Anyone who has had to deal with a blocked drain will know how irritating the issue is, causing a backlog of issues around the home until the blockage is identified and then removed. If you have a bath or sink that is draining slowly, there can be a number of different causes, which need to be dealt with before normal life can resume. The shops are full of drain-cleaning solutions that can clear a clog – but they aren’t cheap and they’re rarely very green. Fortunately, there are also some natural drain unblocker options that can clear the issue quickly and simply. What’s more, you probably already have the ingredients around the house – and if you don’t, they can be bought locally for low prices!
Home Remedy Drain Unblockers
This method of clearing a blockage is one of the oldest and most straightforward, and although it most commonly uses a coat-hanger, it can in truth use any stiff wire. To get the most out of this DIY drain unblocker, you need to straighten out the wire and then curl one end into a hook shape. You then lower the hooked end into the drain until you find the clog. Carefully insert the wire into the blockage, and pull back towards you. This way, you should be able to hook out anything that is blocking the drain; just be careful not to push the clog further in!
Caustic Soda and Water (WARNING: Wear Protection)
Caustic soda is one of the more heavy-duty household cleaners, and costs very little to buy compared with ready-made solutions. To use this, first make sure that you have rubber gloves and eye-protecting goggles. You then mix 3 cups of caustic soda in a bucket with .75 of a gallon (3 litres) of water, and stir with a long-handled wooden spoon. As it mixes, the solution will begin to give off heat and fizz. When this settles down, slowly pour the mixture down the drain; if it overflows the plughole, stop pouring. This should melt away any blockage.
Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar
This is a classic mix that works well for cleaning elsewhere in your house and is one of the most popular eco drain cleaner solutions you can use. You need to mix one part bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) with one part of white vinegar. This will cause an instant fizzing reaction, and you should pour the mix down the sink quickly. Leave it for two hours or overnight before rinsing the drain with hot running water; the clog should be gone.
The most straightforward “How to unblock drains” home remedy is just plain old boiling water. The theory here is that the blockage in the drain may well be congealed fat, with has solidified and hardened in the pipe. By pouring down freshly-boiled water, you will be hoping to melt that fat for long enough to allow it to move down the pipe and out of the drain altogether. This may take more than one kettle’s worth and, as before, if it reaches over the plughole, stop pouring.
This is more specifically for the clearing of a blocked toilet, and requires you to have a household plunger and a kettle of boiling water to hand for the purposes of unblocking the drain. Just a quarter of a cupful of washing-up liquid is necessary, which you pour into the bowl before fetching the boiling water. Pour this into the bowl – a solution should now have been created which will lubricate the pipe.
You then use the plunger to push the mix downwards – this should free any clog and allow the toilet to flush as normal. If this is not the case, then you may need to fetch rubber gloves and attempt to clear any blockage by hand.
The above are five effective ways to clear blockages and clogs from your home plumbing, and by now you should have a fair idea of how to unblock a drain at home using items that you already have available.
It is, of course, essential to contact a plumber if you cannot clear the blockage using the above methods, as a professional will have the ability and the tools to clear any clog. Most importantly, they will be able to do it safely, which is the most important thing to keep in mind. The above methods, however, still come in useful as a way of maintaining your newly-cleared drains.