How to Fix Bathroom Clogs
The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in your home. And when your sink, shower or toilet gets backed up, it creates not only a mess, but a major inconvenience. So if you see water draining or flushing slowly, you need to take immediate steps to eradicate clogs.
Our Merry Maids professional cleaning teams have a lot of experience dealing with the the cleanup that comes as a result of bathroom clogs. So we’ve compiled a breakdown of the information you need to deal with blocked pipes in the bathroom.
HOW TO FIX BATHROOM CLOGSThe steps you take to fix bathroom clogs will vary depending on which drain is backed up. Below, you’ll find some different types of clogs and ways to fix them. Additionally, we’ve got a list of items that can clog your drains, so you can try to prevent the problem in the first place.
SINK CLOGSA clogged sink will drain slowly, or not at all. Below, you’ll find some tips to help clear out those pipes.
1. Clean the stopper: Soap scum, gunk and hair can collect on your sink stopper. Remove yours and soak it in hot water. Afterwards, you can clean the stopper using distilled white vinegar.
2. Plunge: Plungers aren’t just for toilets; they can also unstop sinks and showers. Just make sure you’re using one of the good ball-shaped models that you buy at a hardware store.
3. Remove the drain trap: If you or someone in the house is fairly handy, you can try cleaning out the p-trap, which is the bendy pipe you can see under the sink. You’ll want to turn off the water first.
4. Make a drain volcano: Pour 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the clogged drain. Then, gently sprinkle ½ cup baking soda into the drain. Plug that up immediately, and let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes. Afterwards, remove the plug and flush the drain with very hot water. Note: If you use this method and your sink is still clogged, do not follow up with a commercial drain cleaner. The resulting chemical reaction can be extremely hazardous to your health.
SHOWER CLOGSOne major cause of a clogged shower is hair. Invest in a hair trap so you can decrease the frequency of plugged pipes.
If your shower drain is already backed up, you’ll know it by the puddle of tepid water forming at your feet. You can clear out shower clogs using the same methods we recommended for sink drains. The exception is cleaning the p-trap, as you probably won’t be able to locate that part of your shower’s plumbing.
TOILET CLOGSIf you notice the toilet seems to be flushing slower than usual, there’s a good chance you have a clog. Here’s how to get that forceful flush back:
1. Try a plunger: As with the sink, we mean a solid plunger like you’d find at a home repair shop. Only flush once after plunging. Otherwise, you risk overflowing the toilet. If it’s still flushing slowly, move on to the next step.
2. Break out the snake: Snakes can help you remove clogs that a plunger can’t extract. You can pick one up at the hardware store, and find instructions on how to snake a drain online.
3. Call a plumber: You probably don’t want to try to remove the toilet yourself to see what’s clogging the drain. If plunging and snaking didn’t render any results, it’s time to call in the professionals.
ITEMS THAT CLOG SINKSEvery time you brush your teeth or wash your hands, you’re sending things down your sink that form into soap scum and have the potential to cause a clog one day. These items include:
- Emollients and moisturizers
- Skin flakes
ITEMS THAT CLOG SHOWERSLike the sink drain, your shower drain is always being subjected to items and products that can plug up the plumbing. Take a look at some of the most common offenders.
- Body wash
- Emollients and moisturizers
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Skin flakes
ITEMS THAT CLOG TOILETSWe’re positive you’re well aware of many of the products you shouldn’t flush. Nonetheless, we think you’ll be surprised by a few of the items on this list. Even if packages claim items are flushable, you should be wary.
- Cotton swabs
- Dental floss
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Face wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Moist wipes
- Toilet scrub pads and other cleaning pads
- Toys(Seriously. Kids do the darndest things. That includes experimenting to see if socks and toys will go down the toilet. Teach your children about flush-friendly items early.)
BATHROOM CLOG MATERIALS AND PRODUCTSRegardless of the type of clog you’re dealing with, you’ll need to be prepared. Arm yourself with the following materials:
- A bucket to catch any overflow
- A mop to clean up spills
- A plunger
- A snake
- Clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty
- Newspapers, old towels or rags for absorbing splashes
- Plastic bags for wrapping up dirty plungers or snakes
You’ll also want to assemble some cleaning and de-clogging products for the task. These include:
- Baking soda
- Your regular bathroom cleaners for taking care of the de-clogging aftermath
If our clog-busting tips don’t work on your backed-up drains, you’ll need to call a plumber so you can get your powder room functioning as soon as possible. And while Merry Maids doesn’t tend to bathroom clogs, we do offer bathroom cleaning services to help you keep your porcelain in pristine condition.