Select Page

Nothing works anymore – the drain is blocked. If the water is up to your neck and there is an unpleasant smell coming from the shower and sink, you need quick help. Various foreign bodies are usually to blame for this annoyance. If the drains are blocked, you don’t necessarily have to call a plumber into the house and you can usually do without chemical cleaners.

Below we will tell you how a clogged drain happens and how you can quickly fix it with simple home remedies and clever tricks.


the essentials in brief

  • Drains are usually blocked due to hair or food particles. Simple home remedies can help. Only if these have no effect should you consider professional drain cleaning.
  • Drains are constructed differently. Care should be taken when cleaning. The pipe cleaning spiral is ideal for winding drains.
  • A clogged drain is usually the result of a lengthy process. Hair and other foreign bodies build up over months and create the basis for germs and bacteria. Gloves should therefore always be worn when cleaning drains.

clogWhat if the drain is clogged?

If the water suddenly stops flowing, you need to act quickly. Bathing, showering or using the sink and toilet are now restricted or not possible at all.

A clogged drain is not only unpleasant, but also unhygienic. The standing water begins to smell and bacteria have an easy time of it.

The chemical club should not be used too quickly, because below we list effective and inexpensive home remedies and introduce mechanical cleaning methods that you can easily carry out yourself.

What you should know about a clogged drain

If the drain is blocked, you need to keep calm. The situation usually looks worse than it actually is.

Expensive tools or a call to the plumber are usually not necessary, as the home remedies listed below help quickly and easily to clear the drain again.

Anyone who knows the causes of clogged drains will be able to take preventative measures and will largely be spared from clogged drains in the future.

What are the causes of clogged drains?

Clogged drains have various causes, but there are a few frontrunners that always cause the nuisance:

  • Hair
  • Leftover food
  • Soap residue

A drain blockage is no accident, especially if hair is the cause. Human and animal hair gradually gets caught in the drain. Hair is the main cause of clogged drains, especially in the bathroom.

A hair follicle will no longer disappear from the drain on its own. It can literally block the drain.

Even soap residue can no longer get through. The result is a disgusting lump whose moist environment virtually attracts germs.

In the kitchen we encounter the main cause: leftover food. The quick disposal of greasy sauces and various leftovers from the lunch table causes clogged drains.
Grease hardens in the drain pipe and leaves behind stubborn deposits.

Foreign bodies that block the drain pipe can cause the drain to suddenly become blocked. These often include cotton swabs, sanitary towels, tampons and other improperly disposed of hygiene items.

Which drains often get clogged?

If the problem appears to be resolved, it starts again from the beginning. Some drains are particularly prone to blockages. The reasons lie in frequent use and a lack of care and prevention.

Drain in the bathtub clogged

If the bathtub is clogged, the relaxing bath has to be canceled. Instead, you should look for the cause of the problem in the drain. A flashlight can be of good use and helps to identify possible foreign bodies and deposits.

Dismantling the drain or siphon yourself is often recommended. However, laypeople should exercise caution.

The siphons are often very shallow and difficult to reach. Improper action can quickly lead to the need to be completely removed.

Drain strainers are a practical aid. These are placed on the drain and form a kind of cover, which makes it possible to remove deposits more quickly and prevents the drain from becoming blocked.

Shower drain clogged

Showering every day puts a strain on the drain because hair and soap residue are constantly being washed down it.

Sand, crumbs or small stones also get stuck in the drain. The drains in the shower become clogged particularly quickly.
Hair is the main problem for shower drains. Hair is rinsed in the shower every day.

These get caught in the drain and form a ball of hair there, which catches the remaining foreign bodies and only decomposes very slowly.

It is advisable not only to clean the surface of the shower after each shower, but also to remove hair and deposits from the drain strainer.

If this task seems unpleasant and disgusting to you, rubber gloves will make the work more bearable.

Drain in sink clogged

Clogged sink drains are usually due to improper use.

In the sink we not only wash our hands, but often also our hair quickly. In addition, soup, sauce and other fat residues are often disposed of in the sink.

The foreign bodies get tangled on the plug and stick to the plastic ring that is in the drain pipe and closes the plug at the bottom.

Over time, an increasingly thick layer of deposits forms unnoticed, which ultimately prevents the water from draining away.

Toilet drain clogged

If the toilet is clogged, it becomes particularly unpleasant because we have to use it several times a day.

To ensure that the bathroom does not flood and the odor becomes unbearable, a solution must be found particularly quickly.

The suction cup has proven itself useful for cleaning the toilet. Their application will be described in more detail later.

You can also use a simple plastic bottle. This trick works by unscrewing the cap and cutting off the bottom of the bottle.

Use a 2 liter bottle that is as flexible as possible and don’t forget gloves. A face mask can also make work more bearable.

