Homemade Drain Unclogger

Julie Christensen

A clogged drain is a headache of home ownership. To prevent clogs, pour oil and grease into empty juice cans or plastic containers after it has cooled. Pour 6 cups of boiling water down the drain weekly to wash away any grease and prevent buildups.

Ordinary household products unclog drains effectively.

Place a drain strainer in a sink without a garbage disposal to trap food and debris before they enter the pipes.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or plate and wait five minutes. Pour 6 cups boiling water down the drain. The bubbling action of the vinegar and baking soda breaks down grease and debris, allowing the water to drain. Do not use this method if you have poured commercial drain cleaner into the drain. Mixing chemicals can cause deadly fumes.

Salt and Baking Soda

Pour 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 6 cups boiling water. Wait several hours or overnight before using the sink again. The hot water breaks down grease and the salt and baking soda act as a mild abrasive, removing debris from the pipes.


An inexpensive plunger is an invaluable tool for handling clogs. Position the plunger securely over the drain and pump it up and down several times until water runs freely through the drain. Do not use a plunger if you've poured commercial drain cleaners into the pipes. The cleaner may splash up, causing eye or skin irritation.


A plumbing snake, or metal hose, is the first tool a plumber will likely use to unclog a drain. Purchase one yourself at a hardware store. Insert the snake into the drain and crank it to push through the clog. If the clog remains, push a garden hose into the drain and turn it on full blast. The pressure often removes any remaining blockage.