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Best Ways to Unclog a Drain: 5 Proven Home Remedies

We have all experienced the telltale signs: water starts to pool at your feet in the shower; bathtubs drain for at least 30 minutes; and the sink began to drain a little bit slower. The slower and slower— until one day, you just can’t ignore the problem any longer

So now you need to unclog that frustrating drain and eliminate the slow process that’s been bugging you every day. Here are some of the best home remedies proven to unclog a drain.

1. The Trusty Plunger

Every home has a plunger or two hidden somewhere, waiting to take the spotlight whenever these troublesome clogged drains show up. For toilets, you will need a flange toilet plunger. Sink plungers are often large or small, however, larger plunger provides more suction which is the magic ingredient in unclogging the drain.

So, how do you unclog a drain using a plunger?

Fill your sink about halfway full or your tub around 4 to 5 inches high. Now, before you do the work, you might want to gear up and cover yourself with towels or possibly a raincoat because this could get really messy— in a very gross way.

Take the big plunge and completely cover the drain. Press and pull the plunger rapidly for about 35 seconds. If the water drains slowly, add more water and continue plunging. If it drains really fast like it’s brand new, then congratulations, no more trouble for you every morning.

2. Boiling Water

One of the most effective, and easiest DIY methods for unclogging drains, whether shower, sink or toilet is water— hot, boiling water.

A word of caution though, if you have PVC pipes, then this method is not for you.

Just boil a pot or kettle full of water and pour it carefully down the drain and try to avoid contact with the sink porcelain. The hot water should take care of the of grime and any hardened grease in the drain.

3. Soda

Soda, particularly Pepsi and Coca-Cola, might be a waste to just pour into the sink; however, if you can’t take the clog anymore then it is an excellent remedy for beating clogged drains. And it is arguably better than most commercial chemical clog remover!


Pepsi and Cola are loaded with goodies such as phosphoric acid which is more acidic than a lemon juice. It packs a punch when removing gunk from drains and also quite effective in dissolving calcium.

Get a can or 2-liter of Pepsi or Coke at room temperature and just pour it down the drain. Let it fizz or bubble and work its corrosive magic for about an hour or two before you rinse it with hot water.

4. Metal Wire

Another DIY remedy to unclog drains is using a piece of long wire, particularly in clogged bathtub drain or shower which has a lot of hair accumulation. The idea behind is like fishing, where you try to fish stuck hair strands and pull them out.

Just bend one end of the wire in order to form a hook and insert it in the clogged drain. Move it in a circular motion, then pull the wire out. Remove the bunch of hair you’ve caught and repeat the process until you can’t fish out any more hairs. Pour in some boiling water to finish the process.

5. Baking Soda And Friends

Sodium bicarbonate is great for cutting grease. It is not just a fantastic drain cleaner, it is great at everything cleaners. You can use it in doing the laundry, preventing a smelly fridge, or scrubbing to just about anything for a shiny, squeaky clean. As a matter of fact, if your drain has this unearthly smell, then baking soda should be the first thing you will want to use.

Baking soda

Here are 2 different soda mixtures that are worth trying when removing clogs:


Mix one part salt with one part baking soda and four parts of hot water. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it stay there overnight. Then, flush the drain with hot water the next morning.


Baking soda plus vinegar makes an excellent volcano, making it a great clog remover. Sprinkle baking soda down your drain and immediately follow up with one part of vinegar. Let it sizzle and bubble overnight and clean it out with boiling water first thing in the morning.

If DIY Does Not Do The Trick

If all else fail, then you might want to call for help. Get a quote from professional plumbers in Cape Town to resolve your drain issues and restore free-flowing drains in no time.