You just noticed that a drain is clogged or that the water in one of the sinks isn't draining properly? Of course, it had to happen at the most inconvenient of moments – just before guests are about to arrive. In the worst case, this annoying problem may also be accompanied by an unpleasant smell. But do you have to call in a professional to sort it out? No – you can clean the drain yourself. It might not be the most popular household task, but you save money and the job gets done quicker! We explain how to unclog a drain and give you tips.
How to unclog a drain
Is one of your drains clogged? Don’t worry because with our tips on how to clean drains and prevent them from getting clogged, your bathroom and kitchen drains will be clear again in no time at all –and they’ll stay that way!
Cleaning pipes yourself – is that possible?
How to unclog a drain – tips and instructions
Is the drain clogged and it’s preventing water from draining away? This is annoying, but fortunately, it usually doesn’t take long to fix. Follow these steps on cleaning pipes:
- Scoop as much water as possible out of the sink with a cup or bowl
- Then use a drain cleaner and follow the usage instructions on the product label.
- If the blockage is quite persistent, you can leave the gel for longer or use more – be sure to follow the product instructions. Open a window for ventilation.
- Rinse with plenty of warm water after the gel has had time to take effect.
- Has the sink strainer been left discolored after cleaning the drain? Ensure the drain and sink strainer are well-flushed with water before introducing a new cleaning product. In this case, a suitable cleaning agent, for example Soft Scrub® All Purpose Cleanser, will help.
In some cases, a clogged drain can cause an unpleasant smell in your bathroom or kitchen. The easiest way to neutralize this smell is to use baking powder or vinegar. Of course, ensure the drain is well-flushed before introducing the new mixture.
No more clogged drains
It is always best to tackle the root of the problem – in this case, we’re literally referring to roots: hair roots. After all, hair is one of the main reasons for a drain getting clogged. Protect your drains by using a sink strainer since it catches most of the hair and prevents you from having to clean the pipes. Wipe the strainer regularly with some paper towels or a cloth to collect all the hair.
In the kitchen, hair is less of a problem and the clogged drains are usually caused by food scraps. Using a sink strainer here is also a good idea because it prevents pieces of food from going down the drain in the first place and makes it easier to dispose of the food debris in the trashcan. This is particularly useful if you often wash the dishes by hand.
One of the best tips for drain cleaning is to listen to the drain. This is because a clogged drain usually lets its presence be known by reducing the speed that the water flows down. If this is the case, you still have some time until the drain is completely blocked and the water no longer drains away. If this blockage is further down, you can clean it with a plunger or a pipe-cleaning tool.