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May 13, 2013
A clogged drain is an annoying mess.
But you don’t always need to call a professional plumber at the first sign of trouble. Here are a couple easy ways you can unclog your drain with some inexpensive solutions - most of which are probably around your home!
Vinegar, baking soda and hot water
Here are three ingredients you need for this non-toxic, drain-clearing concoction:
Half cup of baking soda
Half cup of vinegar
Boiling hot water (unless you have PVC pipes since high temperatures can soften the pipes)
Place the baking soda in the drain. (You may need to remove the stopper to get the baking soda to go down the drain.)
Pour the vinegar into the drain and plug the drain and the vent/overflow hole with a damp cloth.
The vinegar will react with the baking soda and remove and loosen the gunk in the drain.
Let sit for 30 seconds or so and then pour in the hot water, which will help flush out all the loosened junk.
Repeat as needed.
WARNING: Be very careful when pouring the hot water. For safety and easy pouring, use a tea kettle. Also, never pour hot water into your toilet as this can crack your porcelain.
If that doesn't work, it’s time to move on to a plunger.
Cup plunger - not a flange plunger
If you have reservations about using your toilet’s nasty plunger in your bathroom sink, I don’t blame you. The good news is that the plunger for your toilet wouldn't work well in your sink anyway. The plunger needed for a toilet is called a flange plunger.
The plunger your bathroom sink needs is a cup plunger.
Follow these directions with the cup plunger:
Remove the drain stopper.
Cover the sink overflow hole with a damp rag.
Fill the sink bowl halfway with water.
Place the cup plunger over the drain hole and make sure it has a good seal against the sink surface.
Use quick, sharp plunges to clear the clog.
Check for drainage.
Of course, you can buy a mechanical snake or an auger to unclog your drain (make sure you know how to use them, first.) But the two methods listed above are by far the cheapest and most convenient.