Home Remedies for Clogged Drain Pipes

Updated February 21, 2017

When drains in the home clog, you realise very quickly that keeping them clear is important. Water backing up in a sink or tub is unsightly and unsanitary, but you don't need to grab the phone book right away to get a plumber to your home. In many cases home remedies will remove clogs from your drainpipes that will work equally as well as professional plumbing services.

An Old Standby

Two ingredients for a home remedy that you probably always have on hand are water and salt. With grease clogs and the unpleasant odours they emit, salty hot water may be all you need. Heat a small saucepan of water on the stove until it is simmering, and add 3 tbsp of table salt to it and stir. Pour the hot water down the clogged drain to melt away the grease clog and deodorise the drain. As a preventive measure, repeat this procedure about once each week to keep the clog from reforming and to keep drains odour free, according to the Home Remedy Reference Center website.

Manual Unclog

You may associate plungers with clogged toilets, but the same science that causes the plunger to work wonders on the toilet will work on sinks and tub drains as well. Of course you probably want to buy a second plunger, especially for sink and tub clogs, and leave the toilet plunger to its own speciality; but forming a good seal over a clogged drain and pumping the handle up and down may be enough to remove even tough drainpipe clogs manually.

Another manual remedy for drainpipe clogs is to disassemble the P-trap below the sink, and use a bent wire coat hanger to physically dig out the debris that is blocking the way. You should use an empty bowl or bucket to catch the water and sludge when it breaks loose to prevent an unnecessary mess.


Kitchen drain clogs are typically made up of grease and food particles. Using a homemade degreaser is the best way to clear a clog of this type. By adding 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid detergent to 2 gallons of boiling water, you have created an inexpensive and very effective degreaser. Carefully position the pan of solution over the drain, and pour it slowly into the drain to melt away the grease clog. The combination of the heat and the degreasing action of the detergent will likely clear the clog, according to the Help in a Flash website.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar react in a powerful way that can help clear clogged pipes. The chemical reaction helps break down fatty acids and convert them to soap and glycerine. First pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, and then pour a 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain and cover the drain immediately. Let the reaction do its magic for about five minutes, and flush the drain with 1 qt. of boiling water.

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About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.