DIY Home Maintenance: How to Unclog Your Sinks and Drains

I’d like to say that I must just be unlucky when it comes to sinks and that my unmanageable mane of hair has nothing to do with the routine clogging of drains that I experience, regardless of what apartment or house I live in. But, as you can imagine, it’s probably not true. Here’s my experience in how to unclog sinks and drains and keep them in good repair.

Use a Drain Cleaner or Chemical Drain Opener

Outdoor sink and DIY Graywater filter

There are a variety of available products to use when it comes to unclogging drains. For drains and sinks that only have small trouble spots, you can use dollar store generics or even carbonated soft drinks like Coca-Cola to repair the mild situation. These products have worked for me when a drain is only moderately clogged and motion is still possible.

For intense clogs, I recommend using Liquid-Plumr Gel to help solve the problem. I’ve now learned to keep this on hand for unexpected drain situations. There’s nothing like running to a convenience store in the middle of the night so that you can take a shower before work the next day. Good times!

Before pouring Liquid-Plumr Gel down my sink, I make sure to pull out any loose particles I can first. For big drains, sometimes you can use an unfolded wire coat hanger to pull out excess hair and grime. For small drains, sometimes you can even use something random like a pen to lift up some gunk. Anything you can get rid of first will help the cleansing agent to focus on what matters most.

After clearing the drain’s pathway as much as I can, I pour the recommended 2 cups of drain cleanser down the sink (4 cups for extreme clogging) and wait for 15 to 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes the sink is empty, I’ll run hot tap water like the bottle instructs. At that point, your sink is hopefully good to go. If you’re still having problems, I’d repeat this process over the course of a few days and limit the sink’s use to absolute necessities.

If Liquid-Plumr isn’t doing its drain-unclogging job, you could try other cleansing brands–like Drano–or a different kind of blend entirely–like vinegar and baking soda. If no at-home remedies are working, it seems like calling a plumber is an unfortunate requisite.

Work to Prevent Clogs from Occurring

Once you get your sink or drain fixed, the next step in keeping things unclogged is taking preventative measures. Loose hair particles, which are apt to shed when shampooing in the tub and when combing hair over the vanity, have an uncanny ability to clog drains. Does that mean you should stop showering? Of course not! But you can responsibly tend to those loose hairs instead of letting them go down to clog your drains. The same care can be applied to the kitchen and other washrooms: throw away troublesome items instead of just letting clogs build up. It may be more work now, but it will save many hassles down the road.


Solutions for Your Drain Care Plumbing Problems.” Liquid-Plumr.com.

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