How to unblock my drain or toilet

Do you need to know how to unblock your drain or toilet?

A blocked drain is one of the most common plumbing problems to frustrate homeowners. They happen, and they’re generally messy. But you can try to solve problems yourself before you resort to calling a plumber. However if you’re unsure seek advice first

The bent wire hanger

Very simple and surprisingly effective. Take an ordinary wire coat hanger and straighten it out as best you can. Then, bend one end over to create a small hook. Push that past the drain cover and start fishing. By doing this you should be able to get all sorts of hair and nasty stuff out of the drain.

Remember, you always want to be pulling gunk out, not pushing it further. When you’ve got as much out as you can, run the hot water, and it should clear things up nicely.

Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

Mix 1/3rd of a cup of bicarbonate of soda with 1/3rd of a cup of vinegar in a measuring cup. It will fizz immediately, and you should waste no time pouring it down the clogged drain.

The fizzing action will help to remove the gunk, hair, and grime that has built up in the pipe. Let it sit for one hour or even overnight if you can. Then flush the drain with hot water.

Alternatively, get as much of the dry bicarbonate of soda as you can down the drain first, then pour on the vinegar.

Boiling water

This is definitely the easiest tip. Put the kettle on and boil up as much water as it will hold. Now pour it slowly down the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a several seconds in between each pour.

This is usually the easiest and quickest way to unclog a drain and it sometimes helps to add some washing up liquid to help dissolve any grease.


Suppose you don’t have a plunger, head to your more convenient DIY shop. This is a useful and inexpensive item to have handy. Pick up some Vaseline too.

Apply the Vaseline to the rim of the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain opening to make a seal. Cover the entire gap. Push the plunger down several times. Repeat for five to ten minutes. Check to see if the drain is unblocked by running some water.

Still struggling? Call your local plumber

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