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Unclogging a Drain: Your #1 Guide to Clear Drains

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A clogged drain can disrupt your daily routine and cause inconveniences. In this guide, we will walk you through several effective methods for unclogging a drain, including DIY options and advanced techniques, as well as tips for knowing when to seek professional help. 

Understanding Common Causes of Drain Clogs

Before we get into some unclogging methods, it is helpful to know what causes clogs in the first place. Here are some common causes for a clogged drain:

  1. Hair: Hair can accumulate in drains, especially in the bathroom, and create clogs over time.

  2. Grease and Oil: In the kitchen, cooking oils, fats, and grease can solidify in the pipes, causing blockages.

  3. Soap Scum: Soap residue can combine with minerals in water to create soap scum, which can build up in pipes and lead to clogs.

  4. Food Waste: Large food particles, especially in the kitchen sink, can cause clogs if not properly disposed of.

  5. Foreign Objects: Items such as small toys, jewelry, or personal care products can accidentally be flushed down drains, causing blockages.

  6. Mineral Buildup: Hard water can lead to mineral deposits in pipes, which can accumulate and obstruct water flow.

  7. Toilet Paper Overuse: Excessive toilet paper can lead to clogs, especially in older plumbing systems.

  8. Tree Roots: Tree roots can infiltrate underground pipes, causing blockages and structural damage.

  9. Non-Flushable Items: Flushing items such as wipes, cotton swabs, or hygiene products down the toilet can lead to clogs.

  10. Corrosion: Over time, pipes can corrode, leading to rough surfaces that trap debris and cause clogs.

To avoid clogs, be mindful of what goes down your drains and take preventive measures such as using drain screens and properly disposing of waste. Please note, if corrosion has occurred, replacement is probably necessary.


7 DIY Methods for Unclogging a Drain

If you’re facing a minor clog, try these DIY methods:

  1. Boiling Water: Carefully pour boiling water down the drain to dissolve grease and soap buildup.

  2. Baking Soda and Vinegar: Combine baking soda and vinegar, pour the mixture down the drain, and wait 15 minutes before flushing with hot water.

  3. Plunger: Create a seal around the drain opening and plunge vigorously to dislodge the clog.

  4. Drain Snake: Use a drain snake or auger to break up and remove clogs deeper in the pipes. Be Careful with this.

  5. Wire Hanger: Straighten a wire hanger and use it to fish out clogs close to the surface. Careful with this one too.

  6. Dish Soap and Hot Water: Pour dish soap and hot water down the drain to lubricate and loosen the blockage.

  7. Wet/Dry Vacuum: Create a tight seal around the drain and use the vacuum’s suction to pull out the clog.

For more tips on DIY methods, just reach out to Honesty Services.


4 Advanced Methods for Stubborn Clogs

For tougher clogs, consider these advanced techniques:

  1. Plumber’s Snake: Use a longer, flexible tool to reach and clear blockages further down the pipes.

  2. Hydro Jetting: High-pressure water is used to clear blockages, making quick work of stubborn clogs.

  3. Air Burst Drain Cleaners: Compressed air breaks up clogs, but this method requires caution to avoid damaging pipes.

  4. Drain Cleaning Machines: Professional-grade machines use powerful rotating cables to clear blockages. 

If you are at the point where some of the advanced methods are needed, it might be best to give Honesty Services a call. You do not want to create another problem where is does not exist in the first place. Just remember these are just some methods of using some advanced techniques.


Knowing When to Call a ProfessionalPlumber smiling

Sometimes, DIY methods may not be enough, and the advanced methods might be a little out of your comfort zone. In that case, you might need to seek professional help. Here are signs that it’s time to call in, US, the experts:

  • Persistent or recurring clogs that don’t clear with DIY methods.
  • Multiple clogged drains throughout your home.
  • Signs of pipe damage such as leaks, corrosion, or strange odors.
  • Make sure to turn the appropriate water valves off if your clog has caused a leak. 

Learn more about our plumbing services and how Honesty Services can help. When in doubt it’s always best to reach out to a professional. 



Preventive Measures for Clear Drains

To prevent future clogs, practice these preventive measures:

  • Regular maintenance: Flush drains with hot water regularly and use baking soda and vinegar occasionally, and also clean your drain stoppers regularly.
  • Drain screens: Use drain screens to catch hair and debris in sinks and showers.
  • Proper disposal: Avoid pouring grease, oil, and large food particles down the drain.

For more tips on maintenance, check out information on drain maintenance from HGTV.


Keeping your drains clear is crucial for a smoothly running home or business. Maintenance is always important in keeping your home in tip top shape while watching out for wear and tear that could cause you headaches down the road. However, if you face a major clog or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Honesty Services for expert help.



HGTV Editors. “Drain Maintenance.” HGTV, 20 Feb. 2023

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