How to Unclog a Clogged Drain

Plumbing Solutions of Idaho expert tips

bathroom sink drain in boise, ID

How often do you think about the drains in your house? Usually, drains are happily overlooked, quiet aspects of our bathrooms and kitchens that work without much help from us, and we like it that way.

We usually take any drain for granted–until, of course, it stops working. That’s when we’re finally forced to pay attention to this little device that does its job in complete silence.

It’s only when there’s something wrong with the drain that we begin to truly appreciate just how much we rely on it–not to mention, a clogged drain can quickly go from inconvenience to disaster.

Luckily, it’s easy to unblock a clogged drain and protect your plumbing. You can call one of our Boise plumbers to help blast through your clogs today. We also put together a round-up of some of our best drain cleaning tips for unclogging your drains and freshening them up!

Start with a Plunger

The first thing to do: grab your trusty plunger. Fill the sink a quarter of the way with water, using a towel to block the other drain if you have a double sink, and then plunge rapidly until the water begins to drain out. This technique works with most small obstructions and blockages.

Turn on a Powerful Flashlight

Go fishing using a powerful flashlight, see if you can put eyes on the problem. If you can see the offending gunk, straighten out a coat hanger and make a small hook on the end. If the clog is fairly near the surface, you should be able to reach it and very carefully attempt to pull it out. If this isn’t immediately effective, don’t spend too much time there. You may push the clog further into the pipes, and vigorous action can damage porcelain. If you’ve been successful at removing a good portion of the clog, flush the drain with hot water to get things flowing again.

Mix Up a Brine Solution

For easy DIY maintenance, try a brine solution of salt water to reduce odor and prevent clogs. Brine solutions prevent grease buildup in your pipes.

Turn to the Kettle

Boil a kettle of hot water and flush it down the drain in two to three stages, pouring slowly each time and waiting a few seconds between pours. Hot water is often effective at loosening small greasy plugs, and can sometimes get things moving again in short order.

Reach for the Baking Soda & Vinegar Flush

Remember that cool volcano you made for a school science project? Bet you didn’t know it would come in handy for a clogged drain! Just measure 1/3 cup of baking soda with an equal amount of vinegar. It’ll start to bubble fast, just like your third grade volcano, so get it down the drain ASAP and let the magic begin. Wait an hour or so, and then flush with hot water.

Try Some Bubbles

For a clogged toilet, try pouring 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid into the bowl. Let the soap sit for a few minutes to do its work, and then follow up with very hot water and some action with the plunger. Dishwashing soap can be very effective at dissolving greasy clogs, so this one is worth a try.​

Grab a Mechanical Snake

Sometimes, drain cleaners or homemade solutions aren’t enough. Try a mechanical snake to clear tough clogs. These devices are threaded into a clogged drain to manually remove clogs and clear the drain. Snakes can be used in your homes’ main drain. Thread the snake in the drain, push out the clog, and use your garden hose to blast out the remnants.

​Take Care of Your Drains

Why is it so important to take care of our drains? Consider all the work we assign to the drain and all the things that go down your bathroom and kitchen drains: dirt, pet hair, soap, bits of food, the occasional unidentified object. We prefer everything that we wash off our hands to go away–and with a blocked drain, all of those things will be forced to stick around. This can lead to stained or dirty sinks, ruined plumbing, and health concerns. Unblocking a clogged drain is important, but, luckily, it’s also surprisingly easy.

Call an Expert Boise Plumber Today!

If other techniques repeatedly fail, it’s time to find a Boise drain professional. Our team of experienced plumbers can help unclog that drain, plus give you tips for how to reduce future blockages–and that’s good news for your drains! Call Plumbing Solutions of Idaho to schedule your appointment!

Learn More About Drain Cleaning in Boise, Meridian & Beyond

Check out our blog posts below for some helpful info, expert tips and more!

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