What are the best ways to unclog a drain?

Clogged drain? There’s a chance that you’ll be able to resolve the issue yourself. Even if you eventually have to call in the experts for professional help, it’s worth it to give some of the following drain hacks a chance. Many of them are easy to do and don’t require any significant financial investment. Here’s a closer look at the best drain clog hacks.

Wire hanger

If you’re dealing with a tub drain, for instance, chances are they’re accumulating a lot of hair over time. Simply untwist a wire coat hanger and make one end of it into a hook. Then, dip it down into the drain and go fishing for any hair clogs. You might be surprised at all that you pull up.

Clean out the stopper

If you’re working with a sink drain, consider pulling up the stopper before you do anything else. Often, hair, gunk, and other debris get caught up in this device and make it hard for water to drain properly. A simple cleaning can usually resolve this issue.

Use a plunger

No, not a toilet plunger – a sink plunger. Essentially, these are just smaller versions of the toilet plunger, designed to work better (and safer) on drains. The push-pull way that a plunger works can often be the secret to loosening and getting rid of a clog.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural cleaners. Mix up a batch and pour it down the drain, then just wait about an hour before flushing the drain with water.

Shop vacuum

You don’t want to use a conventional vacuum due to the electrocution risk, but a wet/dry shop vacuum with good suction might be powerful enough to remove hair and other debris clogging up a drain.

A drain snake

While this tool requires more of an investment, it can work wonders. It’s just a flexible metal snake with a special spiral at the end. The spiral works to clear away any clog it comes into contact with.


Certain liquid drain-clearing products, such as Draino, can also do the trick when it comes to breaking up clogs. These products are affordable, widely available, and fast working.

Water pressure

Do you ever have clogged gutters, only for the clog to break after a heavy downpour? Use the same kind of logic with a stubborn tub drain. Fill up the bathtub with water and then release the drain. The pressure of all that water coming in might just take care of things.

Dishwashing soap

If you’re dealing with a stubborn sink drain, it may be because grease has built up over time. Pour a healthy amount of dish soap down the drain, then wash with hot water. The soap will likely break apart the grease.

Things to try clearing a clogged drain:

  • A wire hanger
  • Clean out the stopper
  • Use a plunger
  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Try using a shop vac
  • Drain snake
  • Draino
  • Water pressure
  • Dishwashing soap