Home Cures for Stopped-Up Drains


Backed-up drains in your sink or tub can lead to a disastrous mess. When the water no longer has anywhere to go because of food, grease, hair or other debris clogging a drain, it will find the path of least resistance. Usually that is up and over the top of your sink or tub and onto the floor. To avoid this, clear out your drains using one of several home remedy options that keeps the water flowing the right way -- straight down the pipes.

Hot Salty Water

  • This simple concoction is a cheap and easy way to clear and prevent stopped-up drains. Fill a pitcher with hot water and stir in a good amount of table salt. Put 1/2 cup or so into a 2-quart pitcher to make a salty drain-clearing solution. Stir quickly and pour the salty water down the drain while it is still hot. This helps break up debris and bits of grease and grime that may lead to a clog. Flush the drain once per week with hot salty water to keep it clear. Be sure to not use boiling water, as it can harm some pipes.


  • Plungers might be best for especially tough clogs. Plungers aren't for toilets alone. Use a plunger to cover the drain in your tub or sink and press it around the opening to form a seal. Shove towels or washcloths down into other nearby drains or overflow drains and begin pumping the handle of the plunger up and down to work the clog loose below. After a few vigorous moves, the water should drain away. Continue to run hot water into the drain after plunging to wash the debris down.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • If you have ever made a model volcano for a science project, you already know the effect of mixing vinegar and baking soda together. It causes quite a reaction and lots of bubbling. This action can also do a number on a clogged drain. The mixture of the two destroys fatty acids and dissolve clogs in a pipe below the drain. Just pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain and let it sit for several minutes. Flush it out with a pot of hot water.

Preventing Clogs

  • Care for your home drains in a way that prevents future clogs. Don't pour grease down the drain. As it cools, it will form a barrier in the pipe and back-up the sinks. Instead put grease into cans and then throw the cans in the trashcan after it cools completely. If you are grinding up food in a disposal, make sure you keep water running at all times to flush the particles down the pipes easily.

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