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Unclog a Drain

Updated on April 27, 2013

Unclog Drains Easily Yourself

We all have them, at least from time to time. Clogged drains.

Typically our bathroom sinks and showers get clogged from hair and other gunk like soap that gets trapped in the drain pipes. Unclog a drain yourself and save money.

I've discovered a couple of easy ways to unclog a drain that don't involve taking the pipes apart or anything difficult like that. And my methods are natural. No harsh chemicals are used so it's safe and green!

Use these natural ways to unclog drains on a regular basis to save money and keep the water flowing at your house!

This photo shows my bathroom sink with a "Zip-It" tool that I use periodically to unclog the drain.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

An Ounce of Prevention

Is Worth a Pound of Cure:

Use a removable strainer in the drain if you have a problem with lots of hair clogging the pipes

or kids dropping small items down the drain.

Do you have clogged sink and shower drains?

Do you have clogged sink and shower drains?

See results

Drain Snake for Unclogging Drains - Stick it in, pull it out (carefully)

This drain snake is similar to the tool I use to unclog my sink and shower drains.

You simply stick the "snake" or long portion into the drain as far as you can, then you gently pull it out. Don't get too gung-ho and pull that snake out quickly or you'll have bits of goo and gunk and hair all over the place. Trust me. You will.

Unclog a Drain Tip #1:

Restrain yourself.

After inserting the drain tool into the drain,

be sure to pull it out slowly.

Little bits of hair and gunk will go flying around the room if you jerk it out too quickly.

More Drain Snake Tool Options - to Unclog a Drain

More options for "snaking" your drain. Any of these should do the job of pulling up hair that gets trapped. Once the bulk of the trapped hair is out of the drain, the pipes should drain freely.

The trick is to unclog a drain regularly and keep it free of hair and other junk.

Unclog a Drain Tip #2:

Make a schedule to unclog drains.

Once a week might be needed at first

to get all of the hair out.

When the drains are unclogged,

maintain them by cleaning them

at least once a month.

The frequency will depend on

how hairy your household is.

Unclog a Drain Tip #3:

For kitchen sinks, run hot water after using the sink.

The hot water will help dissolve grease

and keep the pipes clear.

Be sure to run the garbage disposal

(use cold water for that) to keep that working well.

How do you normally unclog a drain?

How do you normally unclog a drain?

See results

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

What's your preferred way to unclog a drain?

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    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 5 years ago from New York City

      I call the building guys. That's part of what we pay for. I unclogged plenty of drains in my days of maintaining and supervising buildings. Time to give the other guys a chance.

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 5 years ago from United States

      We have one of those ZipIt tools ~ love that darn thing!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Don't I WISH I had a garbage disposal but no such luck around this old house. Great advice though on unclogging a drain.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Preventative measures mostly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I also use a toilet plunger for the bathtub as well. I prefer one just for that purpose and try not to get it mixed up with the one used for the toilet!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've used hot water as a preventative, and when I don't have a snake thingy, a wire hanger can be used in a pinch. We've also used a toilet plunger on the bathtub.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      These are great ways to unclog a drain - I will try them. Blessings to you!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      A can of coca-cola does wonders for our bad drains.

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 5 years ago

      I've seen some disgusting stuff come out of a drain!

    • GabStar profile image

      GabStar 5 years ago

      get hubby to do it hehehe

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      This is a very interesting Lens. I hope my hubby would be convinced after reading this lens to unclog a drain himself. I paid people to do it because it's disgusting.

    • profile image

      beindustrial 5 years ago

      I used every possible thing I can but I never use chemical clog removers. I tried using snake sticks, hot water, lemon juice and baking soda those are my weapon of choice...

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 5 years ago

      Thank you for the great tips!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      After removing the drain plug, I'll dig out the gunk that has clogged the drain. I try to avoid using harsh chemicals because these stress the water treatment system.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Great advice; I didn't know about drain snakes before!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      We have that little zip-it tool and it's pretty good. Usually I do the vinegar and baking soda to get some bubbling action going first. Hubby likes to trim his beard over the sink. Too much hair really clogs things up.

