Fastest Way to Clear a Clogged Drain

Whether it’s your kitchen sink, bathtub, or toilet that’s clogged, there are many quick ways to clear it.

Start with boiling water. Pour a kettle of hot water down the drain in two or three stages, letting it work for several seconds in between each pour. This can help dissolve mildew, soap scum, and other common clogs.


You don’t have to look far in most homes to find a plunger, which is why it’s often the first tool that comes to mind when you have a blocked drain. The key to plunging effectively is to make sure the bell of the plunger seals against the bottom of the sink or tub. If you can’t get it to sit flush, bend the rim backward or add a rubber band around the bell to help it form a good seal. Then, work the plunger up and down several times without breaking contact with the bottom of the drain. This creates suction and usually breaks up and dissolves whatever is causing the clog, like hair or food scraps.

Another simple but effective way to clear a drain is to use boiling water. This works best if the clog is caused by soap scum or grease, but it can also remove other items like hair, grime and food scraps. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil and then slowly pour it down the drain. If the clog is deep, you may need to repeat this process multiple times.

If all else fails, you can try using a wire snake (also known as a drain auger). These devices are available at most home improvement stores and cost less than calling in a plumber. They are longer than standard drain snakes and have more aggressive tips that can break up or hook a clog for removal. When snaking a drain, you should always remove any stoppers before feeding the wire snake into the pipe.

Another drain-clearing product that costs significantly less than professional services. This all-natural, enzyme-based cleaner is safe for pipes and doesn’t leave behind a nasty chemical smell. It isn’t as fast-acting as chemical cleaners, but it will eat away at a clog over time, and it can be used once a week or every few weeks as preventative maintenance. It also won’t harm fish or other aquatic life in your home.


Many people reach for a bottle of Drano when their drain is clogged, but there are several other ways to clear the drain that are far less harmful to pipes and septic systems. Before you resort to chemical drain cleaners, try plunging the sink or tub (you may need a special plunger for this, available at most home improvement stores). A good plunge will often shift and dislodge food particles and other small blockages.

For more stubborn clogs, try mixing baking soda and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Pour the baking soda down the drain and then follow with the vinegar. This will produce a fizzing reaction that will break down and loosen food particles. Leave the solution alone for an hour and then flush with hot water. This method can also be used to clear a toilet if the clog is in that area, though it will usually take much longer than with a bathtub or shower.

If neither of these methods work, you may need to hire a plumber. A professional will be able to determine what is causing the clog and then remove it, either manually or using a pipe snake. If you choose to use a drain snake, be sure to wear gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from the clog's chemicals.

A plumber will also be able to install new fixtures such as a new faucet or shower head. They will be able to recommend the best product for your needs and can also help with other plumbing problems such as a leaking pipe or broken sewer line.

If you have a stubborn clog that hasn't responded to any of these techniques, try an enzyme-based drain cleaner. This non-corrosive drain cleaner dissolves the organic materials that cause clogs, making it safer for your pipes and septic tank than most chemical products. 


Soda, also known as sodium hydroxide, is the main ingredient in many commercial drain cleaners. It has a very high pH and generates heat when it reacts with water, which helps to clear blocks and clean pipes. However, the chemical is dangerous and must be used sparingly to avoid damaging pipes. The most common way to use caustic soda is to mix it with vinegar and pour it down the clogged drain.

This reaction creates bubbles that can break up and dislodge gunk from the sides of a pipe. However, it’s important to note that the caustic solution can melt plastic pipes and cause serious damage to galvanized metal ones. Moreover, the mixture can also cause severe burns if it comes into contact with skin or eyes.

Before you start working with soda, make sure to take the following precautions:

Wear gloves, a face mask and goggles when handling it. Ensure that you work in a well-ventilated area. Using soda can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. It can also vaporize and form toxic fumes. If the fumes aren’t adequately ventilated, they can even linger in your house for several hours.

The best way to prevent the fumes from entering your home is to open windows and use an exhaust fan. It’s also a good idea to work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or basement.

Once the soda solution has been poured down the drain, it’s important to place a stopper over the opening. This will help to direct the reaction toward the clog and prevent the solution from washing gunk away elsewhere in the pipe system.

Once the drain is free of gunk, it’s a good idea to use hot water to flush the pipe system. Finally, if you have any remaining residue, you can use a wire coat hanger to fish it out of the drain. Be sure to bend one end to create a hook that will allow you to pull the gunk out without pushing it further down the drain.

Drain Snake

A plumbing snake is a length of tightly wound wire with a flexible end that you can manually crank to push it into your drain pipe. They’re available in all hardware stores and home centers. You’ll need a 15- to 20-footer that’s 1/4 in. thick, which should be enough for most household needs.

Before using the plumbing snake, make sure that you don’t have a visible obstruction blocking the drain. Poking around the drain with a screwdriver can reveal a lot, including a stuck-on hair or clog that isn’t in the line yet but might be near. If you can see an obstruction, loosen the thumbscrew on the snake’s drum, extend its cable by hand, and remove any blockage you discover (for example, the p-trap or trap arm).

Loosen the thumbscrew on the snake’s head and insert it into the drain. Manually extend it and work slowly. Don’t push it too hard, as this could damage the pipe or your drain entrance. If you feel resistance, loosen the head and pull it back a few inches. Then, try again.

As you crank the handle, the auger should feed into the clog until it reaches it. You may need to twist it in a circular motion to break up or attach the clog and pull it out. If it feels like you’re going nowhere, loosen the handle and turn it in a counterclockwise direction to break up or dislodge the clog, then crank again.

Once the clog is clear, run water through the drain to flush out any remaining debris. Once the water is flowing normally, reattach the p-trap and trap arm and clean up any remaining gunk on the cable.

The best way to avoid clogs is to be careful with what you put down the drain and use the recommended cleaning methods. However, if you do encounter one, the above tips should help you get it cleared up in no time. If not, it might be time to contact Philadelphia Drain Cleaners at!

Whether it’s your kitchen sink, bathtub, or toilet that’s clogged, there are many quick ways to clear it. Start with boiling water. Pour a kettle of hot water down the drain in two or three stages, letting it work for several seconds in between each pour. This can help dissolve mildew, soap scum, and other…