Straight From The Plumber: How To Unclog Your Drains

It happened. You’ve got a nice big clog in your sink, shower, or toilet. What do you do? How do you deal with the clog without causing any damage? At Drain Express, we’re here to help you answer all your questions. With so many methods out there to unclog a drain, it can be challenging to decide how to do it best. We’ve got some tips and tricks for you on how to unclog your drains.


DO NOT Use Chemical-based Drain Cleaners

You know what we’re talking about. Products like Draino do more harm than good when it comes to your plumbing.

The sodium hydroxide in Draino can react with the metal in your pipes to create a toxic gas. Plus, if you’re not careful, Draino can splash up out of the drain and get on your face or arms, which causes severe burns.

The chemicals in drain cleaners are caustic and are likely to cause internal damage. Drain lines, septic tanks, garbage disposals, joints, fittings, and more are at risk. Don’t make the problem worse than it already is.


So, How Do You Unclog Your Drains?

Manual Clearance

The fool-proof and best way to remove clogs in any drain is manual removal. Plungers and snakes are your best friend when it comes to clogs. They don’t use dangerous chemicals and create direct, forceful contact with the blockage. Nothing quite moves a blockage like some suction or a metal spring head penetrating it.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If the plunger and snake aren’t your style, you could try an equal part mixture of baking soda and vinegar. This foaming mixture is effective at clearing clogs without causing damage.



At the end of the day, prevention is the true answer to deal with all kinds of clogs. You can do certain things to avoid a clog in your home that will save you tons of money and headaches.

The Kitchen Sink

The number one cause of kitchen sink clogs is grease. Many people have a terrible habit of throwing grease down the drain while running hot water. They assume the hot water dissolves the oil enough to allow it to flow all the way through. In reality, though, once that grease hits cold spots, it solidifies. This solidification is what causes the ultimate clog.

Cold grease acts as a sponge for all kinds of debris and causes huge clogs. Keep grease out of your drain by containerizing it and throwing it away. Depending on the grease, you may save it for cooking, such as bacon grease.

Additionally, a great thing to consider for a kitchen sink is a mesh strainer. This mesh strainer will act as a filter to keep unwanted debris and food out of your drain line.

When running garbage disposals, make sure you’re running a lot of water at the same time. The water makes sure that food scraps get cleared out. Avoid throwing fibrous vegetables down the disposal and stay away from eggshells, too. These food bits expand in your drain lines and will cause a clog over time.

Finally, if you’re having trouble clearing a kitchen sink clog with a plunger or snake, try dish soap. Mix equal parts of dish soap and hot water to clear most clogs. This mixture is beneficial for things like grease or flour.


Like the sink, a toilet’s best friends are a plunger and snake. Mechanical removal works best for toilets, but you may want to consider calling a professional when it comes to a toilet. Septic system clogs are not something to be taken lightly.

To prevent toilet clogs, it’s best to avoid throwing hygiene products down there. Toilet paper is the only thing that should be getting flushed down there.

Tubs and Showers

Ah, yes. The tub and shower drain. There’s no doubt they get clogged with hair over time. Since there’s no way to prevent hair from shedding and getting into the drain, there is a great tool called a Tub Shroom. They also make them for kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and showers. The debris is caught by the mesh strainer and hair wraps around the silicone center. You pull the center out and pull the hair off. It’s easy as that and saves you time and money.


Still Having Trouble?

Sometimes, we can follow all the rules and tips and still end up with a problem. If you’re having trouble with your plumbing and need the advice or help of a professional plumber or drain cleaner, call Drain Express in Chapel Hill, NC, today.