Drain Cleaning: Tips & Tricks

How to Unclog a Sink or Drain: A Guide for Homeowners and Renters

Having a clogged sink or drain can be a major inconvenience. Whether it's standing in your own filth in the shower while the water struggles to drain, or watching the daily ring of toothpaste and facial hair build up around your bathroom sink, it's unpleasant and unsanitary.

The good news is that many of these common problems can be solved quickly and inexpensively by yourself. Here are some tips to help you get back to your daily tasks!

1. Wire Coat Hangers

Everyone has cheap wire hangers from the dry cleaners. You can cut one carefully to create a long single arm with a hook to grab or move any debris that may be blocking the drain. This hack is typically best used for getting hair out of the shower drain. Once the debris is removed, run hot water through it to ensure that it's fully cleared and ready for use again.

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2. Boiling Water

If you have access to a stovetop or microwave, fill a pot or kettle with water and heat it to a boil. Pour the water slowly into the drain. This is safer and gives the water time to work its way around any blockages. This method is typically effective and it's free and easy.

3. Drain Snake

A drain snake is a flexible metal rope with a spiral tip at the end to help you grab whatever may be causing the blockage. You manually rotate the snake once it's fully inserted, then pull it out slowly with the material. Drain snakes can range from $10-$50 at your local hardware store, and they are reusable, which can be helpful for large households.

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4. Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Using common household items like baking soda and lemon juice can also solve your issue. Some people recommend vinegar, but I prefer lemon juice because it smells better and still provides the results needed. The acidity of the lemon juice reacts with the baking soda to clear the drain. You'll need ½ cup of each ingredient. Pour the mixture down the drain, let it sit for one hour, then slowly pour boiling water down the drain.

5. Hire a Professional

Some jobs are best left to professionals. Never underestimate what pets and children can manage to accomplish. If you can't solve the problem yourself, consider connecting with a Mavyn expert through our Mavyn website. Submit a ticket and get a virtual assessment within minutes instead of waiting days for an onsite technician. Remember to inform the expert of any previous unsuccessful attempts, as some mixtures of chemicals can be dangerous to humans and the foundation piping. If the problem can't be solved by a Mavyn expert, they will recommend and send out an onsite technician to solve your problem.

For more information, talk to one of our Plumbing Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request.