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A blocked drain can be a major cause of frustration for anyone. You may have experienced a blocked toilet, a slowly draining shower and sink drain, or an overflowing bathtub and dishwasher basin. These circumstances are quite annoying and you’d probably be calling an emergency plumber to help you clear your blocked drain right away.

Before you go rushing to have a professional blocked drain plumber come over to your home or business establishment, there are a number of DIY ways you can consider to clear a blocked drain. The methods below are quite easy to perform and you’ll be surprised by the wonders they provide.

Here are the 7 best DIY ways to clear a blocked drain.

Proven & practical methods of clearing a blocked drain.

1. Manually Removing the Blockage

The quickest way of removing the blockage in your drain pipes is by manually removing it. You just have to wear a pair of gloves, remove the drain cover then visually check if you can see what’s blocking the flow of water.

If you can see and reach the blockage with your hands, your problem is solved! If the blockage is too far or your hands are too big to fit the pipe, you can use the next method below.

2. Drain Snake, Plumber’s Snake, Bent Wire Hanger

These items have a similar function. They are used as a hook to pull up large items that are blocking the drain. The drain snake or plumber’s snake is a retractable tool used to hook up the clog. This is part of a professional plumber’s arsenal and is readily available in hardware stores in your area.

A DIY version of this tool is by stretching out your old metal clothes hanger and creating a hook at one end. This method is ideal for deep yet reachable clogs. 

3. Use Boiling/Hot Water

Pouring boiling water over the blocked pipes is best used whenever the manual methods mentioned above don’t work. You’ll need a kettle of boiling or hot water for this method. Pour the water into the blocked pipe. This will soften the hardened grease blocking the pipe.

Repeat this a couple of times and see if the method is successful. Be cautious when your pipes are made of materials other than metal. Boiling water will destroy the pipe integrity and will be a bigger problem for you.

4. DIY Drain Cleaner (Baking Soda)

Baking soda, along with the different mixtures it is used with, is the best DIY clog remover.  You can mix baking soda with salt, vinegar, lemon, and other common household items. This method works best when you’re dealing with fatty, oily, and greasy clogs.

5. Dish Detergent

Dish detergents have another use aside from cleaning our plates and utensils. They can loosen up blockage that is made from fats, oil, and other forms of greasy substances. You’ll just need a cup of dish detergent to get rid of the scum and lubricate the pipes to hasten the draining.

Pour a quarter of a cup of dish detergent down the blocked pipes. Leave it there for 15-30 minutes. Flush it with hot water and observe. Check if the process is successful. Repeat a couple more times.

6. Use the Plunger

There are different types of plungers. You have to determine which one you’ll use and where will you use it. There are plungers for sink basins, toilets, and pipes. A certain level of skill may be required as these plungers work slightly different from one another.

The plunger uses compression and suction forces to loosen the clog. It’s like a push and pull effect that loosens the clog and allows water to flow down the pipes. If you’re having difficulty sealing the sink basin with the plunger cup, apply some petroleum jelly around the cup’s lip

7. Caustic Cleaner

When all other methods of removing the drain’s block go futile, you have no other choice but to use the fairly aggressive caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide. This chemical works best with stubborn clogs. 

Pour 3 cups of caustic soda into a bucket. Add 1.5 litres of water. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon or mixer. Pour the solution down the blocked drain and leave it there for a half-hour. Flush using hot water and see if your intervention is successful. Repeat as necessary.

You have to be extra careful as contact with this chemical will irritate your skin. Its vapour can also irritate your eyes and respiratory system. Make sure to wear personal protective equipment like gloves, mask, face shield, and appropriate clothing when working with caustic soda.

Final Thoughts

Have you tried the methods listed above? Did you manage to find success using these methods?

Blocked drains can be very irritating but if you have the knowledge and understanding of how to use these DIY drain unclogging methods, the problems can be solved. These subtle methods have been proven to work. Just be patient.

However, if all DIY efforts don’t work, then your best option will be to call a professional, local blocked drain plumber!

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