Clogged drain - how to unclog it yourself

Conveniences such as kitchen and bathroom sink, toilet and shower you don't want to have think about in everyday life, they should just work. But suddenly there's a clog. The water in the toilet rises in an alarming way, the dish water doesn't drain or there is a foamy liquid left in the sink after brushing your teeth. But don't worry, you don't need to hire a plumber. In most cases, you can unclog the drain yourself. Here are our best tips for cleaning drains at home.

How to get rid of clogs in the kitchen sink

When you wash and rinse away after cooking, fat and food residues easily gets flushed down, which in the long run can create a blockage in the sink that prevents the water from draining. Try this method of dissolving the clog with detergent.

  1. Use a scoop and empty any standing water by pouring over it in a bucket.

  2. Pour 1 dl of detergent into the drain and leave for a quarter so that the detergent has the opportunity to dissolve grease and other old food scraps.

  3. Then fill with hot water from the tap and leave for another ten minutes.

  4. Ask someone to hold or tape the overflow passage in the sink with a cloth.

  5. Place a plunger over the drain hole and make sure it closes tightly.

  6. Then fill it about halfway and pump up and down with the plunger.

  7. If you have double sinks, you need to cover the drain in the basin where you don't use the plunger, otherwise the water will come up there due to the pressure. Cover it with a plastic bag that you put a weight on, such as a plate and a wet towel over or ask someone to hold it down while you pump in the other sink

  8. When you feel the plug release, rinse with warm water.

  9. Repeat if necessary.

Make a habit of using the strainer and emptying it into the rubbish bin. If your sink dosn't have a strainer, use a scraper and move the debris over to the rubbish bin.

Prevent clogs in the kitchen sink

  • Think about what you flush down the sink. It's easy to see small food scraps sliding down the drain with the rinsing water and think that that small can't hurt, but it all builds up and you risk eventually building up a clog in the pipes under the sink. Make it a habit to use the removable metal strainer if you have one and to empty it in the rubbish bin. If you don't have a strainer, use a sieve scraper and move the debris over the garbage.

  • Grease is often the culprit that creates the worst clogs in the sink. Wipe grease from the frying pan before washing it. If you're lucky enough to live in a municipality that offers fat recycling, it's a good idea to get a so-called eco-funnel. You screw it on a PET bottle and when the fat in your frying pan or saucepan has cooled after cooking, pour it down the funnel into the bottle. When the bottle is full, leave it in the appropriate recycling bin. Simple and easy and you save both time and energy by not having to loosen the clogs that tend to occur in the kitchen at regular intervals.

  • Regularly clean the sink with detergent and hot water and flush through the drain pipes for a while so you get rid of what may cause future blockages.

Never use strong, corrosive agents to resolve clogs in the toilet as it may damage the toilet bowl glaze.

Get rid of clogs in the toilet

Clogs in the toilet is never fun. Here are some suggestions on how to get rid of toilet blockages

With water

When you have a clog in the toilet but the water has slowly flowed back and doesn't stand all the way up to the edge, you can try to quickly and from a little height pour a bucket of water into the toilet bowl. The pressure from the water can push the clog away. Remember that the amount of water must be contained in the toilet if the clog doesn't dissolve so that you don't flood it.

With a plunger

Press a plunger suction cup over the drain and pump by pulling the handle up and down. You notice when the clog releases when the water suddenly rushes away. Then flush once more.

With detergent and a plunger

Scoop away as much water as you can out of the toilet bowl and pour into a bucket. Then pour in 1 dl of detergent and leave for a quarter. Fill with hot water and let it work for another quarter. Then use a plunger and pump the clog away.

With a drain snake

A drain snake is a roll with a metal tape that you can feed down the drain in the toilet. The drain snake can poke holes in the clog and detach it from the pipes so you can flush it off. You will find drain snakes in hardware stores.

