How to Clean Drains and Unclog Shower or Sink Drains

Are one of your drains clogged? Here are some clever ways to unclog it!

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Slow or clogged drains, especially when one is taking a shower, truly tests one’s patience. The reasons behind the drain being clogged are plenty. With that being said, let us take a quick look at some ways to clean and unclog your shower or sink drains. But before you do that, pull on some rubber gloves and let the unclogging game begin.

1. Manual Unclogging

For a recent clog, the reason behind this is usually a wad of debris stuck in your drain that can be removed easily with your hands. In case, the debris is stuck a little further down the drain, a wire hanger or a hook being plunged into the drain will help do the trick. Eradicating odor, preventing leaks, and getting better drainage are some benefits of cleaning the drains.

2. Utilize a Drain Snake

In the case of a slightly bigger clog, a drain snake or a plumbers snake is the best alternative to use. It can be found at your nearest hardware store and comes quite handy when one needs to fix a clog. The drain snake comes in both a metallic as well as a disposable plastic version. After using the drain snake, ensure that it is cleaned thoroughly. 

3. Pour Boiling Water

If the drain snake does not work out, pouring a hot pot of water down the drain is the next way to deal with a clogged drain. The boiling water helps dissolve the buildup in the drain, which usually includes soap scum and other wastes. The process can be performed twice or thrice until the drain is unclogged.

4. Avail a Plunger

A common misconception about the plunger is that it is only used for the toilet. This is not at all true and can be used for unclogging drains. The best type of plunger is the cup-styled one. Around 6 pumps of the plunger are good to clear a clog. In case the clog still exists, go ahead with a few more pumps. 

5. Make use of a Natural Drain Cleaner

Quite a few individuals prefer to use natural cleaners to unclog as well as clean their sinks due to its multiple benefits. The most common natural remedy used is white vinegar and baking soda. A cup of baking soda is poured down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. The mixture of these two ingredients helps unclog the block. The products must be left to settle for at least an hour following which water must be used to rinse the drain. 

6. Use Drinking soda, Caustic soda, and Dish Detergents

Soda’s and detergents are other great remedies to unclog drains. Detergents are made of mild chemicals and are used to treat minor clogs. In case one is looking for a stronger alternative for a bigger clog, caustic soda is used. Drinking sodas such as Coca-Cola are effective and caustic in nature. They are milder than cleaners but a good 2 liters of drinking soda is known to clear out a clog. 

7. Clean Drain Trap

Quite a few times the clog is located in the drain trap itself. The drain trap, also known as the U-pipe, is usually situated under the sink or the plughole. The runoff from the pipe must be emptied into a bucket after loosening the nuts on either side of the pipe. After cleaning the pipe, reattach it.

8. Use Strong Chemicals

Strong chemical cleaners are easily available at the hardware store as well as in supermarkets. These are quite dangerous to human skin. Take precautions such as wearing gloves and not inhaling the chemicals while using them. Ensure that the chemicals are not mixed with each other and follow the instructions mentioned at the back of its packaging. If you have high-quality fixtures, such as faucets from Oltsw faucets, ensure that these strong chemicals do not fall on them. 

9. Make use of a wet/dry Vacuum

It is not very often that people use a vacuum to clean out a clog but it does do the trick, especially when the blockage level is high. To use this, a seal such as the head of a plunger over the drain must be done so as to avoid a huge mess from being created. Then start using the vacuum with the most powerful suction while turning on the liquid setting. This must be done for around 1 or 2 minutes before checking if it has unclogged the drain. Repeat the process if necessary. 

10. Call a plumber

If nothing works out, the final step is to call a plumber. The plumber is a professional who has dealt with all scenarios drain-related. He would know the issue with your drain and help fix it easily.


It can be quite a nuisance to use the bathroom with a clogged drain. Both artificial chemicals and natural chemicals are good solutions to fix the problem. We hope the above-mentioned tips will aid you to clean and unclog your drains. If not, hope you have called your nearest plumber.