Skip to content

DIY Drain Cleaning Tips: Save Money and Time


Hi I’m Your Plumber Ken

I am a licensed plumber with a passion for fixing leaks and keeping homes running smoothly. With years of experience under my belt, I have become the go-to plumber in the area for all things plumbing-related. Give me a call at 844-423-0056 when your plumbing issues pop up or use the form below.

Clogged drains are an inevitable nuisance that everyone faces at some point. Whether it’s a slow-draining sink or a completely blocked shower, dealing with clogs can be frustrating and often seems to require expensive professional help. But before you pick up the phone and call a plumber, consider these DIY drain cleaning tips. Not only can you save money, but you can also tackle the problem quickly using simple tools and household items. Let’s dive into the world of DIY drain cleaning!

1. Boiling Water

One of the simplest and most effective methods for clearing minor clogs and slow drains is boiling water. Often, grease, soap, and other residues build up in the pipes, causing blockages. Boiling water can help dissolve these materials and restore normal flow.

How to Do It:

  • Boil a kettle or pot of water.
  • Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a few seconds between each pour.

Tip: This method works best for metal pipes. Avoid using boiling water on PVC pipes as it can loosen joints.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This dynamic duo is a classic home remedy for various cleaning tasks, and it works wonders on clogged drains as well. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar can break down organic material and clear minor clogs.

How to Do It:

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain.
  • Follow it with half a cup of white vinegar.
  • Cover the drain with a plug or cloth to keep the reaction below the surface.
  • Wait 15-20 minutes, then flush with hot water.

Tip: This method is also great for regular maintenance to prevent clogs.

3. Plunger

A plunger isn’t just for the toilet – it’s also an excellent tool for unclogging sinks and tubs. The suction created by plunging can dislodge stubborn blockages.

How to Do It:

  • Fill the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s cup.
  • Place the plunger over the drain and ensure a good seal.
  • Vigorously plunge up and down several times, then quickly pull the plunger off the drain.

Tip: For double sinks, block the other drain with a wet cloth to maintain pressure.

4. Wire Coat Hanger

A simple wire coat hanger can be transformed into a handy tool for fishing out hair and other debris from drains.

How to Do It:

  • Straighten out the coat hanger, keeping a small hook at the end.
  • Carefully push the hanger into the drain and fish out the clog.
  • Dispose of the debris and flush the drain with hot water.

Tip: Be gentle to avoid scratching the pipes or pushing the clog further down.

5. Drain Snake

If the wire coat hanger doesn’t work, a drain snake (or plumber’s auger) is the next step. This tool is designed to reach deeper clogs.

How to Do It:

  • Insert the snake into the drain and turn the handle to push it further down.
  • When you feel resistance, rotate the snake to break up the clog or pull it out.
  • Once the clog is removed, flush the drain with hot water.

Tip: Drain snakes come in various lengths and sizes, so choose one that’s appropriate for your needs.

When to Seek Professional Help

While DIY methods are effective for many clogs, there are times when it’s best to call a professional. If you experience any of the following, it’s time to seek expert assistance:

  • Persistent clogs that keep returning.
  • Multiple drains are slow or backed up, indicating a main sewer line issue.
  • Strange odors, gurgling sounds, or water backing up in other drains when you use the sink or toilet.

Preventative Tips

Preventing clogs is easier than dealing with them. Here are a few tips to keep your drains flowing smoothly:

  • Use drain screens to catch hair, food particles, and other debris.
  • Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain.
  • Run hot water down the drain after each use to keep it clear.
  • Regularly clean drains with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.


Dealing with clogged drains doesn’t have to be a daunting or expensive task. With these DIY drain cleaning tips, you can tackle minor clogs and slow drains quickly and efficiently. Remember to practice preventative maintenance to keep your drains in top shape, and don’t hesitate to call a professional if you encounter more serious issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.