How to Successfully Unclog a Drain
Slightly clogged drains can become major problems. With regular maintenance serious clogs can be avoided. Most people, however, don’t think of maintaining drains or just don’t have time to fit it into busy day-to-day routines. If faced with a clog there may be a simple solution to clearing it before resorting to the use of harmful chemicals or calling a plumber which could result in unnecessary expense.
If your sink or bathtub is draining slowly the first thing to check for is any debris in the opening of the drain itself. In bathtubs the biggest culprit is usually caused from soap, shampoo and/or conditioner debris clinging to strands of hair lost normally when showering, bathing or from shaving. If you have a drain stopper attached to the top or back of the faucet, as opposed to using a rubber plug, simply remove the metal stopper from the drain and make a visual inspection. Chances are strands of hair will be noticeable. When a hair build-up is visible the easiest way to remove the nasty remnants is with a pair of tweezers to pull the clog out. The same holds true for bathroom sink drains. If a household member regularly shaves at the sink with a traditional or disposable razor the minuscule hair fragments released from the razor, combined with soap and toothpaste residue, can be enough to cause a build-up over time. By the same token electric razors cleaned in the sink will also contribute to an eventual clog.
The problem with slow drains in kitchen sinks is most likely a mixture of food particles and grease. Before reaching for a chemical drain cleaner try running hot water down the drain for two to three minutes. This will alleviate the clog eight times out of ten, unless the problem has been evident for a prolonged period of time. In the case of the later combine a ¼ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of white vinegar and pour it into the drain followed quickly with boiling water.
Conversely, if there is no visible evidence for the clog you might want to try a vacuum, especially if you have small children. Kids are notorious for dropping bits of building blocks or other tiny toys in drains. Place a knee high sheer stocking or old piece of pantyhose over the end of the vacuum hose and place it over the drain opening. If there is anything small blocking the drain, when you push the power button it will be sucked out and get caught on the end of the hose. Just be sure to remove the arm of the vacuum before turning it off. This method is also awesome for retrieving valuables, such as rings, that might accidentally fall in the drain.