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How Do I Unclog a Slow Drain?

Over time, the drains in your house can become susceptible to clogs, slowing them down, causing water to back up into your sinks, and giving off a foul odor. Whether it’s in your kitchen, bathroom, or shower, drains can become clogged with dirt, soap, hair, and gunk just from daily use. If you notice that your drain has become a bit sluggish, there are few remedies you can perform yourself to help unclog a slow drain and get your drain back to working quickly and efficiently.

Alternative to Chemical Cleaners


close up of clogged condensate line

Some homeowners turn to drain cleaners to address slow-moving drains. Although some cleaners can be effective, we do not suggest using harsh chemicals to burn away clogs. Not only are these cleaners damaging to the metal finish of your drain, but they can also emit noxious fumes that are dangerous to your health. We have a cheap and effective way you can clear your drain without using chemical solutions. All you need is some baking soda and vinegar.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Boil a pot of water. Set aside a cup of the hot water and pour the rest down the clogged drain.
  2. Immediately after doing this, pour 1/3 cup of baking soda into the drain and let it sit for at least five minutes.
  3. While you wait, mix a cup of vinegar into the cup of hot water you set aside. After the five minutes, pour the vinegar mixture down the drain and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. You should notice the mixture start to fizz.
  4. After the 20 minutes, boil another pot of water and dump it down the drain.
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Snaking a Drain

If baking soda and vinegar doesn’t get the job done, you can try the old wire hanger trick, or purchase a plumbing snake.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Unwind a wire hanger, keeping the hook intact. If snaking a drain, this is already done for you and you can insert the snake as is.
  2. Insert the hook, head-first, into the drain and pull up and down repeatedly. You can even try twisting the hanger to help catch the clog.
  3. Once you have caught the clog on the hook, pull the hanger out of the drain and dispose of the clog.
  4. If the drain is still slow, repeat the process again.
  5. Run hot water down the drain to finish the job.

Bust Out the Old Plunger


woman clearing clogged sink with plunger

Although this option is most successful for removing clogs within your toilet, some homeowners also have success with using a plunger on their kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower drain. All you do is use the plunger as you normally would. Place the plunger over the drain and push up and down with strong force. Repeat this process at least 15 to 20 times, or until you feel that the clog has been dislodged. After this, run hot water down the drain to help ensure that any residual soap or residue is removed.

Drain Still Slow?

If the water in your home is still draining slowly, then you may have to call in for backup. Fortunately, you can count on ACE Home Services for all your plumbing and sewer drain needs. Our experienced plumbers are trained to tackle any drain problem you may have. Call ACE today at (602) 428-3341  to schedule a service call.

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