Sometimes when you have a plumbing issue at home, you should call the plumber immediately. A burst pipe could spray water all over the house and cause some serious damage that may require a complete bathroom renovation. But for a case as simple as a clogged sink drain, even the most basic DIYer can roll up his or her shirt sleeves and take a whack at it.
It can be a gross issue to have to deal with, but unclogging a drain yourself can be much quicker and less expensive than using a professional. All you’ll need are some everyday household goods and a few basic tools.
Clogged sinks are usually caused by simple use. A kitchen sink usually gets blocked by food particles or fatty grease. It may take a while, but washing grease down the drain can make it build up to the point where water can no longer pass through. In the bathroom, hair is usually the culprit. For many families, this is a bigger deal in the shower, but it can produce problems in the sink too, especially when there isn’t a good cover over the drain. Here are a few simple homemade solutions to help clear out those pipes and get everything flowing again.
Use the plunger
Many people have plungers in their homes, but it’s possible they’ve never had to use them in their sink before. There are two common types of plungers. The simple one with a semi-spherical end that sits flat on the floor is for sinks. The one with a bell-like end is for toilets. The two are often confused. Before you start using the plunger over the clogged drain, stick a wet rag in the overflow opening to ensure correct pressure, How Stuff Works advised. Hopefully the pressure will loosen the blockage and you can remove it. If not, it may be time to try other options.
Think back to elementary school
Before you go tinkering with the sink and fishing for the blockage, try to wash it out. Once you realize that your sink is clogged or becoming clogged, head to the kitchen cabinet. Grab some vinegar and baking soda. Pour about 1/2 cup each in and watch it foam. You’re creating the same chemical reaction as countless kids who make model volcanoes. Hopefully this reaction will eat away enough at the blockage that it’ll just wash away. Feel free to try this science experiment a few times before calling it quits.
Snake the drain
People use all different tools to snake their drains. The easiest tool may be a small plastic device with hooks or Velcro to catch a clog and pull it out. Others use coat hangers, but an auger wire is preferable. This is typically a long metal cord with a sharp spiral at the end. You can put the auger wire down the drain until you feel resistance, then twist to hook the clog and pull it out. This is much messier and can be unpleasant, but it should get your sink running properly again.
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