Reach in and grab any gunk that's sitting in the drain. Yeah, it's no fun sticking your hand in that cold, filthy water, but it's the best first step in tackling the clog.
Some homeowners opt to steer clear of chemical drain solutions. "Drano and Liquid Plumber can lead to corrosion and eventually destroy your plumbing system," cautions Alexander Ruggie of 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in water damage and disaster recovery solutions.
The always-reliable vinegar and baking soda combo is great not only for unclogging that drain but also for keeping it smelling fresh and clean. Andy Ferguson offers the step-by-step:
"Simple suction is usually enough to break up most clogs," says Ruggie. "It may seem a bit gross, but you can buy a brand new one for less than $5 to use just on the sink if you are worried about contamination between sources."
Unravel a wire coat hanger. "You can bend a wire hanger to the proper dimensions to fit down into the drain where you can dislodge most close clogs," says Ruggie. A proper drain "snake" can be had at the hardware store for about $15.
Put a bucket under the sink below the pipe. Remove the p-trap, which is the u-shaped piece (usually chrome or plastic) that connects the drain from the sink to the line that runs into the wall or floor. The p-trap is held in place by two large nuts that are fairly easy to remove (one will stay on the p-trap, the other can be left in place on the drain line). Most of the time, the clog will be in that p-trap. If not, use that wire coat hanger or snake to remove any blockage that you find in the pipe below the curve. Easy peasy!
Now reward yourself. Use the money you saved by not calling the plumber to buy a nice bottle of wine.
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