unclog drain without chemicals

Drains are essential to any structure, providing the pathway for waste and water from our homes. However, when they get blocked, it can lead to a host of problems. 

Clogged drains are inconvenient, hindering everyday activities like dishwashing, showering, and other household tasks. They can lead to more serious problems, like property damage due to overflowing water.

Many people resort to chemical treatments for a quick fix, only to discover that these solutions might harm their plumbing system. Plus, these chemicals can be harmful to health and the environment. 

So, how can you unclog a drain without chemicals? Let’s explore some tried-and-tested, eco-friendly ways to unclog drains, inspired by our expert advice at Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting with our regarded Australian plumbing service and guidance.


The Problem of Clogged Drains

Blocked drains are a common household problem. Everything from hair to grease, soap residues and food waste can lead to blockages in your bathroom or kitchen sink. With a clogged drain, water cannot flow freely, leading to backups, pipes draining slowly and even property damage due to overflowing or standing water.


Issues with Chemical Drain Cleaners

Many people resort to harsh chemicals to fix their blocked drains quickly. However, these cleaners contain caustic substances that can harm your pipes, skin, eyes, and respiratory system. If ingested accidentally by children or pets, these chemicals can be fatal. For those conscious about the environment, these toxic chemicals are also detrimental to the environment.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Remove Drain Clogs

Thankfully, there are several eco-friendly ways to unclog and clean drains. These methods do not require harsh chemicals and can be done with items you likely already have in your home, such as vinegar, baking soda, or a wire coat hanger.

Boiling Water and Dish Soap

This method works best for grease clogs. Grease can stick to the walls of your pipes, accumulating over time and causing a blocked kitchen sink drain. Dish soap, with its grease-cutting properties, combined with boiling water or hot tap water, can effectively break up and flush the grease clog.


  1. Heat a kettle of water to boiling.
  2. Squirt a generous amount of dish soap into the drain.
  3. Let the soap sit for a few minutes to reach and act on the clog.
  4. Pour the boiling water into the drain to flush out the grease and soap. You should repeat this process several times to clear the clog fully.

The Plunger Method

A plunger is a handy tool to dislodge clogs in your drains. It creates pressure that can shift the clog and allow water to flow freely. Ensure the plunger has a tight seal around the drain opening for best results.


  1. Remove any drain cover or plug.
  2. Run the tap until there’s about an inch of water in the sink.
  3. Place the plunger over the drain, making sure it creates a complete seal.
  4. Pump the plunger up and down vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  5. If the water does not drain, repeat the process until it does.

Use a Wire Coat Hanger

A wire hanger can be a handy tool to break up clogs in your drain. It can be used to reach deep into the drain and hook onto the clog, allowing you to pull it out.


  1. Straighten a wire hanger, keeping the hook at one end.
  2. Push the hooked end into the drain, rotating it as you go.
  3. Once you meet resistance, wiggle and rotate the hanger before pulling it out.
  4. Remove any debris from the hanger and repeat the process until the drain is clear.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A baking soda and vinegar solution can be an effective way to unclog a drain without toxic chemicals. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar can dislodge clogs and allow water to flow freely.


  1. Boil a kettle of water.
  2. Pour a cup of baking soda, followed by a mixture of one cup of water and one cup of vinegar, into the drain.
  3. Cover the drain for about 10 minutes, and you should hear a fizzing sound between the baking soda and liquids used.
  4. Slowly pour boiling water into the drain to flush out the clog.

Using a Drain Snake

A drain snake could be a more effective tool if a hanger does not work to unclog a drain. Drain snakes are designed to unclog drains and can reach deeper into the drain than a wire hanger.


  1. Insert the tip of the drain snake into the drain.
  2. Turn the handle to push the snake further into the drain.
  3. Rotate the snake until it breaks through the clog when you meet resistance.
  4. Withdraw the snake and run hot water into the drain to flush out the clog.

Removing the Trap

Sometimes, the clog is located within the trap (the curved section of the pipe under the sink). In such cases, removing and cleaning the trap can resolve the problem.


  1. Place a bucket under the trap to catch any water.
  2. Unscrew the two nuts on either side of the trap.
  3. Remove any debris from the trap.
  4. Reinstall the trap and run hot water to flush out any remaining clogs.

Preventing Future Clogs

Prevention is the best cure when it comes to clogged drains. Avoid disposing of grease, coffee grounds, and hair or other food scraps down your drains. Regularly cleaning your drains and garbage disposal with hot water and baking soda can also prevent clogs.

When to Call a Professional

If these DIY methods don’t work, the clog might be more serious or located deeper in your plumbing system and need more than a plunger or vinegar mixture. In such cases, it’s best to call a professional like Woden Valley Plumbing & Drains, who can safely and effectively unclog your drains.

Remember, a small issue can quickly escalate into a major problem if not properly addressed. So if you need more clarification, feel free to get professional help from our team.