You have noticed a slow draining of standing water in your kitchen sink or tub. Most likely, your drain is blocked. You can clear the clog with common items found in your kitchen if caught early. Borax, water, baking soda and vinegar are just some of these simple, yet very effective clearing tools for slow-draining sinks. Here are the guidelines:

1. Drain Mixture Preparation

    a) Drain any remaining water from your tub or sink to allow the mixture to work on the blockage faster.

    b) Gather the necessary kitchen or cleaning items. These items may include vinegar, lemon juice, salt, baking soda and borax.

    c) Pour vinegar and any other drain-opening agent into the drain. You don’t have to mix these items before pouring down. Foam will form from the mixture as chemicals react with each other.

    • Use a half cup of baking soda and half cup of white vinegar for a vinegar-baking soda combination.
    • Use a cup of baking soda and a cup of lemon juice for a lemon juice-baking soda combination.
    • Use a quarter cup of borax, a quarter cup of salt and a half cup of vinegar for a salt-borax-vinegar combination.

2. Clog Agitation

    a) Cover the drain so that the mixture will sit. You may cover the drain with using a steaming hot cloth or use tub stopper for the drain to close for 30 minutes. This will permit the foam to wear down the clog.

    b) Use a small plunger in agitating the item that blocked your drain. Make a seal and push the plunger’s rubber base. This procedure will be very effective when the sink or tub is filled with water. The water pressure will help the clog force to open.

    c) Pull out the clog with a hanger. Be extra careful in scratching the tub or sink with the exposed metal. Be cautious in untwisting the hanger because of the metal’s sharpness.

    d) Carefully feed a drain snake into your drain and turn the cable if it gets stuck to catch onto the blockage. Expect to clear the clog when the snake is slowly pulled out. Flush your drain with a lot of water and repeat the procedure.

3. Drain Flushing

    a) Flush your drain using hot, boiling water. Let 6 cups of water boil before pouring into the drain. Use very hot water if your pipe is made from plastic. Never directly pour boiling water down the drain.

    b) Repeat the whole process when the sink is still draining slowly until it becomes clear. You may have blocked hairball in your drain it still resists draining. In this case, manual removal of the clog is a requirement. It would be best to ask plumber assistance when the drain completely stops working.

    c) Unclog your tub using pressure and gravity to flush out the drain because it can be filled with gallons of water.

Note that these methods will work best when you already know the issue before having a completely clogged drain.