How to Clear a Slow Drain Quickly

Drain clogs have a way of asserting themselves at the worst possible moment. Perhaps most frustrating is the slow drain. It still kind of works so you don’t want to hassle with it but at the same time, you know it’s not getting better on its own.

Obviously, the best way to clear a clog is to call in the pros to help you. But, if you want to roll up your sleeves and try to clear that slow moving drain yourself, we’ve got tips. Here are five strategies that might just get things flowing again:

Plunge It

A plunger is the first thing you should try when trying to clear a slow drain. If something is clogging your sink drain, you’ll probably want to use a cup plunger to clear it. The cup on a cup plunger will fit snugly over the sink’s drain to create an effective vacuum.

First, completely remove any excess water standing in the sink. Then, remove the drain cover to expose the open drain. Place the cup plunger over the drain. Make sure the cup fits over the drain completely. Pump the plunger up and down for 30 seconds to one minute. Run water, allow that water to drain, and repeat this process up to three times.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

This is a classic homemade drain cleaner. Start by pouring ⅓ of a cup to 1 cup of dry baking soda down the drain. Try to send the baking soda as far down the drain as you can. Then, follow the baking soda with an equivalent amount of vinegar. The vinegar should react with the baking soda almost immediately. The solution will start fizzing, which will help break up clogs and grease build up.

Let the fizzing solution sit in the drain for about two minutes. Then, pour hot (but not quite boiling) water down to flush it out. If the clog’s still giving you trouble, try repeating the process up to three times. You could also mix the vinegar and baking soda together in a measuring cup before you pour it. Make sure you always flush the drain out with hot water between attempts.

Pull Out the Hair

Hair-based clogs are particularly common in bathroom sink drains. The best way to clear a slow drain with hair is to simply reach into the drain and pull out the hair. There are a couple ways you can do that. The classic method is to bend a wire clothing hanger into a long hook. Just reach into the drain with the hook end and try to pull up as much hair as you can.

Admittedly, there are a few disadvantages to this tried-and-true method. First of all: you have to sacrifice a hanger. Even worse, you’ll have to be careful. If you’re too rough with the hanger, you could scratch up or dent the sides of the pipe. Luckily, the old wire hanger trick isn’t your only option. There are several products designed specifically to pull hair out of drains. Using these products is safer and usually easier than making your own. To prevent future clogging, use a mesh drain cover and a shower drain hair catcher.

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