A clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom is certainly an annoyance, and if you’re not familiar with plumbing, you might be tempted to yell for help. But with a little education and some simple remedies, you can unclog that drain yourself.

Try these solutions first, and if they don’t work — or if it looks like you have a problem that’s too big to handle yourself —  call in the pros.

Most drains get clogged at curved points, with the one closest to the opening of the drain called the trap. Try using your fingers to pull out the clog. Yes, it may be unpleasant, but it might do the trick.

  • Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain. Finish it off with a healthy splash of vinegar. This mixture should foam and act as a natural degreaser. After a few minutes, run hot water down the drain and see if the clog has dissolved.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom sink is still clogged, use a flat-bottom sink plunger. Start plunging slowly to keep water from splashing, but increase the force if the clog doesn’t give way.
  • If plunging doesn’t do the trick, it’s time for a heavy-duty approach. You might want to call in a plumber at this point if you’re not comfortable with this type of work. But if you are, grab a bucket and a wrench or slip-joint pliers. Slide under the sink and undo the collar that holds the trap together. Gunky water will probably pour into your bucket.
  • A final DIY remedy is the snake, which you can pick up for $50 or so at a home-improvement store. Push the snake down the drain, and turn the crank handle when you encounter an obstruction. This is really a remedy that you might want to leave to your plumber.

Keep in mind that there are ways to prevent a clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom.

  • Opt out of a garbage disposal if you can. The added organic material in your pipes is not worth the convenience, and a lot of your garbage can be composted instead.
  • Switching from powdered soaps and detergents to liquid soaps and detergents means less buildup in your system. Try not to put any materials down your sink that can accumulate and block the passages.

Maintaining your drains can be a challenge. Contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing if you have any questions or issues. We serve greater Cincinnati homeowners, and we’re happy to help.

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