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What can I pour down a drain to unclog it?

Slow or blocked drains can be unclogged without resorting to bleach or industrial cleaning methods; the most popular solution is hot water, vinegar and baking soda.

Here’s what to do:

  • Pour a maximum of three cups of boiling water down your drain

  • Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, then pour that down your drain – quickly, before it fizzes too much


  • Let the mixture sit for some time – 10 minutes should be plenty. You can cover the drain with your plug to keep the reaction in the pipe

  • Pour three more cups of hot water down the drain to flush the solution. Your drain should be flowing faster now


There are also a couple of other similar methods which are just as effective.

These are:

  • Hot water on its own – poured in shorts bursts down the drain, this can help to unclog fat, oil and grease blockages – but be careful if your pipes are PVC, too much water at too high a temperature could damage them
  • Hot water and washing up liquid – some people don’t believe that baking soda/vinegar helps that much. Mixing hot water and washing up liquid is a strong alternative. Follow the same steps outlined above, but instead of mixing vinegar and baking soda, simply mix a cup of hot water with some washing up liquid instead


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