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5 Steps to Take to Unclog Your Drains Yourself

A residential kitchen sink in Caseyville, IL, that is clogged with food scraps. Sponges, rubber gloves, and soap are near the sink.


When dealing with a clogged drain, the first thing you should do is try to determine the cause of the clog. There are a few common issues that can result in clogged drains, so you need to be vigilant to identify the problem. Then perhaps you can resolve it at home. Here are 5 steps to take to unclog your drains by yourself. However, you can always rely on your trusted plumbers at Morrison Plumbing if you need professional assistance.

Look for Visible Obstructions

If you can easily identify the clogs in your pipes, they may also be simple to remove. When attempting to unclog a drainpipe, the initial step should be to look for any obvious obstructions. That annoying clog could be right under the drain cap or foot plug. Begin by removing the drain cap or foot plug and checking the drainpipe. A flashlight can also be used to obtain a better look at the potential obstruction. If the clog is visible, you can attempt to remove it by hand or use a readily available household item, like a paperclip. Wear gloves and make sure your water is flowing properly after the obstruction has been effectively removed.

Try Using Your Plunger

Plungers can be used to unclog kitchen sinks, but it’s important to use considerable caution. Many people are unaware that a plunger, which is usually used to clear blocked toilets, can also be used to clear a clogged kitchen sink. You can use a plunger in the same way for either situation. Plunge normally and keep plunging until the water starts to drain. However, this procedure will not work as effectively for sinks with two drains, and you should never plunge your sink after using drain cleaner or hot water. So, if you’ve read this list and you want to try several of these approaches, try the plunger first and see if it’s effective enough. If not, you can then proceed to the next options for unclogging your drain.

A high-angle view of a woman using a plunger to unclog her kitchen sink in Caseyville, IL.


Utilize a Drain Snake

If you can’t see the clog, a plumbing snake can be a very helpful tool. If you have a clogged drain in your home, a plumbing snake or drain snake is useful to have on hand. A drain snake is a retractable device that can clear any potential obstructions by being inserted into your drain. This tool is exceptionally useful for unclogging clogged shower drains. Using a drain snake is better for your pipes than chemical cleaners because they don’t cause any damage to the inside of the pipes. When you can’t see the source of the clog and you need to make a pathway for water to flow through, a drain snake is perfect for the job. Whether you need to remove hair from your bathroom tub or sink or food scraps from the kitchen sink, a drain snake can handle the job with ease. If you don’t have a drain snake, you can enlist the help of one of our experts to provide advanced tools and drain cleaning services.

Boil Water and Pour it Down the Drain

If the other methods haven’t worked, try dissolving the clog with boiling water. If you’ve tried snaking and plunging your drain without satisfactory results, you may have a blockage caused by excessive buildup in your pipes. Pouring boiling water down the drain should soften the buildup that is creating the drain blockage. Boiling water will help dissolve buildup in your pipes and allow the water to flow freely again. This is a safe and easy method for clearing your pipes, but please still exercise caution when handling the hot water and be patient with the process. We recommend pouring boiling water down your drain two or three times for the best results.

A jar of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar sit on a counter at a home in Caseyville, IL.


Try Making Your Own Drain Cleaner

You can produce an efficient homemade drain cleaner with common kitchen ingredients. If you’ve exhausted every other approach, we recommend making your own drain cleaner to help unclog your drain. All you need to do is pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. After pouring these substances down the drain, close the top and wait an hour for your mixture to begin breaking down the clog. After roughly an hour, rinse your drain with boiling water several times. This method is safe and effective, but takes time, so be patient and you’ll hopefully get the results you want. You should have these items on hand, but if not, you can always go to the store to pick up vinegar and baking soda (and perhaps a store-bought drain cleaner as a stronger backup).

Not every clog can be effectively fixed using a home remedy, but that’s okay! If you’re still struggling with how to unclog a drain in your home after following our advice, it’s time to call a professional. Fortunately, Morrison Plumbing can handle any residential drain line repairs or cleaning. We only employ skilled, certified plumbers who use professional equipment that meet our standards. Contact us today and we’ll eradicate those pesky clogs and get your pipes functioning properly again.

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