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      I've used that little plastic snake similar to the one in your photo.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      I try a plunger and use I've got some new ideas, Thanks...Angel Blessings

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      Every way to be successful :)

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Washing up liquid, followed by bicarbonate of soda, followed by household vinegar and finally flush with boiling water. Bubbles away nicely and usually works!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Try boiling water - if that doesn't work, well I have home maintenance. :)

    • SmokyMtnBoy profile image

      SmokyMtnBoy 5 years ago

      Im a hvac guy but not a plumber and have used a gallo gun to clean a drain once. It uses a co2 cartridge though.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Just what I needed, I think I am going to try the baking soda method first, but thanks for all the info and reminding me I needed to get to that sink NOW!

    • profile image

      KevinKruckmeyer 5 years ago

      I use baking soda and baking powder gang.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I use Coca Cola that has gone flat it does work somewhat and also have a type of stopper with filter in it that I empty out to help not to clog it up even more.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      Okay, I've read the page, I know how to do this now, but we are going to keep it our secret 'cause I think I will let my hubby continue to do this yucky little job as long as possible. BUT, if ever he is too busy or away, I will know what to do:-)) *blessed* and congrats on being on the home page.

    • profile image

      MrSisco 5 years ago

      Having kids in the house pretty much every time the sink is clogged it because something was dropped down the drain. Then I either have to stick something down in there to pull it out or take the pipes apart.

    • profile image

      FreedomGrrl 5 years ago

      I use vinegar and baking soda, an old trick I learned from my mother. When that doesn't do the trick I fall back in good Liquid Plumber.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I'm with the baking powder gang.

    • profile image

      AngelaKane 5 years ago

      My preferred method is a combination of a snake tool and drain cleaner. I also use vinegar and baking soda for my kitchen drain.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      sometimes I use just a punger if that doesn't work than I use other means

    • click2CYtoday profile image

      click2CYtoday 5 years ago

      You can use a mixture of baking soda, salt and hot water that works great too.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very useful info! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      I use products from the grocery store, but I would prefer not to have to use chemicals. However, usually I am not proactive, so it's too late...

    • Stephen Lewis profile image

      Stephen Lewis 5 years ago

      I have a small three prong "grabber" tool that physically grabs items up to about half inch in diameter. Only works to the first trap because it is not flexible enough to bend around the corner. But also great for things dropped down a drain.

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      baking soda!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I don't have this problem any more. I use screens on all of my drains. I could have used this tool before though. Angel blessed!

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      I pour some chemical down the drain and hope it works,which is rare. I have a plastic tool that unclogs the drain but I am afraid it will break and I will have a piece of plastic to unclog along with he original clogs.

    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 5 years ago

      Pour baking soda down the drain, followed by white vinegar, let the reaction completely take effect, after it stops bubbling pour boiling water down the drain.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      There is a device that you pump up and then release down the drain. Sorry I am not sure what it is called.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well now, these are common sense chemical free solutions we all can use. I like your idea of actually getting the hair out of the drain (slowly) and get the job done right. I have a small long brush that has work for me and learned the same way you did about that spatter. Another tip for those that don't have garbage disposals would be to wipe grease and other food debris out of pans and dishes and don't get it in your drain in the first place. A regular schedule of treating drains is kind of like a stitch in time save nine.

    • louiseanne lm profile image

      louiseanne lm 5 years ago

      Depending on how clogged it seems to be, we also have used the baking soda and vinegar solution in the past, but have bought a long flexible drain cleaner, that seems to work great as well.

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 5 years ago

      I use the baking soda and vinegar to, I use it once a month for maintenance and I rarely have clogged drains.

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      I like the Zip-It tool, the Turbo-Snake "as seen on tv" with the velcro like stuff on it (these don't work well on my bathtub though), and the hot water, baking soda and vinegar method.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @anonymous: Yay! That's what I do too and it really does help keep drains open.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I managed to unclog my shower the other day with baking soda and vinegar, let it sit, then dumped boiling hot water down the drain. It worked! No Draino!