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How Can I Unblock A Drain On My Own?

While it’s always best to call your local plumber in the event of a blocked drain, there are home-grown methods you can use if you’ve assessed the situation and it doesn’t look too dire. Here are a few tried (and sometimes true) methods.


Blocked drains, at their very least, are a hindrance to your home. Here’s how you can reduce their damage without using harmful chemicals.


Blocked Drain DIY #1: Pour boiling water down the drain

Many blockages are caused due to grease or food fat while it’s in a liquid state (that is, very hot), which usually passes through the drain easily but is also equally prone to solidifying and forming lumps, which cause blocked drains. Though it is difficult to determine whether this is the case, hot water is a harmless attempt at solving the problem. However, do not use boiling water is plastic pipes are used in your drain – this method will only be useful for a drain with metal pipes.


Blocked Drain DIY #2: Pour baking soda down the drain

If the boiling water doesn’t work (or you have plastic piping), you can try pouring baking soda instead – it’s stronger than hot water and is completely safe to use. To do this, pour a cup full of baking soda down the drain, followed by 3-4 cups of hot or boiling water. Baking soda acts as an alkaline, dissolving the element and allowing lumped products to pass through easily. If this doesn’t work, try pouring ½ a cup of baking soda with ½ a cup of white vinegar down the drain, and let it sit for a few hours before using it again to see if the clogs are cleared.


Blocked Drain DIY #3: Pour cola down the drain

Yep, you read right: a can of coke down the drain can also help clear blocked drains as it contains phosphoric acid, a chemical that can eat away at the blockages (makes you think twice about drinking it though). This is one of the safest DIY techniques for unclogging blocked drains. Pour the coke down the drain at night and let it sit until the morning.


If pouring things down the drain doesn’t work, call your local plumber to have them inspect the drain and figure out how to solve the problem.

Geoff James
Written By:

Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.