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Everyone knows the problem when the water no longer drains properly in the shower and the water begins to rise. This can happen not only in the shower, but also in all other drains in your household.

In this article you will find out why a drain gets clogged and how you can best clean it.

We have introduced you to various home remedies, as well as chemical products, with which you can properly clean your drain.

The essentials in brief

  • Home remedies are particularly effective when it comes to cleaning pipes. This means you don’t have to resort to chemical cleaners.
  • Before you use chemical cleaners to clean your drain, you should know whether they are compatible with your pipe. To do this, you need to find out what material your drain pipe is made of.
  • You can also take precautions when it comes to blocking your drain. 2 tablespoons of salt can work wonders.

Why do you need to clean your drain?

You probably know the problem when the water in your drains suddenly stops draining. This is because it is clogged.

It is then very likely that hair, for example, has become stuck in the drain over time. Individual hairs are no problem.

A drain needs to be cleaned if the water no longer drains properly. Because then hair and dirt have probably accumulated. 

But if more and more hair gets stuck there, then at some point the water can hardly get through, until at some point the water no longer drains at all.

That’s why you should clean your drains at regular intervals so that they don’t become completely blocked and everything can flow straight away.

What you should know about cleaning drains

Cleaning your drains also requires some prior knowledge so that you know exactly what you are doing. For example, you should know what material your drain pipe is made of. This way you avoid breaking your drain pipe by using the wrong cleaner.

Which drain can get clogged?

Roughly speaking, any drain can become clogged if things fall into it that don’t belong there, or other dirt or hair can collect in it.

In a normal household, the following drains in particular can become blocked:

    • Shower
    • Bathtub
    • Bathroom sink
    • kitchen sink
    • Toilet
    • dishwasher

In this article we will focus primarily on the drains of the shower, bathtub, washbasin and sink.

It is important to clean the drains at regular intervals to prevent them from becoming completely blocked.

How much does it cost to have a drain cleaned?

Plumbers have very different prices, which also vary depending on the journey and the exact type of cleaning.

If you need to call an “emergency plumber” outside opening hours, you will also incur additional surcharges on top of the normal rate.

These can amount to around $100, which you have to add to the normal costs.

You can usually expect an hourly rate of around $35 ​​to $65, to which you then have to add the travel costs. These are usually between $15 and $30, depending on how far the journey is.

Every tradesman has different rates and can also charge different prices for pipe cleaning work.

Price Normal plumber Emergency Plumber
hourly wage around $35 ​​– $65 around $135 – $165
Directions around $15 – $30 around 15$ – 30$, there may also be a travel surcharge

Should I hire a professional or use home remedies to clean the drain?

Before you call in a plumber, you should first try cleaning your drain using home remedies or even chemical products. Most of the time it helps effectively and saves you a lot of money and time.

However, if you don’t have success with the remedies shown here, then you should get a plumber to clean the drain in your house.

It is worth hiring a professional, especially for toilets that cannot be cleaned using simple means. Because nobody probably wants a bathroom full of toilet water.

What material is my sewer pipe made of?

Drain pipes can be made of different materials. Some of them need to be treated with particularly gentle cleaners, while others are also suitable for very strong cleaners.

So before you start using any type of chemical cleaner, you should first research whether this cleaner is suitable for the type of pipe you have installed.

The following types of pipes are most often installed in houses:

    • plastic pipes
    • copper pipes
    • Stainless steel pipes

If you are not sure which pipes were installed in your home, you can, for example, ask your landlord for information or ask the previous owner of the house in which you live.

The packaging of chemical cleaners often states which pipes they are specifically suitable for.

Home remedies usually do not have a damaging effect on the pipes.

What to do if the drain is clogged: Tips to ensure that the water drains away again

Most drain blockages can be solved with simple home remedies. If home remedies don’t work at all, you can also try using chemicals to solve the problem.

If all else fails, you only have one choice – you have to call the plumber.

Clean drains using home remedies

The first thing you should always try to do is clean the drain using home remedies. Here we have put together some home remedies that can help you if your drain is blocked.

Baking soda and vinegar

To clean your drain with baking soda, you will also need vinegar.

You can clean many different things in your household with vinegar essence, commercially available vinegar or even special vinegar cleaner . That’s why it’s really useful that it can also be used to clean drains when combined with baking soda.

Vinegar is a true miracle worker when it comes to cleaning drains. 

You can use a standard cup to weigh the ingredients. The only important thing is that you use the same cup for the baking soda and the vinegar.

First, you can fill half a cup with baking soda and then pour it down the drain. Then half a cup of vinegar goes down the drain.

The exposure time for this solution is about five minutes. During this time, the drain should be covered with a damp cloth. After exposure, boiling water will come through this cloth.

The drain should then be clear again.

Soda and vinegar

Washing soda can also be used in combination with vinegar to get your drain pleasantly clean again.

To achieve a very good result, you should pour about 4 tablespoons of washing soda into your drain and then pour half a cup of vinegar on top. You should now let this compound take effect for about three minutes and then turn on the tap with hot water.

The solution should now have cleared the pipe again.

Baking soda and vinegar

Cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar works in exactly the same way as cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar.

First you have to put 4 tablespoons of baking soda into the drain and pour half a cup of vinegar on top. After a short exposure, you can then rinse it away with hot water from the tap and the drain should be cleaned.

Citric acid and vinegar

Cleaning with citric acid and vinegar also works in the same way as those mentioned above: sprinkle 4 tablespoons of citric acid into the drain, add half a cup of vinegar, let it take effect.

Then rinse with hot water and the drain is clean.

