For the true expert of DIY plumbing repairs, one of the most important skills to master is unclogging drains.

While it’s not the most enjoyable job in the world, it’s essential you know what to do when it happens. Because it seems to be an inevitable fact of life that drains will clog eventually!

Fortunately, there are many ways to unclog a drain.

Here are 5 simple DIY tips for clearing your own clogged drain today:

  1. The Wonders of Baking Soda – Baking soda is a powerful drain-clearing substance. Try these two DIY recipes:
    1. Mix 1/3 cup baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar. Be prepared to quickly pour this mixture down the drain, as it will start bubbling and fizzing immediately. This fizzing will serve to clear the built-up gunk from your pipes. Let it sit for an hour or more and then flush with hot water.
    2. Mix ½ cup table salt with ½ cup baking soda and pour down the drain. Let sit for 10-20 minutes, then flush with boiling water. Mixing salt with baking soda produces a chemical reaction sure to clear out the toughest of clogged drains.
  2. Powerful Pressure – Follow the baking soda/vinegar mixture directions above. After pouring the mixture down the drain, plug the drain with a stopper. After an hour or so, fill the bathtub with water, then remove the stopper. The pressure from 50 gallons of water rushing down the drain should help remove whatever blockages remain.
  3. Use a Shop-Vac – Wet & dry shop vacuums are perfect clog-draining tools! Unlike regular vacuums, shop-vacs can also suck up liquids. Before you start, remove the filter from the vacuum (so it’s not ruined by whatever liquid you suck up) and cover up the vacuum vent (so the liquid doesn’t shoot out the vacuum and cause a mess!). Once you’re ready, create a tight seal around the drain, turn the vacuum to its most powerful setting and have at it!
  4. Taking Care with Caustic Soda – Also known as sodium hydroxide, caustic soda is a potent chemical liquid that can dissolve whatever is clogging your drain. You can purchase caustic soda at most hardware stores. It can cause painful chemical burns, so exercise caution when handling it and use rubber gloves and eye protection. Stir 3-4 cups of caustic soda into ¾ gallon of cold water, then pour this mixture down the drain. Wait 30 minutes or so, then flush with boiling water.
  5. Clean it Yourself – This last drain-clearing tip is a DIY plumbing repairs surgical procedure! That’s right, you’re going to get under the sink, use a plumber’s wrench and take that pipe apart! Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds. Simply place a bucket under the trap (the U-shaped pipe) to catch water, then use your wrench to loosen the bolts attaching the trap to the other pipes. Remove the trap, and use an old toothbrush (or any of the above tips) to remove whatever gunk is causing problems.

Mastering DIY plumbing repairs can save you both stress and money. So, if your drain clogs, remember there’s no need panic or call a plumber – just come back to this article and get to work!

And, if you want to avoid clogged drains in the first place, you can always head to to check out our hair catchers for the shower and bathtub, and sink strainers for the kitchen and bathroom.