How to Unplug A Drain Without Drano or Dynamite

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method probably won’t work on your toughest clogs. But if you’ve got less than 100% blockage, this is a safe and effective technique that also spares you from having to physically fish the clog monster out of your drain and meeting it face-to-face.

1. Boil a pot of water and then slowly pour it down the drain. Leave one cup of the boiled water in the pot for later.
2. Immediately dump in 1/3 cup of baking soda and let it sit for five minutes.
3. In the pot, mix a cup of vinegar into the hot water. Pour the mixture into the drain. Watch it fizz! Let it sit for 20 minutes.
4. Flush the mixture down with an additional pot of boiling water.

Wire Hanger

It doesn’t get more simple than this. And for simple clogs, it also doesn’t get more effective than this.

First, unwind the neck of the hanger. Then straighten out the two elbows as much as you can. But leave the hook! That’s the part that’s going to do the dirty work.

At the end opposite of the hook, bend the last three inches to give yourself a handle. If the hook can’t fit through the drain’s cover, you’ll first have to remove the cover. Lower the wire down until you feel some resistance down there. Now, push down and pull up about five times. Then pull the wire all the way out of the drain, and hopefully you’ll be saying, “Gross.” Because that means you’ve successfully pulled the nasty clog out from its lair.

Wet/Dry Vacuum

If you’ve got a particularly stubborn clog or just have a hankering for really showing your drain who’s boss, then look no further than the trusty wet/dry vac. There are even clog cleaning attachments available.

Since there are many variations of these vacuums, you’ll need to follow the specific instructions of your particular model for this job. But suffice it to say, these vacuums have a good deal of power and barring a clog made of set concrete, you’ll have full drain clearance in no time.

Toilet Bomb

This technique is just for your toilet, but it’s too cool not to mention.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 9 tablespoons liquid dish detergent
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin liners

First, put your muffin liners into the tin. Mix together baking soda and Epsom salt. Then slowly stir in the detergent, just a tablespoon or so at a time. Now scoop the mixture into the liners and dry overnight (at least eight hours) at room temperature.

Remove one of the bombs from its liner and put it in your toilet. Then pour five cups of hot water in after it. Now wait at four hours. Then flush! Voila.

This is a really effective, cheap and actually kinda fun way to unclog your toilet that doesn’t involve harsh chemicals like sodium hypochlorite or hydrochloric acid. And you know have extra pre-made bombs for your next backup.

Snake or Millipede


This option is effective and costs next to nothing. All it is is a single-use plastic stick with some upward-facing barbs on it, but it works. Especially for hair clogs. Just stick it down your drain, pull it right back up, and you’re done.


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