To consider

Never use strong, corrosive agents to resolve clogs in the toilet as it may damage the toilet bowl glaze.

How to prevent a clogged toilet

Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve quickly in water. Other types of paper towels such as kitchen towels, napkins, paper handkerchiefs, wet wipes and baby washcloths do not belong in the toilet. They don't dissolve and instead cause clogs. And especially in the toilet, you really want to avoid a blockage. Anything other than toilet paper should be thrown in the trash and not in the toilet quite simply.

Makeup and facial cleansers are often greasy and together with hair, a clog can form in the pipes.

How to remove clogs from your bathroom sink

Clogs in the sink are often caused by hair and other things that are rinsed down when you get ready in front of the mirror in the morning and evening. Some makeup and facial cleansers are greasy and together with hair, a layer can form in the pipes. As time goes on, it builds up and finally you get a clog and there's a blockage in the drain to the sink. But don't worry, there are several methods to try to unclog!

Whichever method you want to use, start by emptying the sink using a scoop and a bucket. Then clean the water trap under the sink. It's the container that sits between the pipe that goes from the sink and the pipe that goes out into the main pipe. Unscrew the container and empty the contents into a bucket. Brush the container and the pipes around with a used toothbrush.

With bicarbonate and vinegar

Make sure the bathroom is well ventilated and protect your eyes from splashes. Mix bicarbonate with salt and pour into the drain. Fill with vinegar and hear how it bubbles and fizzes in the pipe. Let stand for a quarter of an hour and then rinse with hot water.

With detergent and a plunger

Pour 1 dl of detergent into the drain and let stand for 15 minutes. Fill with hot water from the tap and let stand for another 10 minutes. Tape the sink's overflow passage and pump up and down with the plunger. If you choose to use a plunger to loosen clogs in the bathroom sink, take it carefully. Porcelain is fragile and you risk causing cracks with too intense pumping.

How to prevent a clogged bathroom sink

In order for you to avoid future clogs in the bathroom sink, it's a good habit to immediately remove hair and other things and throw it in the rubbish. In this way, it doesn't get flushed down and risks clogging the pipes in the bathroom. Remember that these items should never be flushed down the toilet but belong in the garbage bag.

Remove hair from the floor in the shower so it doesn't go down the drain.

Tips when you have clog in the shower

When you shower and the water around the floor drain suddenly rises and it doesn't drain, you have a clog in the shower. It's probably a combination of hairs and soap residue that caused it, but it can also occur if you, for example, shower plants or rinse other things in your shower.

  1. Put on a pair of dish gloves and start by removing the floor drain strainer. You can poke it away by putting something narrow in one of the holes and lifting it away.

  2. Then clean everything loose that doesn't belong in the floor drain and throw it in the garbage.

  3. Then remove the water trap. It looks like a bucket that's screwed on. Lift the small handle and turn the entire insert to be able to lift it up. When you have a clog in the shower, it's often here that you find the culprit.

  4. Remove everything that's stuck and brush clean with an old toothbrush, preferably with vinegar on.

  5. Also brush the edges and rinse everything clean before reassembling the water trap. Make sure it's properly sealed so that you prevent bad odor from rising.

  6. Fill with water and put on the floor drain again.

How to avoid clogs in the shower

Hair often collects around the floor drain in the shower. Make sure to remove it regularly, preferably after each shower so that it doesn't eventually go through the floor drain strainer and down the drain.

Do use a floor drain filter, which is a small thin device that you place under the floor drain strainer and which collects hair, soap residue and other things that don't belong in the pipes. You periodically lift it up and empty it in the trash. An easy and cheap way to prevent clogs in the shower.

Good to have at home for unclogging drains

  • Bicarbonate

  • Vinegar

  • Salt

  • Washing-up liquid

  • Dish gloves

  • Plunger

  • Scoop

  • Bucket

  • Floor drain filter

  • Drain snake

  • Toothbrush

  • Screwdriver

  • Tape