Cleaning spiral

With a drain cleaning cable you can quickly clean your drains . However, you have to be careful not to permanently damage your pipe with the spiral.

You can buy a pipe spiral at the hardware store. It is supposed to clean the drain by rotating it and remove the dirt and hair. There is usually a crank mounted on top that you can turn.

You can insert them into the drain with great care. It’s best to work with as little pressure as possible to avoid damaging the pipe. Where the dirt is located, the front part of the spiral drills into it and then removes the blockage by cranking it.

Once the blockage is cleared, you need to carefully remove the coil and clean it.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can either find someone who has done this before or you can go to a plumber.

Plastic bottle

A plastic bottle is ideal for cleaning clogged drains. More precisely, it works because of the pressure that builds up.

To do this, however, the neck of the plastic bottle must be the same size as the drain. Now you can fill the bottle halfway with hot water, quickly turn it over and place it on the drain and squeeze it firmly several times to loosen the blockage.

In the following video you can see exactly how you can clear your clogged sink with a plastic bottle.

He recommends a slightly different approach, which is also ideal for loosening drains, especially in the sink.

Hot water

If the blockage isn’t very tight, you can try pouring hot water down the drain. You can then rinse with hot water from the tap.

You should be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water. You should also be careful with plastic pipes and not use water that is too hot.

Compressed air

There are now many different drain cleaning devices that work with compressed air.

These are placed on the drain and “shoot” compressed air into the drain. This should then clear the blockage.

When working with these devices, you must ensure that, for example, the overflow or other accesses are completely sealed so that no water or dirt can come out of them.

You also have to be careful that the compressed air does not damage the siphon or other parts of the pipes.


To clean your drain with Cola, you should pour about a liter of Cola down the drain of your sink or sink.

If you want to clean the drain in your shower or bathtub, you should use around two liters of cola.

After you pour the cola in you have to let it sit for a few hours. Afterwards you can simply rinse them with water.

If the drain is still not clear, you can repeat it again.


Of course, it is also possible to clean your drain with a plunger. The suction cup is simply placed on the drain and the negative pressure created by repeated pressure frees the drain.

If you try this on the sink, you should make sure that the overflow is covered with a sponge, for example.

This video shows you exactly how a plunger works and how it manages to clear the drain.

Denture cleaner

These tablets, which were actually made for cleaning dentures, are great for cleaning drains.

For ideal use, you can simply crumble one tablet (or several if the blockage is stubborn) and add it to the clogged drain with a little water.

If you let this mixture sit overnight, you can rinse with water the next morning and you should have a clean drain.

Clean drains using chemical agents

In addition to home remedies, there are also chemical remedies that you can use to unclog your drains.

Before you use this, you should try using home remedies to solve the constipation. Because these are more environmentally friendly and also better for your health.

Pipe cleaner

You can also clean your drain by using special drain cleaners. Pipe cleaners that contain chlorine in particular usually work best.

Chemical cleaners are available in every supermarket and drugstore. They break up the constipation, but are not very good for your health or the environment. They are also relatively expensive.

So before you buy a chemical pipe cleaner, you should first try cleaning with home remedies that are not only better for your wallet, but also better for the environment.

You should also make sure that such pipe cleaners are suitable for the material of your pipe so that they do not break when you use the cleaners.

Chemical cleaners are toxic and should not come into contact with the skin, eyes or other mucous membranes. They should only be used by adults and can usually only be used on certain materials.

What else you should know about cleaning drains

How often should I clean my drains?

Basically, you should always clean your drain when you notice that less water is draining.

For households with people who have longer hair, this is likely to be earlier than for other households. That’s why there is no general indication of how often the drain should be cleaned.

Condition of the drain Type of cleaning
Not clogged Possibly prophylactic with salt
Mild constipation Use of weak to medium home remedies
Severe constipation Use of strong home remedies or chemical cleaning agents
Very severe constipation Chemical cleaners or plumbers

If you want to clean your drain as a precaution, you can do this with salt, for example. A little further down in this article we have written down instructions for you to keep your drain clear.

What do I do if the drain gurgles?

The gurgling in the drain usually means that the pipe is blocked somewhere and the water can only seep through slowly.

If you hear the gurgling, it’s best not to wait any longer and use the home remedies that we recommended earlier in this article to clear your drain.

Afterwards the gurgling should no longer be there.

What do I do if the drain stinks?

The unpleasant smell in the drain comes from bacteria. If the drain is clogged in addition to the smell, you should clean it using the tips we have given you in this article.

If you notice that your drain is starting to smell unpleasant, but it is not yet blocked, you can use table salt, for example.

Salt can clean the drain as a precaution if the blockage is not yet advanced and can also have a somewhat antibacterial effect.

This treatment takes place in just a few steps:

  1. Try to remove all the dirt and hair that you can grab from the drain with your hand or a cloth.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of road salt to your drain.
  3. Let the salt work for about 45 minutes so that it has enough time to take effect.
  4. Finally, you can rinse the salt away with cold water.
  5. Repeat the process if you still notice an unpleasant smell.

The unpleasant smell from your drain should now be gone.


A clogged drain can be treated relatively easily with a few home remedies. The only important thing is that you react immediately if you notice that the drain is starting to clog.

If the blockage is already very solid, you may have to resort to chemical cleaners.

However, you should try to avoid this, as chemical cleaners not only harm your pipes, but also the environment and your health.

You can also try to remove a blockage using various gadgets such as the drain cleaning cable or a high-pressure drain cleaner. Most of the time the usual plunger serves its purpose here.