Tips to Unclog a Drain (shower, tub, and sink)

Nothing is more unpleasant than standing in a shower that doesn’t drain as a result of a clog. That nasty smell starts to build up in your washroom. Kitchen sinks suffer from clogs too; with all the leftover sludge making its way down the drain, no wonder things get clogged. With so many home remedies, it can be hard to decipher between which ones work, and which will give you more problems. Here are some small tips to try to unblock a drain yourself, remember that these do not end all be all solutions, and the best thing to do with your clogged drain is to call a professional.

Hot Water Down the Drain

Sometimes small clogs like dried food or stuck on grease only need a little bit of help from some good old H2O. This trick works by filling your fixture with boiling hot water and letting it sit for a while to loosen grime. You’ll know that this is working if you start to see your water draining more than it was before. Once all the water has drained, repeat the process a few more times.

If this first tip doesn’t do the trick, try our next recommendation

Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar

Most of the time you hear these two cooking ingredients together you think of a third grade science experiment. Well, that same chemical reaction is what has the potential to relieve a blockage. By boring baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by vinegar, the fizzing might be enough to loosen up and flush out smaller blockages. The most effective way to use this method is by allowing the mixture to sit a while then flush out with hot water thoroughly.

For some bigger issues this won’t be enough, the third at home remedy is as follows:


This is the last step before you’re going to need to call your plumber or take further steps to fix it yourself. The photos included here will give you a visual about what you are looking for. Try to access a P-trap. If it’s a sink it will be located underneath and you can easily find it.
By accessing this you will be able to empty your fixture from water. The next step is to put something under a trap so the water will go there rather than spilling on your floor and making a bigger mess. Some P-traps have a cleaning opening on the bottom so try to open it and clean that “U” shape piece of pipe by using a firm wire or something similar.Contrastingly, if your trap looks more like this, you need to remove it completely by using union joints which are recognizable by two big plastic nuts (remember that these should be hand tightened). Once removed, clean that “U” shape piece that you see. If you were then able to remove something from inside, that may have been the blockage causing your problem. FInal step is to put everything back the way it was and commence running the water again.

There are situations where the P-trap will be inaccessible. If you can’t find a trap, or it looks different than most likely it’s a poor plumbing job; this includes sealed shut pipes and inaccessible kitchen/washroom sinks. That being said, the trap for the bathtub/shower won’t be accessible without cutting a wall or floor and we do not recommend this to be touched by anyone who is not a licensed plumber.

If none of these steps work, it could signal that you have a bigger problem on your hands or need the help of a plumber.

Calling a Plumber or Doing it Yourself

For larger or more dense blockages, you may need to use a “snaking machine”. But it’s at this point that your drain has gone beyond “home remedies” and it is truly time to give a plumber a call. Spending time, money, and effort to rent a “snaking machine” is inefficient. It would already be more cost, and time effective to call a plumber. Your plumber will have the exact type of machine(s) needed to fix your blockage, not to mention, that we are trained professionals and know how to properly use these delicate devices on your precious plumbing. Home remedies can be the answer to some drain blocks, but use with caution because using home remedies can cost you not only time, money and effort, but if done incorrectly, your plumbing too. Rooter Team is ready to assist you with our years of experience and knowledge. No challenge is too big for us, don’t be embarrassed about your drain clog, remedying the problem is what we do. Do not hesitate to call us for free estimate: