Creative But Safe Ways To Clear A Clogged Drain

There are many ways to clear a blocked drain. Some options, such as using harsh chemicals and sticking a clothes hanger down the drain, aren't really that safe. In most cases, if you can call a professional drain-clearing service, that is likely the best choice. However, if that is not an option for any reason, you may want to try these creative but safe alternatives.

Hot Vinegar

You may have heard of using vinegar to clear clogged drains. Another method is to pour hot water down the drain. Using hot vinegar is a creative method between these two approaches. The acidity of the vinegar will help dissolve a lot of things, especially soap scum, which is alkaline. Plus, since the vinegar is hot, it will melt or liquefy any oils or fats that may be contributing to the clog. If you use this method, pour the vinegar slowly so it has plenty of time to work. It will smell quite strong, so you may want to turn your head to the side, but it's not caustic and won't harm to you or your pipes.

Super Plunging

Plunging is pretty effective at clearing drain clogs, but sometimes, your typical up-and-down plunging isn't strong enough. If you're in this situation, try a process called super-plunging. You fill your sink or tub up far enough that the water covers the head of the plunger. Then, you plunge with as much force as you can before pulling up as sharply as you can. Try not pulling the plunger all of the way out of the sink. Wait and see if the water goes down. If it does not, then try the same thing again. Using just one, quick and powerful stroke like this lets you get more force behind it, which can sometimes do the trick.

Vacuum It Out

Vacuuming your drain out might sound silly, but if you have a shop vacuum that is designed to handle liquids, this can be a very smart approach. Just place the end of the vacuum wand around the drain. If needed, you can wrap a washcloth around it to block the sides. This will enhance the suction. If the clog is caused by debris like pieces of hair or lint, this method tends to work well.

If you try these methods and your drain is still blocked, call a plumber. They are professionals with access to tools we don't generally have around our homes. A professional can perform drain unclogging in ways we don't have access to.