11 Apr Home Remedies for a Slow Draining Tub
It’s always a plus when the water drains out of your sink or bathtub at the proper pace. That also makes it a huge pain when it doesn’t. There are any number of ways your sink or tub could have become clogged; loose hair, build-up of food scraps or even bath salts. Their delicate fragrance can eventually turn into something far less palatable as they become lodged in the drain.
The internet is rife with home remedies for slow draining tubs and for removing blockages, but these often have little regard for the dangerous chemicals that are being mixed in the process. The end goal is for the water to drain out smoothly; you don’t want to end up setting your house on fire from a chemical reaction.
A few tried and tested methods should make the unclogging process safe and easy, and all you’ll need if a few basic ingredients you can find in your kitchen.
Covering the Drain Cleaner Basics
Dedicated drain cleaners do exist on the market, but they’re harsh on the environment and can even corrode the pipes if overused. It’s more cost-effective – and often simply more effective in general – to mix your own cleaners.
The very first step before you start mixing chemicals is to simply lift up the drain cover. Often clumps of hair and other unsavoury items will become lodged underneath here, stopping the flow of water. Unblocking the bathtub can be as simple as clearing away this debris.
If the problem goes slightly deeper, another low-tech option is to use a plunger. Simply drain out the water, place the plunger over the plug-hole and pump it about ten times. You should hear the sound of the pressure being released, signalling that air is passing through the pipe.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Drain Unplug Remedy
If neither of these fix the problem, the most popular and enduring option is the combination of baking soda and white vinegar, often with a bit of table salt thrown into the mix. The individual chemicals of the soda and vinegar react, creating a powerful carbon dioxide gas that scours whatever it touches. The salt is thrown in for a bit of extra scraping power, but isn’t completely necessary.
Take one cup of baking soda, one cup of vinegar and one of salt, if you want some extra power, and make sure there’s no water in the tub. Dump the baking soda into the drain, followed by the salt, and finally the vinegar. If everything goes to plan, you should see a lot of froth; satisfying, if nothing else. This signals that the mixture is scouring the inside of the pipe and hopefully eating away at the blockage. Give it around ten minutes, then flush it out with boiling water and test the tub to see if it drains.
Another popular option involves using the aforementioned baking soda and vinegar combo, but immediately afterwards plugging up the tub and filling it with water. You can then release the water, which will all flood down the pipe at once and clear away any of the blockage that remains using sheer pressure.
Using a Plumbing Snake
This should solve the problem in a majority of cases, but it’s not an instant magical fix for all drain issues.
A plumbing snake is an inexpensive yet invaluable piece of equipment that consists of a long metal wire with a spike on the end. This spike can be rotated, either electrically or with a handle. Lower the snake into the pipe and turn the crank. The spike should bore through the blockage, and the twisting motion will cause it to writhe around inside the pipe and scrape any excess off the walls.
Unclog Drains Tips and Tricks
These are all tried and tested methods of clearing a bathtub, and all of them are friendly to both the environment and your drain.
If all else fails, you may just have to call in a plumber, as some problems are too serious to be dealt with without the use of special equipment.