In Repair & Maintenance

7 Natural Home Remedies for Clogged Drains that Actually Work!

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When your drain is clogged, whether from hair or food, the only thing you can think of is how to fix the problem. Of course, most dads reach for the Drano and get the clog to go away but a whole lot of chemicals go down the drain and into the storm drains. 

And you can still do that. But check out these 7 home remedies for clogged drains that work just as well. You’ll rarely, if ever, reach for the Drano again.

What is the Absolute Best Method to Unclog a Drain

snaking a drain
  • Snake the drain
  • Rinse drain with hot water
  • Pour chosen drain opener recipe into drain
  • Let sit for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight if clog is stubborn)
  • Rinse drain with hot water for at least 15 minutes (boiling water if your pipes are not PVC)

The best homemade remedy for clogged drains is actually to combine several techniques from this list. Individually, each can be enough. However, there are very few clogs that can withstand the entire method listed above.

Start by snaking the drain with a plastic drain snake to remove as much of the clog as possible via manual means. Then, rinse the drain with hot water; it does not have to be boiling. 

Next, choose a homemade drain opener recipe or use Drano. Use according to directions. Finally, rinse hot water down the drain for at least 15 minutes to fully clear out the clog.

What is the Best Homemade Drain Cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water

One of the absolute best home remedies for clogged drains is a simple mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. The acid in the vinegar reacts with the base in the baking soda to foam up and help clean out every crevice of your clogged pipe.

The baking soda/vinegar mixture needs to be left alone in the drain for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on how stubborn the clog is. After that, pour the boiling water down the drain to finish clearing it out. You can also just turn on the water as hot as it can get and leave it running a while.

best home remedies for clogged drains

Home Remedy for Clogged Drain without Baking Soda

  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup borax
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water

What if you don’t have any baking soda to use for clearing out your drain? It happens. If you are out of baking soda, mix together the amounts of salt, borax, and vinegar as listed above. Again, let it sit in your clogged drain for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes.

Again, chase the mixture with at least 2 cups of boiling water to really finish off the process of clearing the drain. The water not only helps to further clear the drain but it also helps to make sure that the pipes are not damaged by the chemical reaction.

Home Remedy for Clogged Drain without Vinegar

vinegar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups boiling water

If you don’t have any vinegar in your house to unclog your drain with. The best thing to use instead of vinegar is lemon juice. The lemon juice will take the place of vinegar because they are both roughly the same pH and will produce the same reaction.

Other than replacing the vinegar with lemon juice, follow the same process to clear your drain as you would with the vinegar recipe.

Alternate Home Remedy for Clogged Drain without Vinegar

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 cups boiling water

This recipe without any acids, such as vinegar or lemon juice, is the last resort for a homemade remedy for clogged drains. This one has a little different process to follow than the rest. Start by mixing up the baking soda and salt. Pour the mixture into the drain and then immediately pour in the boiling water.

Since the boiling water is a crucial part of the chemical reaction for this homemade remedy, you should definitely use boiling water and not just run the faucet with hot water. However, if you don’t have boiling water, run the water as hot as possible; it isn’t the end of the world.

How Can I Unblock a Drain Without Pouring Something Down it

Maybe you want to go as eco-friendly as possible and you don’t want to pour something down the drain to unclog it. If this is the case, there are 2 great home remedies for clogged drains: a drain snake or a plunger.

drain snake vs plunger

Drain Snake

A drain snake is one of the absolute best home remedies for clogged drains. You can use it alone, if you don’t want to pour anything down the drain, or you can add it to any of the clog remedies listed above.

Drain snakes are long, thin pieces of plastic with small, flexible plastic hooks running up and down the whole length. Typically, there is a finger ring on one end of the drain snake to help pull out the clog.

To use a drain snake to unclog your drain, you push the drain snake down, twist it around, and pull it out. You will be shocked how much stuff will come out of the drain. Have a trash can nearby and make sure you wear gloves.

Plunger

plunger

A plunger is the last resort to unclog a drain is the plunger. Plungers, if used incorrectly, can do just as much damage as they can good. To prevent doing too much damage with a plunger, don’t be too forceful. 

You’re going to need to use some force but if the clog doesn’t come out after a few tries using the plunger, you’re going to need to try something else to unclog the drain. Remember, the plunger is actually meant to force the clog down, not pull it back out.

How to Avoid Clogged Drains in the Future

The best way to unclog a drain is to avoid the clogged drain in the first place. To help avoid clogged drains, make sure that you keep as much hair (in bathroom drains) and food particles (in kitchen drains) out of the sink in the first place.

Don’t be lazy and just wash it down the drain. If you do wash debris down the drain, at least let the hot water run for a few minutes to try and wash it down past all the loops and turns of your interior plumbing.

Conclusion

Clogged drains are one of the most annoying things you will encounter as a homeowner. Most, you will be able to solve with a simple home remedy and a little bit of elbow grease. At least try one of these home remedies for clogged drains before grabbing the Drano or calling a plumber. It may just save you a little money and a little wear on your pipes.