The Simplest Way to Unclog a Drain

Ovrflowing sink inkitchen
  Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images

Looking for simple, inexpensive ways to unclog a drain without calling out the heavy artillery (store-bought chemicals)?

There are plenty. So long as it’s not too clogged.

If it’s just draining slowly (read: not packed solid with gunk), try this: Remember that volcano you made as a kid, with baking soda and vinegar? Well, it can also be used to blow open a slow-moving drain.

First, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Chase that with 1⁄2 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 cup water, and watch the magic.

If you’ve got a drain cover, use it to contain the reaction; if not, fill a plastic bag with water and place it over the drain, or cover it with a plunger (but for the love of God, don’t actually plunge the drain).

After 5–10 minutes, flush it with another pot of boiling water.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to bring in the big guns.