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A blockage in the drain is a serious issue. But do you need to call the local plumber every single time? 

Australian homeowners can often clear their blocked drains and save time and money. If you don’t know how to go about it, keep reading as we have discussed some ingenious ways to clear a blocked drain in this article.

Additionally, we have explained why most drains clog and how to avoid them, so be sure to read all the way through.

7 Simple Ways To Clear A Blocked Drain

Here are 7 DIY tips and tricks for clearing a blocked drain: 

Baking Soda And Vinegar To Unblock Sink

1. Dish Detergent

It is no news that shower drains get easily clogged with hair. And with toilets, it’s generally wipes, sanitary products and excess toilet paper that cause the blockage. You can apply dish detergent to these areas as it tends to lubricate the drain and breaks up residue. We recommend pouring in a mug of dish detergent along with boiling water.

You can then use a plunger to get rid of the blockage. However, If you don’t have one, use your hands to remove the clog; just make sure to wear rubber gloves before proceeding with this step.

2. Use A Wire Hanger

Food particles, dirt, and hair can quickly clog your drains as they tend to stick to the soap scum that piles up on your drain walls. This can eventually slow down the flow of water. 

A wire hanger can come in handy in unclogging a kitchen or bathroom sink. To do this, get a coat hanger, make it straight and bend the end of the wire to create a hook. Then, gently push it down the sinkhole and move it back and forth to dislodge the blockage. Just make sure you don’t push the hanger too hard because it can move the contaminants further down.

3. Washing Soda

Widely known as sodium carbonate, washing soda is used in cleaning items, making it a great DIY option for unclogging a blocked drain. Its high alkaline content makes it more effective than some drain cleaners on the market, so we strongly recommend it.

You have to pour a cup of washing soda down your sink, followed by some boiling water. Then leave it for five minutes to unclog the blockage. If you still notice your sink draining slowly, repeat the entire process until the water flow goes back to normal.

4. Vinegar And Baking Soda

If you don’t have washing soda at home, consider giving the vinegar and baking soda combination a try. We assure you that its fizzing power can help clear minor clogs away. You need to pour a mug of boiling water down your drain along with half a mug of baking soda.

Next, pour another mug of boiling water followed by a mug of white vinegar. Leave the combination to do its trick for at least an hour. After that, use tap water to drain out any residue and check if the water flows properly.

5. Plungers

You can manually unclog a blocked drain using a plunger, but make sure you use the right one. A traditional toilet plunger will not be of any use if you are working with your shower or sink drains, as they are relatively small. Use a cup plunger instead.

First, take the screws off the stopper or grate and place the cup plunger on the drain, ensuring that the seal is as tight as possible. We suggest applying petroleum jelly to the edges of the plunger; that way, you can provide a tighter seal. After that, all you need to do is start plunging with force.

After this step, let the water run to confirm that you have successfully cleared the blockage. If not, repeat as necessary.

6. Caustic Soda

Also known as sodium hydroxide, caustic soda is one of the harshest cleaning agents on the market. Therefore, wear hand gloves and safety goggles while using them. Also, don’t forget to keep the windows open as you would not want the toxic fumes to accumulate in the room.

Add cold water in a bucket along with two or three cups of caustic soda. Then, stir it for some time using a wooden spoon. Once you notice the mixture fizzing, pour it down the clogged drain and leave it to do its job for at least half an hour. After that, pour hot water down to clear away the mixture from the drain.

7. Clear The P-Trap

If the methods mentioned above don’t work, you might have to remove the clog manually. Fortunately, you don’t have to call the plumber to clear the P-trap as the process is fairly simple. However, we advise preparing with all the necessary tools and equipment before you begin.

Keep a bucket under the P-trap to collect excess water, which is the curved pipe under your sink. Then unscrew the pipe to clear its contents and take the P-trap to a different sink to clear any build-up. Lastly, put back the P-trap and check if your issue is resolved.

Why Is My Drain Clogged?

These are some of the common causes of a blocked drain

Hair Stuck In Bathroom Drain

1. Cooking Oil

Believe it or not, cooking oil is one of the major causes of a blocked drain due to its high viscosity. So, make sure that you don’t throw cooking down your sink as it can clump with food scraps and cause a blockage.

2. Hair

Hair is another common culprit that can cause drain blockages in the drains. After taking a shower, try collecting some of it; otherwise, it will most likely mix with other substances in the drain and cause a blockage.

3. Toiletries

Even though toiletries are necessary, some of them can clog your drain. For instance, sanitary products, baby wipes and napkins should not be flushed down the toilet.

Plunger Used To Unblock Toilet Drain

Clearing Your Blocked Drain

That brings us to the end of this informative guide. We hope you found our handy DIY tips and tricks helpful for clearing your blocked drain by now. Remember to maintain drains regularly and ensure no items are flushed down them, to stop drains clogging in the future.

If the blockage is serious and you fail to clear it away on your own, we strongly recommend calling a local plumbing company and having them take a look. After all, these professionals are equipped with the latest technology and equipment, allowing them to quickly clear large drain blockages. If you are in Melbourne, contact the team at WP Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services for clearing blocked drains in your plumbing system!

With that said, it’s time for us to sign off. See you soon! 

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