I have read many ways to unclog a drain. I have also tried many ways. However, the one way that has always worked for me is "Rapidly Boiling Water." I just boil several pots of water and pour them down the drain. I have used this in the kitchen sink and bathroom sink as well as a toilet and shower. It has never let me down.
Note: Take as much liquid out of the sink as possible. Then keep pouring the boiling water until it starts to drain. Keep doing this until it drains normally. It may take several trips. If you still need to plunge - WAIT UNTIL THE WATER COOLS (you don't want to burn yourself with any splash)
By Compltlyme from Sammamish, WA
Hi - boiling water is a good idea to use every day and you will probably not have a clogged drain to contend with.
I heat a medium size pot of water almost every night and pour down my sinks. Many years and never had a problem (using drains with septic tanks or city lines).
Not sure you wanna do that, because, boiling water can really mess up your pipe joints. I heard that when you drain boiling water from like pasta that you run cold water at the same time?
A plumber once told me as a preventive measure to once a month pour one-half cup of Dawn (a grease-fighter) down the drain followed by a potful of boiling water. It seems to work fine and we don't have service calls.
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I am looking for a good home remedy for unclogging a drain.
By KNIGHTSY47 from San Diego, CA
I use ZipIt, I bought it at Home Depot. It looks like a plastic strip with teeth on the sides. You just shove it down the drain, then pull it back out. Do that a few times and the ZipIt will pull the gunk up out of the drain, will break up the remaining gunk and push some out of the trap so it can be flushed down the drain. Then just run some water to flush out the drain.
I use ZipIt every couple of months even if the drains aren't clogged to keep them free-flowing. (05/08/2009)
Just pour 1 cup of bleach down the drain and follow with a few minutes of HOT water. This works every time! (05/09/2009)
I've never tried it, but there are lots of sites on the Internet that say this process, using vinegar and baking soda, works great:
I went to that website that someone mentioned. I was not impressed. I've cleared a number of drains with baking soda and vinegar, no hot water. I used about 1 cup of baking soda, poured as much as I could down the drain then added the rest, poured enough white vinegar to get the baking soda down the drain and listened till is sounded like it was far down, pour the vinegar slowly. Wait till there is no more fizz and rinse. It has always worked. (05/16/2009)
By c t
Vinegar and baking soda will unclog drains. Works like a charm! (05/16/2009)
Do not put bleach down your drains or in your toilet very often. It can eat the sides of the septic tank. This comes from the person who goes around to daycares and restaurants and checks sanitation. Once in awhile will not hurt but do not do it every day. I think 1 cup is way to much to use. (05/19/2009)
By Teresa Kay
How do I clear a clogged drain? The pipe is very old and Liquid Plumber does not work at all.
Elaine from Taylorsville, UT
What kind of drain is it, what kind of plumbing do you have, and what do you suspect the clog is constituted of?
Iron drain plumbing can get blocked with corrosion and/or scale from hard water. The rough surface will then gather hair, bits of paper, and other gunk. The only permanent cure for that is to replace the pipe (using plastic if the local plumbing code allows).
If the problem is a sink or basin and you can easily disassemble the drain pop-up and trap and check for blockage, do so. Hair and dental floss can get hung up on pop-up drain mechanisms. Dig it out with a long screwdriver, table knife, etc.
When using a plunger on a sink or tub drain, the most clog busting power is obtained not by pushing but by pulling. Don't use a plunger if there are still drain chemicals in the drain -- it could splash back into your face and eyes. Block any other air entrance into the plumbing (e.g. drain overflow, or the other side of a dual sink) while using the plunger.
Toilets don't lend themselves to "pull" plunging, but you can get snouted plungers that will facilitate significant water force into the toilet. Again don't plunge if there are still drain chemicals in the drain. (03/19/2009)
By Red Neck
Vivian from Atlanta, GA
Using dish washing soap, as suggested by Harper, also works in a stopped up toilet. I didn't use the hot water. Was concerned about cracking the toilet and there are wax seals to consider. I let it set for a couple of hours and it unplugged it. (11/12/2008)
By k zorman
I use bleach for keeping the drains from clogging. I've never had one clog up. (11/15/2008)
By Ernie H.
How do I clear a stopped up drain?
Does anyone know how to clean up the clogged drain in the kitchen and laundry room without calling Roto Rooters?