Best Cleaning Methods to Unclog Your Drain

Best Cleaning Methods to Unclog Your Drain

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Household drains are one of the hardest working parts of your house, but many homeowners don’t think about them until they stop working hard. Whether it’s a smelly kitchen drain, a shower with standing water, or a clogged toilet, a drain cleaning service can solve your problems. However, there are a few tricks that you can do at home to temporarily get your drain moving again.

Bear in mind that at-home solutions are simply a temporary fix and that for large or stubborn clogs, you’ll need a reputable drain cleaning service to safely remove the clogs.

Boiling Water

This can work well if you have a kitchen sink that is backed up. Many people make the mistake of putting grease from cooking bacon or ground beef into the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, as the grease cools, it solidifies in the pipes. Boiling water can melt the grease enough to get the water moving again.

However, the grease itself can also trap bits of food and other debris, making a larger clog. In these cases, while the water may melt the grease it may not completely remove the clog. You’ll need to schedule a drain cleaning service to make sure that the clog simply hasn’t moved further down the pipe.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

For other types of clogs, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda may work. This may be more effective for a shower or tub drain. First, remove the standing water. Then, pour about a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of apple cider or white vinegar. Expect the solution to bubble, – and be careful, as it can get messy! Wait about 15 minutes, then flush the drain. Repeat if the clog isn’t broken up.

The mixture can help break up clogs from hair and soap, although it won’t disintegrate it completely. For properly functioning bathroom drains, schedule regular preventative maintenance and drain cleaning service about once or twice a year.


This tool can work in both toilets and for clogged sinks. It’s especially helpful if you have a clogged double sink. You may wish to purchase a new plunger to use in a kitchen sink, shower, or tub, however, versus using the toilet plunger.

For double sinks, plug one side of the sink first. Then, insert the plunger into the other tub of the sink taking care to ensure that the seal is tight. Pump the plunger until you can feel the pressure change and the clog dislodge.

Plungers won’t remove or dissolve the clog – in these cases, the pressure applied by a plunger simply moves the clog along the pipe and allows the standing water to clear.

Snake or Coat Hanger

You may be able to clear the standing water and break the clog apart by using a coat hanger or a plumbers’ snake but be careful when using these. The hanger won’t reach as far as a snake will, or be as effective as a drain cleaning service, but can work in a pinch.

Bad De-clogging Ideas

Despite their popularity, chemical drain cleaning agents aren’t a good idea. The chemicals are very harsh, intended to dissolve many different types of matter that accumulates in your drains. Over time, and with frequent use for backed-up drains, the chemicals can start to corrode the pipes, creating thin spots, weakening the seams, and leading to slow leaks or even a burst pipe. Best to leave the chemical solutions on the shelf and hire a professional drain cleaning service if you experience frequent clogs.

What to Expect from Drain Cleaning Service

Professional plumbers can remove clogs of any size and consistency and clean out your pipes on a regular basis to prevent clogs from building up in the future. First, they’ll ask you about that your pipes are made of, how old the house is, and your history of clogs and slow drains. Then, they’ll physically examine the pipes, using a small camera threaded into the pipes themselves to get a look.

A good drain cleaning service will completely remove the clogs and flush the pipes to make sure they’re clear. They may run the camera through the pipes again to ensure that the clog or clogs are gone. They may make a recommendation about how often to have drain cleaning service in the future before small clogs become big plumbing problems.

Preventing Clogs in the Future

It’s easier to prevent clogs from forming than it to have your pipes cleaned. Your plumber can give you advice that’s customized to your patterns of use, but there are a few good rules of thumb for making sure that clogs don’t form in the first place.

First, don’t put anything in the sink or toilet that doesn’t belong there. This can include leftover food, cooking grease, “flushable” wipes, and feminine hygiene products. All of these things won’t break apart in the pipes and may stick, going around the curves of the pipes.

Even if you have a garbage disposal, putting things such as coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetable or fruit peels, and chunks of leftovers through the disposal will lead to clogs. The teeth of the appliance aren’t designed to chop up large amounts of solid material, just a few odds and ends that may end up in the sink. Dispose of all food in the trash.

Toilet paper is designed to dissolve as it enters your plumbing and in the city pipes. Other paper products like facial tissue and baby wipes aren’t made this way – they stay solid and can cause a lot of problems both in your house and for your city overall. And, while it may feel more sanitary to flush tampons or pads, these, too, aren’t made to break apart. Wrap them securely with toilet tissue and throw them in the trash can.

Schedule Drain Cleaning Service Today!

Drain cleaning service doesn’t just have to happen when you have a clog or standing water. Regular drain cleaning service can help your home run more smoothly and extended the life of your pipes and plumbing. Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in your city today to schedule yours!

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