4 Simple Ways to Unclog Your Drains Yourself

Drain Clogs, Drains, Shelby County, AL

We can all agree that Drain clogs are inconvenient and frustrating. You may find yourself standing ankle-deep in water during your shower or washing your hands faster to keep the water from totally filling the sink. Most Drains build up over time and can be easily fixed with the following methods if caught early enough, but sudden Drain clogs (think something stuck in the toilet) may require more drastic measures. Professor Plumb in Shelby County, AL is here to take care of your plumbing and drain services whenever you have a clog that you can’t safely manage or are unsure how to fix the issue. Is it possible to unclog common shower and drain clogs on your own? Sure it is! Here are some of the most common, effective, and safest methods:

  1.   Boiling water

This is probably the simplest, yet least safe of the methods we’re going over. All you have to do is boil some water! Boil about a quart or so of water on the stove or in the microwave. Then, slowly and carefully pour it down the clogged drain. If it’s not a bad clog, it should do the trick! This method is nice because it doesn’t require special tools or chemicals.

  1.   Baking soda and vinegar 

Haven’t you always wanted to relive your grade school science fair with a little baking soda and vinegar volcano? While over the drain you want to unclog, mix 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda with 1/3rd of a cup of vinegar in a measuring cup. QUICKLY pour it down the clogged drain in order to avoid a huge mess. The fizzing action should help remove the gunk, hair, and grime built up in the pipes. Let that concoction sit for one hour then flush with hot water. For a potentially less messy version, you can try to get as much of the dry baking soda as you can down the drain first, then pour the vinegar. It’s always nice to add a bit of lemon for a fresh, clean smell. You may already have these ingredients at your house, so this could be a quick and easy way to unclog your drain. 

  1. Snaking tools

If concoctions aren’t your thing and you’d rather buy something for a quick and easy solution, snaking tools are your best bet. They can be used almost anywhere in your house and are an effective version of what many plumbers would do. No matter what kind or brand you go for, the main goal is to snag whatever is clogging your pipes and pull it out. Keep in mind that this method is pretty gross if you have a weak stomach. 

If you aren’t in a position to run to the store, you can use a wire clothes hanger (safely)! Unravel it, straighten it out as much as possible and then bend the end into the shape you need to go down the drain. Be gentle. Make sure you don’t accidentally push the gunk further down the pipe instead of pulling it back up..


  1.     Shop Vac

While this method can be effective, we do have a word of caution- DO NOT use a regular vacuum. This will only work with a wet and dry shop vacuum, not your regular vacuum. Set your Shop Vac to the setting for vacuuming liquids and then cover up the vacuum’s vent. Make as tight of a seal as you can and try to suck the gunk out of your drain. It’s worth trying if you have a stubborn clog and you already own a Shop Vac.  Once again, DO NOT try this with a regular vacuum!



The most preferred way to unclog a drain is to prevent it from happening to begin with. Use drain screens (or similar products) on all of your drains if possible. They’ll help prevent food, hair, and other gunk from getting in your drain. Never pour grease into your sink, as it can harden and cause clogs. Instead, pour grease into an empty can or container that you can throw out (there are plenty of other methods you can use). Clean bathroom drain stoppers often to prevent excessive buildup. Never flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. These are just a few ways to prevent clogged drains.

Sometimes clogs happen despite our best efforts! If none of the unclogging methods work or you find yourself with a major plumbing issue, contact your trusted plumbing and drain service company in Shelby County, AL- Professor Plumb.

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