How to Fix a Slow Drain

If you have a slow-moving drain, now is the time to act.

A plunger is one way to help speed up a slow drain.A plunger is one way to help speed up a slow drain.
If you don't take care of that drain right away, the clog will continue to grow, and you will have bigger problems to deal with later. A drain becomes slow because of hair, grease, soap and food articles building up over time. It doesn't take long to remove the clog, and everything you need is likely found right in your home.

Pull on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. The gunk that comes out of the drain will be full of germs and chemicals.

Remove the stopper if your sink or bathtub has one. Depending on the brand of fixture, the stopper comes out differently.

Remove any hair or debris on the stopper and throw the gunk into the trash. Do not throw it into the toilet or you risk plugging the toilet drain.

Fill a 1-gallon bucket with hot water and a few drops of dish-washing soap. Wash the stopper in the soapy water.

Remove any hair or other debris that may be caught in the crosshairs of the drain. Tweezers or needle-nosed pliers can pick the gunk out if you don't want to use your fingers. Throw the gunk away into the trash. If this does not solve the problem, proceed to the next step.

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the lip of a plunger.

Place the plunger over the drain and fill the sink or tub with hot water. You'll want enough hot water to cover the rubber portion of the plunger.

Plunge the drain in quick up and down movements. Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 several times if necessary.

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain.

Add 1/2 cup white vinegar into the drain. The foaming action will clear out remaining debris in your drain.

Allow the baking soda and vinegar to stay in the drain for three hours. Do not use the drain during this time.

Bring a tea kettle or pot of water to a rolling boil on the stove.

Pour the boiling hot water into the drain.

Turn on the hot water and continue to run hot water down the drain for another five minutes.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • Dish-washing soap
  • Tweezers or needle-nosed pliers
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Plunger
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Tea kettle or pot

About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.