In the upkeep of your home, there will always be maintenance issues… it comes with the territory of homeownership. Some of the maintenance issues you may have are issues that require the assistance of a skilled professional, while other issues can be fixed with a little elbow grease and some home remedies that most people call DIY tools.
The funny thing about these home maintenance issues is that there are always signs that something needs to be fixed. This is especially true with plumbing issues… clogged drains to be exact.
You’ve seen the signs… You take a shower and notice that your tub turns into a kiddie pool. Or you notice that your sink starts draining at the speed of a snail… These are all signs that you have a clogged drain. It might be working for now, but if left untreated for too long, your plumbing will be completely blocked.
In your efforts to prevent your drain from being completely blocked, you put on your handy, dandy, thinking cap and get creative thinking of all kinds of DIY tools you can use to fix your clogged drain without having to call a plumber.
If you think about it, that’s all DIY is… an excuse to not hire a professional. Sometimes these DIY fixes work and sometimes they don’t, but you at least have to give it a try, right? And the best part about these fixes is that they can usually be done with ordinary, everyday items you have in your house!
For instance, did you know that hard water causes a buildup in your sinks and bathtubs? An easy fix would be to treat your water with some of the best water softeners around. Hard water not only causes a buildup in your sink and bathtub, but it also dries your hair out, causing it to break off, which can also contribute to hair build up in your bathtub drain when washing your hair.
The point is that there are several contributing factors when it comes to clogged drains in your home but if you can fix those issues with thing s you have in your cabinets, why not give it a shot! Take a look at some of the best DIY tools and techniques to unclog your drain.
Top 8 DIY Tools to Unclog Your Drain
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
This particular “tool” can be done in two different ways:
The first way, you’re going to want to mix ⅓ cup of vinegar with ⅓ cup of baking soda and immediately pour it down the clogged drain. You want to do this with a sense of urgency because it will start to fizz as soon as the two components combine. The fizz is what’s going to clean the pipe and rid it of the hair, dirt, and grime that’s accumulated over time. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight if you can. Just be sure to rinse the drain with hot water.
The second way is to simply take the same measurements and pour them down the drain individually. You’ll want to pour the baking soda down the drain first and then pour your vinegar next. Apply the same sitting time and hot water to rinse.
Utilize the Power of Dish Soap
Dish detergent can be your best friend when your toilet is clogged. What lots of people don’t realize is that dish soap is actually a great lubricant to break up greasy residue in your toilet. All you have to do is pour ¼ cup of dish soap in your toilet bowl, add some hot water, and start plunging to see how well your toilet flushes. If this doesn’t work, you may have to look into the services of a professional plumber.
Try the Bent Wire Hanger Trick
Do you know those wire hangers that you get from the dry cleaners that everyone seems to hate? Well, they’re actually not as terrible as you might think. The next time you find one hanging in your closet, don’t throw it away! It could be the very tool that saves the day in unclogging your drain.
You’ll want to unravel the hanger and bend it as straight as you possibly can, but be sure to leave one end in the shape of a small hook. Push the hanger down the drain and start fishing for hair and other gross goodies that linger in a clogged drain.
Once you’ve pulled up all that you could, turn on your hot water and let it run down the drain for a while to rinse out any remaining residue.
Use Boiling Hot Water
It doesn’t get any easier than this… If you have a kettle or a pot, boil water and pour it down the drain to clear your drain of all the build-up over the course of time. The idea is for it to melt all the buildup. But when you do this, make sure to do it in stages so that you can see how your drain reacts to the hot water. If it doesn’t drain any differently, you may need to try a different method.
Snake the Drain
Snaking your drain is quite similar to the bent hanger trick but a little more effective because a snake has rough edges which makes it easier to grab hair and break up grime.
Put Your Plunger to Work
Toilets aren’t the only thing plungers were made for. When your tub gets clogged up, it may be time to pull out your plunger. If you notice your tub starting to pool when you run the water, grab your plunger, and start plunging. It’s the same process with the same type of results as though you were using the plunger on your toilet, only that the dirt and grime that comes up from the tub, it would be best to put on gloves and grab the gunk and throw it away versus rinsing it back down the drain.
Use Salt and Baking Soda
Similar to the baking soda and vinegar method, you’ll want to take a half cup of salt and a half cup of baking soda and mix it together and pour it down your drain. 15 to 20 minutes is how long you want to let the mixture sit before pouring hot water down the drain. It will form a chemical reaction that will result in breaking up some of the blockages your drain is experiencing.
Clean the Pipes
Cleaning the pipes might be the method that’s the most “gross.” Under your sink, there’s a u-shaped pipe that you’ll want to place a bucket under. You’re going to loosen the slip nuts with a plumber’s wrench and remove the pipe and empty the contents into the bucket.
From there, you can dig around with your hands to pull any remaining gunk from the pipe (of course you’ll want to have gloves on). Once you’ve cleared the gunk from the pipe, you can put the pipe back together and enjoy your free-flowing pipe!
Always Keep a Professional Plumbing Service in Your Back Pocket
Even with the right tools, you may not be able to fix every clog yourself… At some point, you’re going to have to hire a professional plumber when your DIY tools don’t seem to work anymore.
And that’s okay. Blogger Local compiled a list of the 10 best plumbers in Kansas City, some of which offer nationwide services, making this a good place to start your search when you do indeed need the services of a professional plumbing service.
But in the meantime, for your plumbing “quick fixes,” feel free to take advantage of some of the best DIY tools and techniques to unclog your drains.