Have you ever stood in your shower and started noticing water pooling at your feet? Or have you ever flushed and watched in horror as the water level rises? Or have you ever stepped into your bathroom and noticed some strange, unpleasant smells for absolutely no reason? All of these might mean you have a clogged drain on your hands. But, don’t despair. Here are the best tips on how to unclog those drains and have clean and odorless pipes.
Get the good ol’ plunger
Yes, having to work a plunger isn’t the best experience, but when your drains get blocked, it’s best to know where it is and how to handle it. Most people have a cup plunger that is perfect for clogged sink and bathtub drains. You should put the cup of the plunger over the drain and just plunge away. However, this tool is not the best for your clogged toilet. If you want to successfully and easily get rid of a toilet clog, you should get a flange plunger. Its shape is specifically designed for toilets and even the most stubborn of blockages will succumb to it. Just make sure you’ve created a good seal between the drain and the plunger, otherwise, there might be water spraying all over the toilet.
Flush drains with boiling water
Aside from the plunger, one of the easiest things you can do is flush your blocked drain with boiling water. This technique isn’t guaranteed to unclog your drains (it works best on grease and other physical blockages), but it works great as a preventive measure. For instance, as soon as you see your drain getting slower, you can give it a big boiling water flush that will clear out your pipes. However, since you’ll be pouring very hot water (over 80 or 90 degrees Celsius) your PVC pipe joints might soften or even melt. So, never use this unclogging method on plastic pipes, only on metal. If you don’t know what type of pipes you have, better use the water that’s not too hot or avoid this method at all. Better be safe than sorry.
Employ a homemade cleaner
If you’re sure your blockage is caused by grease, aside from boiling water, you can also try a homemade drain cleaner. You can make it by pouring half a cup of baking soda directly down the clogged drain and follow it by one cup of vinegar and one cup of hot water. As soon as you dump everything down, cover it with a drain plug and let it sit for 10 minutes. Covering it is very important, otherwise, everything will come pouring out because the mixture fizzes. The reaction will jolt everything loose and let you flush all the nasty things down the drain. This solution is very cheap and eco-friendly, so give it a try.
For more stubborn clogs, you can go to your local department store and get a drain snake. It will certainly help you break through those persistent blockages, especially those caused by hair. You just stick it into the clogged drain and feed it all the way to that nasty clog. Pull out the gunk and your drains should be working properly. If you don’t have a drain snake at hand and you need one, you can DIY it from a coat hanger. Unravel the hanger, create a small hook at one end, and lower it down your drains. The hook will hopefully catch the nasty gunk and clear your drains. However, be careful when operating this improvised snake, because its sharp edges can damage the pipes or the drain.
Don’t hesitate to get professional help
Of course, there are some chemical drain cleaners you can buy from a store, but they should be your absolute last resort. They can harm the pipes and are horrible for the environment. Try DIYing it, or call a plumber to give you a professional hand with unclogging blocked drains in your home. You might have a very deep clog somewhere down the line that only an experienced plumber can fix without damaging your pipes and drains.
So, the next time you notice your drains are getting blocked, you’ll be ready to tackle them and remove all clogs and make your pipes breathe easily. Even the most stubborn of problems can be fixed, so don’t be scared to get your hands dirty or hire a pro.