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DIY Drain Cleaning Methods: Do's and Don'ts for Effective Results

Dealing with a clogged drain is a common headache for homeowners. While calling a professional plumber is always an option, many drain clogs can be resolved with simple do-it-yourself (DIY) methods. In this blog post, we will guide you through safe and effective DIY drain cleaning methods. From using natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar to utilizing plungers and drain snakes, we'll provide step-by-step instructions to help you unclog your drains successfully. Furthermore, we'll emphasize the importance of avoiding harmful chemicals and knowing when it's best to seek professional help.

Baking Soda and Vinegar:

One of the most popular and eco-friendly DIY drain cleaning methods involves using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to help loosen any debris. Then, sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. The combination will create a foaming reaction that helps break down the clog. Cover the drain with a plug or cloth to contain the fizzing action. After about 15 minutes, flush the drain with hot water. This method is effective for minor clogs and also helps eliminate unpleasant odors.


A plunger is a versatile tool for clearing drain clogs, especially in sinks and toilets. Ensure there is enough water in the sink or toilet bowl to cover the plunger's suction cup. Create a tight seal around the drain opening and push the plunger up and down rapidly. The suction and pressure created by the plunger can dislodge the clog and restore proper drainage. For sinks, use a cup plunger with a flat rim. For toilets, use a flange plunger with an extended rubber flange that fits into the drain opening.

Drain Snakes:

For tougher clogs that cannot be cleared with baking soda and vinegar or a plunger, a drain snake, also known as a plumber's auger, can be highly effective. Insert the snake into the drain and rotate the handle to break up or hook onto the clog. Slowly pull out the snake, which should bring the clog along with it. Be cautious not to scratch or damage the drain pipe while using a snake. Drain snakes are particularly useful for clogs located deeper within the pipes.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals:

While it may be tempting to reach for chemical drain cleaners, it's best to avoid them. Harsh chemical cleaners can corrode pipes over time, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, they can pose health risks if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. Instead, opt for natural or mechanical methods like the ones mentioned earlier. These methods are safer, more eco-friendly, and often just as effective in unclogging drains.

When to Call a Professional:

DIY drain cleaning methods are effective for many common clogs. However, there are situations when it's best to leave the job to professionals. If you've tried several methods without success, or if you suspect a more serious underlying issue, it's time to call a plumber. Professional plumbers have the experience and specialized tools to tackle complex clogs and resolve any underlying plumbing problems. They can also provide advice and recommendations to prevent future clogs.


Unclogging drains doesn't always require professional help. By using safe and effective DIY drain cleaning methods like baking soda and vinegar, plungers, and drain snakes, you can often clear clogs and restore proper drainage. Remember to avoid harmful chemical cleaners and know when it's appropriate to seek professional assistance. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to tackle drain clogs confidently and keep your plumbing system running smoothly.

Broussard Services

Mississippi Location
14405 Cullen St
Biloxi, MS 39532

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117 Lemuel Rd.
Nashville, TN 37207
Ph: 615-988-6030


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