How to Clear a Clogged Drain in 3 Simple Steps

Clogged drains are a common cause behind leaking pipes. With pressure build-ups, it is not uncommon to see overflowing or even burst pipes.

When considering how to clear a clogged drain, it is important to identify the cause of the blockage and work to prevent future issues. 

Luckily, most blockages can be dealt with easily. We break down how to get the job done in three simple steps.

Remove Plug and Pour Boiling Water into the Drain

The first thing you need to do is remove the plug and check for blockages. You may find that as you lift the plug, and look inside, you can see the cause of the issue.

However, in most cases, the blockage will be a little further down.

Even in bathroom sinks and showers, you can expect a certain level of grease and product build-up, similar to that in the kitchen.

In order to help wash this away, pour boiling water down the drain to help loosen and wash away any stubborn residue.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

From bathrooms to teeth, baking soda is often used as a cleaning product. When paired with vinegar, which is good for removing debris, a chemical reaction occurs. 

Start by pouring baking soda into your drain and leaving to sit for a few minutes. Next, carefully pour the white vinegar into the drain. You will be able to see and hear the reaction.

Leave this mixture to work for about 30 minutes.

Clear Everything Away with More Hot Water

Once you have given the baking soda and vinegar time to work, another round of boiling water should be enough to wash away all the debris.

You may find that you need to repeat these steps for more stubborn blockages.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains

From kitchen sinks to shower drains, any and all pipes can become clogged.

Everything from grease to food scraps, to hair, can build up over time and get stuck in drains and pipes. 

Flushable Wipes and Feminine Hygiene Products

Flushing non-degradable products can cause costly blockages to yours and your neighbors’ pipes. Though they may state that they are ‘flushable’, this often simply means that they will fit down the pipe. Rather than actually breaking up and being safe to flush. 

Grease and Oil

Your kitchen sink will be exposed to oils and grease during washing up. Oftentimes, fats will stick to the pipes as they are flushed down the drain and slowly build up and solidify as they are exposed to cold water. 


Losing hair when you shower is a normal occurrence, but without some kind of guard over the drain, it can accumulate and build up in the pipes over time. 

Even with a guard, shower drains will almost always have some amount of build-up present. Drain snakes are an excellent way to remove hair from drains. 

Food Scraps 

Often disposed of in the same drains as fat and grease, even the smallest food scraps can build up over time to create a significant blockage.

Depending on what the cause of your blockage is, you might need to look into local plumbers to help.

Now You Know How to Clear a Clogged Drain

Understanding what you can and can’t put down your drains will help to prevent blockages and future issues.

Still, knowing how to clear a clogged drain should help to prevent costly plumbing bills. 

Check out more helpful home tips in our Advice section.

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