How does a clogged drain become noticeable?

If the drain suddenly stops working, it is usually caused by a foreign body that is blocking the drain pipe. This can usually be easily located and removed again. In most cases, however, the blocked drain occurs over the course of weeks or even months.

During this time, various signals indicate that the drain is no longer working properly and actually needs to be checked. But we usually don’t react immediately, after all the water is still flowing out, albeit more slowly and often stagnantly.

By closely observing the drain, you can identify problems much earlier and thus counteract them.

A gurgling sound in the drain pipe can indicate a blocked drain. This is an indication that the water is encountering obstacles and has to make its way through gaps that still exist.

There can also be an unpleasant smell coming from the sink in the bathroom. If the stuck hairballs mix with soap residue, foul gases are formed, which cause the smell. 

If unpleasant odors arise from the drain, this is also a sign that food particles and other deposits have become trapped in the drain pipe.

If stale water collects in the siphon and mixes with leftover food and fat, an unpleasant smell quickly spreads, forcing you to take action.

What to do about a clogged drain: home remedies and cleaning products

There are different ways to combat a clogged drain. You will now find out how you can solve the problem without any chemicals and which tricks work particularly well.

We will also discuss the most helpful items for drain cleaning and will not leave out chemical cleaners.

Which home remedies help with a clogged drain?

Before the chemical club is used, the following home remedies should be tried out, because drains can often be cleaned quickly and sustainably without chemicals.
Drains can be cleaned inexpensively and without much effort using the following home remedies:

    • Baking powder
    • Vinegar
    • Cola
    • Salt
    • Baking soda

Below we will explain to you how to use the respective home remedies correctly.

How can I use baking soda to fix clog?

For one of the most popular and effective home remedies for drain cleaning, all you need is baking soda and vinegar.

How to do it:

  1. Pour a packet of baking soda directly into the drain.
  2. Add about 100 milliliters of vinegar directly.
  3. Baking soda and vinegar react.
  4. The mixture foams and bubbles.
  5. Wait for the reaction
  6. Rinse with hot water

The most effective way to clean the drain is to wait until the mixture has stopped foaming and no noise can be heard.

How can I relieve clog with cola?

The Cola manufacturers guard their secret recipes. But it is no longer a secret that cola not only tastes delicious, but can also be used to clean drain pipes.

How to do it:

  1. First you have to seal the overflow.
  2. Pour a bottle of Coke directly down the drain.
  3. As soon as you notice a noise, you have to close the drain.
  4. Then you should wait for the reaction.
  5. After a short while you can pull out the drain plug.
  6. Finally, all you have to do is rinse with warm water.

Serious clog certainly cannot be solved with cola. However, the method described is a very good way to clear minor blockages and fundamentally clean the drain.

Can I use salt to relieve clog?

Salt will be in every kitchen cupboard. This home remedy is easy on the wallet and saves time. You can use plain table salt for this trick.

How to do it:

  1. Pour about 100 grams of salt directly into the drain.
  2. Let it take effect briefly
  3. Pour boiling water

This method is also less suitable for clearing serious blockages than for general drain care. If you take action at the first sign of clogging, you can achieve good results with this method.

Chemical pipe cleaner for clogged drains

If the home remedies described are ineffective, you have probably let too much time pass and the deposits extend deep into the drain. Before you pick up the phone and hire a plumber, the alternative is to get a pipe cleaner.
Chemical cleaners work deep into the drain and remove even stubborn blockages. However, they also have disadvantages, harm the environment and can also pose a danger to us humans.


    • Simple application
    • Large product range
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Seem reliable and profound


  • Environmental pollution
  • Toxic fumes can escape
  • Application errors damage pipes

Chemical drain cleaners are sold in the form of gel and granules. Granules are best suited for severe blockages. Their active ingredient concentration is usually higher.

The advantage of the cleaning gel is that it is easy to reach, even in hard-to-reach places.

Always wear gloves when using chemical drain cleaners, do not inhale the concentrate directly and ventilate the room well after use.

Mechanical pipe cleaning against a clogged drain

Some aids have proven to be useful for mechanical drain cleaning. These should be available in every household so that quick action can be taken in the event of a sudden accident.

    • Suction cup
    • Wire brush
    • Pipe cleaning spiral

We will now tell you how you should handle which utensils.

How can I clean the drain with a suction cup?

Suction cups, also known as plungers, reliably help to remove all types of blockages.

It depends on the correct application. It is important that the plunger is of sufficient size and can completely cover the drain.
How to do it:

  1. Close the overflow using a damp cloth
  2. Place the suction cup over the drain and press it down firmly
  3. Fill with water until the rubber bell is completely covered
  4. Move the suction cup up and down
  5. Remove plunger
  6. If the problem persists, repeat the process

If the suction cup is moved vigorously up and down while it is covered with water, a vacuum is created, which is often enough to loosen the deposits in the drain.

