One of the biggest culprits for clogging a drain is hair. Hair in drains is a major problem in both showers (from washing hair) and in bathroom sinks (from brushing, but also from shaving). When hair gets caught in the drain, it can build up with soap scum, dirt, and other residue to form a formidable clog, slowing and sometimes even stopping your up your drains. While drain covers that block the drain with mesh can catch a lot of the hair, they can’t catch all of it. Eventually, you are likely to find yourself with a clogged up drain. Most people’s reaction would be to reach for the bottle of drain cleaner (a bad choice as they can do serious damage to your pipes). Instead, try one of these three solutions for removing a clog from your drain.
Sure, plungers are usually something we use on a toilet, but the process can also work to unclog. There are actually plungers made especially for the process, that fit snuggly against the drain opening and are smaller than a standard toilet plunger. The force of the plunging can be enough to force through many clogs and get the pipes flowing again. If you aren’t able to get the clog to budge with plunging, you may need to try other tools or call in a professional plumber.
Another good tool to have in your home plumbing toolkit is a snake. You can buy one, or if you are handy, make one to use on drain clogs that are not too deep into the pipes. A home-made snake tool could be as simple as an unbent wire hanger – essentially, it needs to be long, thin, and flexible, but sturdy enough to poke and disrupt the clog. The process of using a snake to clear a clog is similar to using a plunger, except that the snake tool also helps to break up the clog by poking it while pushing it down the drain. Once you have the clog broken up, pour boiling water down the drain to wash it all away.
While the caustic chemicals in store-bought drain cleaners can definitely harm pipes, especially older ones, their ease of use and effectiveness are without a doubt. Is there a way to have the best of both worlds? Actually, yes, since you can make your own drain clearing solution. Mixing baking soda and vinegar is the key to getting the intended reaction. First put baking soda down the drain, then pour down the vinegar. Let it sit and do its work for about 5 minutes before rinsing it all through with boiling water.
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