Suddenly getting a clog in the plumbing below your kitchen or bathroom sink can be a real annoyance, especially if you have other things to worry about at the moment. You may not have time to go to the store for drain cleaner, and you probably don't really like the idea of calling a plumber for just a standard clog. If this description sounds like your situation, there may be something else you can do to quickly tackle the problem and get things flowing again, and you can do it with products you likely already have at home. Here are three drain-cleaning tricks you can use to get rid of a clog using common household items.
Set It on Fire
Well, no, you're not actually going to set anything on fire, but you are going to attempt to expose the clog to a real burning sensation in the form of boiling water. Set a pot on the stove and fill it until it's almost full, leaving a bit of room for it to move around in the pot, as you are going to be transporting this from the stove to elsewhere. Put a lid on the pot and heat until the water is boiling, just like you would if you were making pasta. Then, as quickly as you can without burning yourself, get the contents of the pot into the affected drain. With a little luck, most of that water will still be boiling as it goes down the drain, dislodging the clog in the process.
Take a Page from Science Class
One of the first cool experiments that many young children get to witness in some early science classes is what happens when you mix baking soda with vinegar. But this time around, no one is trying to create a baking-soda volcano; you're just trying to get your kitchen sink to drain properly again. Let the sink drain as much as it is going to and then dump a half box of baking soda directly into the drain. Wait a few seconds to let it settle and then chase it down with vinegar until you see the foam starting to come up. Before the mixture can get out of the drain, close the opening with a stopper or a pot or pan. You want to keep the explosive reaction below the surface so that your clog catches the brunt of the explosion.
Use Your Favorite Soda
Wait, what? That's right: to get rid of a nasty clog in your kitchen or bathroom sink, all you might need is a can or bottle of your favorite cola. Most of the popular brand names of regular flavored cola contain phosphoric acid. That's why if you leave an old nail inside a bottle of cola, the rust will fall right off. The same concept is at work here. Dump the cola down the drain and let it sit there, working the acid into the clog and hopefully weakening it. Then, blast the drain with some hot water, and with a little luck, things will have loosened up enough for the clog to bust loose.
If you have a clog and want to try and handle it yourself, your first stop should be to your pantry. Whether you choose baking soda and vinegar, a bottle of cola, or just a pot of boiling-hot water, there are multiple options available that can help you clear out a clog without spending another penny. But if none of these options work, go ahead and call a local plumbing service such as Rolling Bay Plumbing for some professional help.