Unclog Your Drain Without Harmful Chemicals

Unclog shower sink drain
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Semevent

All you really need to unclog your sink or shower drains are a couple clever all-natural household hacks. Water is lingering in your sink, or your bathtub isn’t draining like it should? We will show you how to unclog a drain without using environmentally harmful chemical cleaning agents.

Unclog Drains with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Unclog your drain with baking powder
Baking powder is an effective household remedy for clogged drains. (Photo: © ThamKC /

If build-up of calcium, lime, and/or grease is hindering proper drainage in your sink, these natural household remedies can help dissolve the blockage:

  • Baking powder and vinegar: Pour four tablespoons of baking powder into the drain. Immediately after, pour in half a cup of vinegar. As the baking powder and the vinegar mix, you will start to hear bubbling sounds. Once the bubbling has stopped, pour hot water down the drain to rinse away the dirt.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Alternatively, you can use baking soda to unclog the drain. As with the baking powder, place four tablespoons of baking soda into the drain, followed by the half cup of vinegar. Rinse the drain with hot water after the bubbling has stopped.

Unclog Your Sink or Shower Drain with a Plunger

How to unclog a sink drain: plunger method
Unclog your drain with a plunger. (Photo: Utopia)

Often, the blockage in your drain may be caused by a build-up of hair, food particles or other gritty materials. You can dislodge this obstruction yourself using a plunger. The trick is using the right technique; otherwise plunging may prove unsuccessful. Here’s how to unclog your drain using a plunger:

  • Position the plunger directly over your drain and press it down towards the sink. Seal off other openings – e.g. overflow protection holes – with a wet cloth.
  • Run water into the sink until the water has completely covered the rubber cup of the plunger.
  • Move the plunger up and down without lifting it completely from the drain.
  • After plunging the sink or shower drain several times, take the plunger out of the sink. If the clog has loosened, the water should be able to drain freely once again. If not, put the plunger back on the clogged drain and start plunging again. If this process is again fails to unclog the drain, you may want to consider an alternative method. Keep reading for additional approaches to unclogging even the most stubborn clogged sink and shower drains.

Unclog Your Drain with a Drain Snake

Drain plumbing snake tool
Plumbing Snake, for use against the most stubborn of clogs. (Photo: Utopia)

If the plunger does not work to unclog your sink or shower drain, you can try a drain snake. A drain snake is a special cable coil that uses a drilling movement to break through the grime in your pipes. We recommend that you only use this method if you are good with your hands. You have to be very careful to not damage the pipe.

  • Gently insert the coil through the drain opening to avoid accidentally damaging the pipe.
  • Slowly turn the handle to advance the snake while applying a slight pressure toward the drain.
  • Once you feel a firm resistance, pull the spiral back a little bit, then push it towards the drain again.
  • If you cannot unclog the drain, it might be time to consult a professional plumber. Some clogs are just too persistent to be removed without professional tools.

Read more:

This article was translated from German into English. You can view the original here: Verstopften Abfluss reinigen: Diese Hausmittel helfen.

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