Owning all the necessary plumbing tools is not an option for everyone. Even DIY fans do not have everything they need to troubleshoot all plumbing issues. This includes drain snakes, plungers, augers, and wrenches.
Snakes are a great tool, but what if you need to unclog your drain right now but don’t have one? Thankfully, we’ve got all the answers for you. We’ve found nine ways to unclog a drain pipe without a snake. Let’s get started!
How to Unclog a Drain Pipe Without a Snake
Without a drain snake, you can use tools and materials available in almost all households. For example, you can use water, commercial cleaners, plungers, baking soda and vinegar blends, and various other methods.
We’re sure you’ll have access to at least one of these methods. So, without further ado, here are some of the easiest ways to unclog your drain pipe.
1. Use a Plunger
This is a very common and simple method that countless homeowners have used for several years. However, keep in mind that not all plungers are the same. For efficient unclogging, you should opt for a force-ball plunger. This is a lot better in terms of performance than the standard cup plungers.
It would be best if you used the plunger on the toilet drain or a sink. First, ensure the plunger seals the drain completely, and then apply the plunger. This allows pressure from the plunger to remove the clog.
You’ll soon notice the reduced trapped water in the sink or toilet. This indicates that the clog is starting to go away. You might need to repeat the process multiple times. It can be hard work, but you’ll usually get the desired results.
2. Pour in Buckets of Hot Water
This is another straightforward home remedy that includes heating water. You can get the hot water from your water heater or just heat water on the stove. This method is pretty efficient at resolving minor or partial clogging.
Pouring a couple of buckets of hot water can be the way out of this problem. You can even combine the plunger and the hot water methods. This can guarantee more efficient unclogging of your drain pipe.
Understandably, this doesn’t work for a blocked drain with water already standing in it (such as a toilet), as the hot water won’t make much of an impact. However, for the likes of a dry sink, it can be a great solution.
3. Make a Combo of Vinegar and Sodium Bicarbonate
This is a more effective solution than using just water on its own. This solution works best if the clogging is caused by grease deposits in the drain pipe.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar blends are known for being moderately corrosive. This is why the combo is used for cleaning various surfaces, as it shows efficiency in dissolving grease and dirt buildup.
To prepare this mix, you will need the following ingredients:
- One cup of baking soda powder
- One cup of white vinegar
Then you will have to pour them separately without mixing them. So, start with the baking soda. Then pour the vinegar immediately. This will start a chain of chemical reactions. You will hear some fizzing, indicating that the combo is working properly.
You should give it some time to loosen the difficult buildup. Then, after about 20 minutes, you can start pouring a bucket or two of boiling water. This should resolve the grease clog.
4. Make Use of an Old Wire Hanger
This is another simple way to unclog a drain you can bring out of your closet. Your old wire hanger can be used as a hook to fish out clogs from a sink or a shower drain. It is also useful for removing soap buildup from the same drains.
The hanger already contains a hook that you can easily remove and use separately. Insert the hook down the drain as far as you can. Wiggle and twist it till you reach the clog and take it out.
5. Use Hydrogen Peroxide
This is a similar method to the one with sodium bicarbonate. However, it includes using a more powerful component. Hydrogen peroxide does not only unclog pipe drains or sewer lines, but it is also capable of preventing the formation of future pipe blockages.
To prepare this mix, you will need a cup full of hydrogen peroxide powder and four cups (nearly a quart) of water. You can add half a cup of sodium bicarbonate to make the results more effective. Finally, you can pour this blend down the blocked drain.
Wait about half an hour to let the mix react and dissolve the blockage. For your own safety, you will need to wear thick gloves to protect your hands from this strong chemical component. Goggles are also a good idea to stop you from accidentally touching your eyes. This harsh chemical can cause skin burns.
6. Try the Power Washer Method
Power or jet washing is a method that uses high-pressure water. It is another useful and easy way to unclog a drain without a snake. A pressure washer is designed to apply water at high pressure more efficiently than a garden hose. It is a very helpful way to unclog a drain pipe outside the house.
The method is efficient when you have a sewage chamber filled with soft clogs, including grease accumulation and mud deposits. You will need to locate the closest drain to the clogging point to access it using the power washer. Usually, your washer comes with its own hose that gets attached to the spray nozzle at one end.
The other end of the hose will be connected to the drain pipe. After making proper connections, the washer will pump the high-pressure water to the drain. This can unclog the blocked drain. However, you should not start at maximum power.
A gradual start can prevent the same used water from re-entering the blocked line. Don’t forget to wear protective gloves, as you will be dealing with pressurized water and potentially sewage water at the same time.
7. Opt for a Commercial Chemical Cleaner
These cleaners are easy to find at nearby hardware shops. This type of unclogging solution works best for grease buildup and food residue. Each bottle of this chemical product has a label explaining proper use. To avoid any misuse of the powerful chemical, you should follow the instructions provided.
It is recommended to wear thick gloves and protective goggles. Remember that drain cleaners are not a one-size-fits-all unclogging solution, as they vary according to the types and causes of clogs.
For instance, a bleaching drain cleaner won’t do much with a drain blocked with tree roots. In this case, you will need a cleaner made of copper sulfate. A bleaching cleaning product can effectively remove food residue.
8. Seek Professional Help
If none of the above works out for you, it is time to seek outside help. You can call a trustworthy plumber to help you out of a difficult clogging situation. This is an effective solution when the main drain line is fully blocked.
The plumber can bring the necessary equipment and won’t take much time handling this situation. This can obviously be expensive, but a huge clog sometimes can’t be tackled with DIY methods, not even with a drain snake.
9. Prevent Clogging In The First Place
Prevention is an essential method of fighting drain clogs. This begins with minding what you drop in there. For example, minimize throwing coffee or tea grounds in your sinks or tubs, as they can build up over time and block the drain.
Disposing of cooking grease in sinks also causes clogging in the long run. You can use old airtight plastic containers or glass jars to collect these oils. One of the best ways to dispose of them is by bringing them to a recycling center. Avoid shaving or combing your hair in bathtubs or near sinks. If some hair falls during a shower, try to collect it before it gets pulled down the drain.
Regular flushing should not be ignored. It is an effective method for removing clogged debris from your drain. The powerful water flow can prevent almost anything from building up down your toilets, sinks, or tubs. You can regularly fill a bucket or two with water (preferably but not necessarily hot water).
Also, you can get an organic cleaner for drains that contains bacterial organisms. These organisms will feed on any organic buildup in your drains. Such products are eco-friendly and safe to use on humans and pipes. However, read the labels carefully to know the proper application.
As you can see, there are many ways to unclog a drain pipe without using a snake. That being said, snakes are purpose-built for the job. If you get recurring issues with blockages, then it’s a great idea for you to get one.
If you need help right now, then one of these solutions should work perfectly for you. If you find that your clog won’t budge no matter what you try, it’s probably the best idea to call a professional.