The sinks in your kitchen and bathroom do a great deal of work around your home. So it should be easy to notice if they are clogged. The warning signs are pretty obvious – it takes a little longer for your sink to drain, the water begins to pool around your feet in the shower, or you begin to smell unpleasant or strange odors. If you ignore these signs, the time will come when your drain is blocked completely. Clogged drains are usually a result of built-up debris in your pipes like excess hair and soap gunk. If you have this issue and don’t know what to do, here are some easy ways to fix a clogged drain.
Baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are ingredients you can find in just about any kitchen. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar. This mixture fizzes quickly so make sure that you pour it into your clogged drain immediately. The fizzing action is the one that will remove the debris that has built up in your pipe. You should leave it for an hour, although it is better to let it sit overnight. Flush your drain with hot water.
Boiling hot water
Hot tap water won’t be enough to unclog your drain. What’s needed is boiling-hot water because it will dissolve any organic matter in your sink. You should take note that if you are using PVC pipes, you should not use boiling water as it could make the joints loosen. If you have a porcelain sink bowl, do not pour boiling water onto it directly as it can crack. Use a pot or a kettle for boiling then pour the water down the drain. Repeat this step if necessary.
Bent wire hanger
This might sound simple but it actually works. Straighten out a regular wire coat hanger the best that you can. Then create a small hook by bending one end over. Insert the small hook and start fishing for the stuff that caused the clog in the drain. Remember that your goal in this step is to pull out the gunk instead of pushing it down further. When you think you have gotten out as much debris as possible, clear the drain by flushing it with water.
Caustic soda or Sodium Hydroxide, is another option to clear clogged drains. This can be purchased from your local hardware store. Take caution when handling it because it can cause some nasty burns. Be sure to use gloves and eye protection. Mix 3 cups of caustic soda with ¾ gallon of cold water. Stir it well and wait until it fizzes and heats up. Pour it into the blocked drain and leave it for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then flush the drain with boiling water to clear it.
Salt and baking soda
Aside from the vinegar and baking soda mixture, you can also mix salt with baking soda to resolve a clog. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of salt and pour it into the clogged drain. Just like the vinegar mixture, let it sit for a few minutes before clearing the drain with boiling water. The chemical reaction of the baking soda, salt and boiling water together should be enough to dissolve the blockages.
Cup or accordion plunger
You might find a plunger useful if your sink is completely blocked due to a large obstruction. Make sure that you pick the right kind of plunger and not the one that is flanged. You can use either full length plungers or handheld plungers. This method will also help build your arm and shoulder muscles.
If all of the above steps are exhausted and nothing seems to be unclogging your drain, you may want to get the help of a local plumber. When choosing plumbers to solve these issues, be sure to choose a licensed plumber that will get the job done as timely and efficiently as possible.