How to get rid of black sludge in drains

Written by lisa wampler
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to get rid of black sludge in drains
Drains can build up black sludge and create all sorts of issues. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If you have storm drains in your basement or garage or you have drain grates for French drains in your home, you will eventually notice black sludge resting in the bottom of the drain. This sludge can start to produce odours if left unattended and it can even block the drain. This can result in water backing up into the drain, which could create a large mess. Routine cleaning of your drain will help you eliminate this black sludge.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Garden spade
  • Wet-dry vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Rag

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Remove the cover from the drain. In most cases, the cover simply rests on top of the drain. In other situations, you must remove screws with a screwdriver before you can remove the cover.

  2. 2

    Remove large debris such as leaves, rock or other objects from the drain, using a garden spade or similar object.

  3. 3

    Suck up any existing water in the drain with a wet-dry shop vacuum. If you don't have any blockage due to the build-up, you may not have any water standing in the drain. If this is the case, forgo this step.

  4. 4

    Pour a gallon of water into a bucket and add a cup of bleach and a few drops of dish soap. The bleach will help disinfect the drain and eliminate mould and smells.

  5. 5

    Clean the inside of the drain, using a rag wet with the bleach water. If necessary, use the tip of the spade to scrape any black sludge loose from the drainpipe.

  6. 6

    Wipe the drain clean with fresh water after you remove all of the back sludge.

  7. 7

    Place the drain cover back onto the drain and secure it with the screws, if necessary.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.