What can I use for cleaning the drain pipe?

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
homify Modern kitchen
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All of us have been there at some point, impatiently waiting for the water to drain. Clogged drain pipes are a nuisance, and usually emit bad odors. This is one of those home repairs that require your immediate attention. Neglect this problem, and you will probably end up flooding your home or losing the use of your sink, toilet, or bathtub. 

Cleaning drain pipes regularly can help prevent them from getting blocked, but how can you clean drain pipes effectively? That is the question this idea guide is here to answer. When you find that water no longer drains properly, you can use the brilliant do-it-yourself tips featured here. Let's browse through some of these tips shall we? 


The most basic tool you need to clean and unclog drain pipes is a plunger. Make sure you have a plunger readily available at home for when you need it. In order to use a plunger effectively, you need to first fill the sink with enough water to cover the drain and bottom. Next, press the plunger firmly down over the drain to create a tight seal and give it several quick plunges. 

Plungers work well to solve the problem when the blocks are not too strong, so don't wait until your drain pipes get terribly clogged to do something about it. Complacency and procrastination doesn't help one bit in situations like this. 

Flush with boiling water

One of the easiest things you can do to clean a not too dirty drain pipe is to flush it with a kettle of boiling water. Take note that boiling water only works when drain pipes are minimally clogged. 

The boiling water trick works well if you have metal pipes, but if you have PVC pipes, very hot boiling water may melt the joints and damage the pipes. To be safe, just use hot water instead of boiling water. Browse through bathroom designs here on homify for more ideas and inspiration.

Buy or build a drain snake

Essentially, a drain snake is a long pipe cleaner which you can use to remove things stuck in your drain. You can either buy it from the store or make your own at home. Drain snakes work best for small clogs and for removing hair from drain pipes. 

To make your drain snake, use a wire hanger with a small bend at the end to help you get stuff out from your drain pipe. Be careful while doing this though because you don't want to damage the drain pipes you are trying to clean in the process. 

Vacuum cleaner

Stubborn clogs in drain pipes can be blasted out with a vacuum cleaner, however the vacuum cleaner should have an output blower mode. All you need to do is hold the end of the vacuum tube firmly over the drain and create a seal around the tube using a towel. Make sure any other drain openings are either closed or tightly plugged. 

Next, turn the vacuum to blower mode, and quickly turn the power on and off repeatedly until you manage to unclog the drain pipes. Last but not least, take note that leaving the vacuum on continuously can damage your pipes and vacuum cleaner. 

Plastic bottle

If there's one thing we have too much of in this world, it's probably plastic bottles, so here's how to make use of them and get rid of that nasty clog in your drain pipes at the same time. To do this, you will need a 2 liter plastic bottle, masking tape, and some newspaper. 

First, cut a thin strip of newspaper and wrap it around the bottle to guide the spiraled lines you'll need to cut along. After cutting the whole bottle into one long strip of plastic, make some teeth by cutting small incisions along the sides of the plastic strip. The teeth will grab any debris inside your drain pipes. The modern kitchen pictured here is designed by Oui3 International Limited, interior designers and decorators based in Hong Kong. 

Baking powder and vinegar

The magical baking powder and vinegar concoction works well to clean mildly clogged drains. For really stubborn clogs, you might have to use a store bought drain cleaner. To use the baking powder and vinegar cleaning solution effectively, first pour a pot of hot water down the drain pipes. Next, throw about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, pour a mixture of one cup vinegar and cup hot water down the drain, cover with a drain plug, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Finally, flush your drain pipes one last time with hot water. 

We hope you have found some helpful tips here for cleaning your drain pipes. For more inspiration and ideas, have a look at simple tips to paint the walls of your home

Do you know any other tips for cleaning drain pipes? Please share with us in the comments section below. 

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