Juggling the care of children and running a household is challenging even when everything is running smoothly. Add a malfunctioning drain into the situation, and a perfectly coordinated day can be thrown into chaos. It often makes a bathroom or kitchen unusable until the issue is resolved. There are a few quick and easy ways to get a drain back into working order using simple items that can be found around the average household.

Natural Chemicals

When dealing with a clog, avoid running to the nearest hardware store for a bottle of  harsh chemical cleaner. A house with children is no place to be using such poisonous products. Instead, head to the pantry for the baking soda and vinegar. These two items traditionally used in cooking and flavoring foods create a foaming chemical reaction that works on tough drain blockages. Simply pour around a cup of baking soda into a dry drain and follow it with equal parts vinegar. Seal the drain with a towel, allowing the ingredients to work on the clog. After a ten-minute wait, pour plenty of hot water down the drain to flush the residue away.

Physical Removal

One of the simplest ways to clear a drain from excessive debris is to physically remove it. This is especially effective with shower drains, which tend to become clogged with hair. Unbend a wire hanger so that it is straight with a hook shaped onto one end. Slowly lower the wire into the drain, grab the clog with the hook and gently pull it out. Repeat this until the water flows freely down the drain.


Often, a clog can be removed using a plunger. While this household tool is usually thought of as only for use on toilets, it is quite effective at clearing up blockages in any drain. It works by creating a vacuum that forces all trapped matter to the surface of the pipe. It is easy to then physically remove the clog.


Occasionally, a problematic drain will be beyond the scope of a simple repair. In these cases it is usually cheapest to call a professional. Brothers Plumbing Ltd, drain repair experts in Toronto, recommends prevention as the best practice. Leaving a drain problem too long can end up causing major complications that could be costly and leave the drain unusable for some time.

Simple drain problems are easy to fix with common items found around the house. More complex problems may need expert care to avoid costly mistakes.