fat or grease or hair and not by plastic or feminine hygiene products. The water should also be hot enough to dissolve the clog. Finally, when pouring the water down, make sure it is poured directly down the drain – using the spout of a kettle or funnel to help. This will ensure the water reaches the clog as warm as possible to hopefully clear it.
If boiling water on its own doesn’t work you can also try the following items in a mixture with boiling water:
Boiling Water with Baking Soda and Vinegar
For this method, firstly pour a cup of baking soda down the drain without diluting. Next pour down half a cup of white vinegar and stop the drain using either a metal stopper or rag. At this point the two ingredients will combine and react, which will force the clog loose. Finally wait for about half an hour before pouring boiling water down the drain.
Boiling Water with Baking Soda and Salt
Mix one-part baking soda with one-part salt and four parts boiling water. Pour down the drain and allow it to sit overnight and then pour hot water down in the morning. This mixture differs from the vinegar as it has an abrasive texture to help scrape the blockage from the sides of the pipe.
Boiling Water with Washing Soda / Soda Crystals
Another option is to find some washing soda or soda crystals in your local supermarkets cleaning products aisle. Mix this with hot water and let the mixture sit in the drain overnight before pouring hot water down in the morning.
Bent Coat Hanger
For a more manual solution – you can also bend a coat hanger into a hook and use this to reach down the drain and scrape out blockages. However, be careful not to push the hanger downwards which can push the blockage further down the drain, instead use prodding and hooking motions to dislodge and remove it.
It is also a good idea to keep your drain clean and take preventative measures to stop your drains becoming blocked – including using metal strainers to catch solid food and a fat catch trapper to try to catch the fat and grease. You should also try to separate fat, oil and grease or blot it up with kitchen roll before washing up any plates, pots, pans, cutlery or utensils in the kitchen sink.
If you still have a blockage after trying some of these home remedy drain cleaners – then it might be a good time to call out a plumber or drainage specialist to clear the blockage.
Argo Drains are an emergency drain repair specialist and we operate throughout the West Midlands from our base in Lichfield. When repairing blocked drains, we have a number of tools at our disposal including CCTV drain surveys which allow us to inspect the drain non-invasively.
We can also use high-pressure water jetting to flush drains and pipes and also to clean hard surfaces such as driveways. Here we jet the water down at high speed which can blast through internal and external blockages, once and for all.
We can also look at more serious issues including cracked or collapsed drains which will be highlighted with a CCTV survey. Give us a call 24/7 at our emergency helpline on 0121 663 6683.