Top 5 Home Remedies for Clogged Drains

Home Remedies for Clogged Drains

Have a clogged drain? In some cases of minor clogs, you can fix it yourself. The first step is determining the exact problem and whether the drain is fully blocked, or some water is slowly making its way out. The underlying problem is that the drain pipe has a buildup of debris that needs to be flushed away. While many people try chemical treatments, these products can make matters worse, and only move the clog down further where it is harder to reach. Rather than trying harsh chemicals that have limited success, try one of these home remedies for clogged drains:

Boiling Water

One of the easiest and most effective DIY methods for clogged drains, whether sink, shower, or toilet is simple boiling water. One caveat – if your home has PVC pipes, don’t use this method! Simply boil water in a kettle or pot and carefully pour it directly down the drain, avoiding contact with the sink porcelain. Boiling water is one of the most effective home remedies for unclogging a sink and melting oil buildups and freeing the debris.

Cleaning the Sink Trap

home remedies clogged drains

Many sink drains become clogged at the trap – the U-shaped pipe beneath in a bathroom or kitchen. This pipe functions to stop sewer gasses from drifting back up and out into your home. The shape of the trap makes it a likely culprit in a plugged sink. This method requires removing the trap. Step one, get a bucket to place under the trap! You will need the right tool to loosen the pipe (an adjustable pipe wrench). Some traps have a cleanout plug at the bottom of the bend, and if so, remove it and let the water out. Take a straightened metal coat hanger and run it through the pipe to dislodge any blockage.

How to Unclog a Drain: The Trusty Plunger

home remedies clogged drains

Every home should have a plunger or two, as these tools are one of the best home remedies for unclogging a sink. For a toilet, you need a flanged toilet plunger. A sink plunger can be small or large, but a larger plunger creates more suction – the magic ingredient in unclogging a drain. For sinks, remove the metal strainer in the drain prior to plunging. The secret lies in the seal you get between plunger and sink. Get the plunger set and then get to work, with fast, sharp plunging motions. For toilets, the rubber flange is a vital aspect of successfully unplugging a toilet. Simply push the plunger in and out fast and furiously, and a plug can often be dislodged.

Hand Drain Snake

home remedies clogged drains

Some homeowners have invested in a drain snake. These tools work by snaking steel wire into a drain. The snake is then twisted when it hits a barrier to dislodge the debris. To perform the task takes a little more work, as in a sink drain, you will have to remove the trap before snaking – make sure you place a bucket to catch the water!


Whether you are a soda drinker or not, having a bottle or two around the house can come in handy for unplugging a drain. For this method to be effective, the soda should be room temperature and should not be of the diet variety. Many types of soda have a corrosive quality (sorry, stomach), and can work away at clogs if poured down the drain and left for an hour or two. This method is superior to the harsh chemical drain cleaners which can damage pipes – and your skin if you are splashed.

If DIY Doesn’t Do the Trick

Some drain issues must be resolved by a professional. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids, we are here to help you restore free-flowing drains, no matter how serious the problem. Simply give us a call and our team of clean, friendly, professional plumbers can get your drains back in working order, from sinks, to toilets, to the main line – we have all the equipment and skills to resolve the issue fast.