How can a wire brush be used as a drain cleaner?

Wire brushes can be used to not only remove remaining paint or brush off rust.

Wire brushes that are similar in shape to toilet brushes are best. The wire brush is inserted deep into the drain and pulled back and forth vigorously.

If your drain is particularly stubbornly blocked, especially in the shower or toilet, it may be worth calling a plumber to avoid a catastrophe. 

However, when there is heavy contamination or when the siphon appears particularly angled, the wire brushes reach their limits.

Can I use cable ties for regular drain cleaning?

Cable ties can be used for regular pipe cleaning and can help to easily remove hair and coarse dirt. In order to make it a tool of the trade, you have to process the cable tie specifically.

How to do it:

  1. Cut cable ties at the bottom end
  2. Make oblique cuts on both sides at a distance of three millimeters
  3. Cut cable ties to a length of about five centimeters
  4. Insert cable ties into the drain
  5. Perform circular movements

If the cable tie is cut accordingly, the result is an appearance reminiscent of a coniferous tree. The resulting small hooks are well suited to picking up hair and other small foreign bodies.

How do I use the pipe cleaning cable?

With a pipe cleaning cable you remain flexible and can remove even stubborn deposits from drains that are difficult to access.

The thin spiral adapts to the shape of the drain. A little pressure is often necessary to insert the coil. The drain spiral can be particularly useful if the bathtub is clogged.

What else you should know if the drain is clogged

A clogged drain is not a problem; there are effective methods with simple home remedies and cleaning devices that every household should have. You are no longer helpless when faced with a blocked drain. Finally, you will find out more interesting facts.

How can I dismantle the siphon?

Many lay people may shy away from removing the siphon.

But with just a few simple steps, you can easily repair your drain yourself and remove foreign objects that could not be removed with simple home remedies.

What is needed?

  • Pipe wrench
  • Bottle brush
  • Bucket
  • rag

How to do it:

  1. Place bucket under the drain pipe
  2. Loosen the screws of the S-tube
  3. Remove and store the rubber seal
  4. Clean the pipe with a bottle brush
  5. Insert rubber seal
  6. Screw the pipe back together

The bucket is placed under the drain pipe to safely collect liquids. You should first loosen the screw directly under the cymbal. A pipe wrench makes the work easier. To prevent the basin from being scratched, you can wrap a cloth around the pipe wrench.

This opportunity can be used to easily check whether the siphon is really tight or whether the corresponding seals need to be changed. If you notice that the siphon is in rather poor condition, it is time to replace it completely.

Who pays if the drain is blocked?

The drain is blocked and nothing helps? Then a plumber will have to solve the problem. The craftsman usually inserts a small camera into the drain pipe and can quickly locate the culprit.

Professional pipe cleaning costs around 100 euros. Nobody wants to be stuck with the costs, so the question inevitably arises: Who will pay for the damage?

Tenants don’t always have to dig into their own pockets for this, but at the same time the bill doesn’t have to be paid by the landlord without exception.

The following overview clarifies responsibility:

Tenant pays the bill himself Landlord covers the costs
clog was self-caused.
The cause must be proven.
Improper handling.
clog caused by children’s hygiene products or toys
Clogging due to normal use also affects normal hair loss when showering or food residue left over from washing dishes

If the landlord wants to pass on the costs to the tenants, the landlord must be able to prove that the blockage was caused by a specific tenant. This becomes particularly difficult in apartment buildings.

If landlords cannot prove beyond doubt that third parties were at fault, they must cover the costs of cleaning the pipes themselves.

Can you prevent a clogged drain?

The best solution to the problem is undoubtedly to avoid a clogged drain.

A few simple tips in the kitchen and bathroom can help:

Kitchen bathroom
Food leftovers do not belong in the drain.
Fat does not belong in the drain.
Rinse the drain once a week with hot water.
Carry out occasional preventative cleaning with cola or salt
Food leftovers do not belong in the toilet.
Use toilet paper as sparingly as possible.
Do not dispose of hygiene products in the toilet.
Clean the shower and bathtub drains regularly.
Use drain strainers

Regular cleaning and the proper handling of leftover food and hygiene products protect the drains in the kitchen and bathroom and make corresponding repairs unnecessary.


Clogged drains are one of the most common problems in the home. There are various reasons why the water no longer drains as usual. Most of the time it is your own fault. Hair and food particles in particular cause the drain to become blocked over time.

If you have a clogged drain, there’s nothing wrong with doing it yourself. Tried-and-tested home remedies and mechanical cleaning items should be preferred. Chemical cleaners should be used sparingly. The last resort is to hire a professional.