Unblocking a Bath, Sink or Shower

Are you constantly waiting an age for your bath, sink or shower well to drain after use? If yes, the following tips for unlocking a bath, sink or shower will put an end to your frustrations. Not only will they prevent you from having to pull your hair out every time – which will no doubt add to the blockage, but I will throw in some prevention methods to stop your sink from getting clogged up in the first place.

Without further a do lets get unclogging those sinks.

First of all I will start off with the easiest ways to unblock a sink; then on to the more extreme methods focussed on more complexed bath blockages.

Unclog your bath with caustic soda and boiling water

Pour half a cup of caustic soda down the plughole and immediately follow with 1000ml boiling water. N.B. It is preferable to use water from a boiled kettle - it is generally hotter than the water provided by the tap or faucet. If needs be follow the procedure again. You may hear a growling sound when the drain is clearing. Don't worry this perfectly fine and normal, it is just the caustic soda cleaning the drain on the way down.

Unblocking a bath with bicarbonate soda and vinegar

Pour half a cup of bicarbonate soda (baking soda or baking powder in some jurisdictions) down the plughole of your bath or sink, followed by a hot cup of vinegar. The best vinegar to use to unclog your bath is white vinegar and this can be heated in a pan on the hob. N.B. When you wash the bicarbonate soda down the drain with the vinegar a small chemical reaction will cause the cleaning solution to fizz and bubble – Think Alka-Seltzer in a glass of cola.. Do not worry this is quite normal. If you are worried about the fizz and bubble start off by adding a smaller amount of bicarbonate soda and vinegar. I may also add to take care whenever heating and transporting anything not to burn yourself.

Unblocking a bath with a coat hanger

Sometimes bath and sinks can become clogged by hair; therefore the spring cleaning tips above may not prove successful. Alternatively you may not wish to pour chemicals down your drain. If that's the case, this method might your first port of call.

Grab yourself a metal / wire coat hanger and unravel it, ensuring you keep the hook. The hook - as you might guess – will be used to remove hair from the bath, sink or shower. The coat hanger should now be straight and look like one of those poles you see at the fairground to hook-a-duck. Next you need to bend the opposite end of the wire to create a handle. This is important as it will stop you from dropping the coat hanger down the drain and will also provide leverage when fishing the hair or debris out of the plughole. Do not bend and manipulate the coat hanger too much as they are prone to breaking very easily.

Finally, with a pair of pliers remove the drain cover and begin to twist, jiggle and fish out whatever is blocking your bath.

Drain snake to unblock your bath or sink.

Drain snakes can be purchased from most hardware stores. They are basically used in the same ways as the coat hanger see above but they are a little bit more versatile in their manoeuvrability. They are less rigid.

How to prevent a sink from blocking

Basically the best way to stop your bath or sink from clogging is by taking care what you put down there.

Changing soaps

- One of the biggest problems is caused by soap scum. Blocks of soaps are made from a combination of animal fat and soda. It is the fat in the soap that cause it cling and build up in your drain. Switching to hand washes and shower gels can help in this instance.

Use hot water

- Sinks are most often blocked by a build up of fats and oils. Regularly rinsing the drain out by running the hot water after used can helps disperse the oil and fat before it becomes are problem.

Dispose of cooking oil correctly

- On finishing cooking many simply pour the oil down the drain. In time this will clog up your sink. Dispose of cooking oils by placing them in empty bottles and discarding them in the bin or garbage.

Drain gate

- Use a drain gate or plug screen. This will help catch hair, small toys and food that might usually end up in the drain. These can be purchased from most hardware stores. Use them to prevent you from having to unblock your bath or sink.

Thank you for reading my article on unblocking a bath, sink or shower. I hope you found / find them useful.

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