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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

Ways to unclog a drain by some of the best Arlington VA Plumbers

Despite being given little attention, pipes are a vital component of a home’s integrity – not to mention the comfort of its occupants. If you find yourself with an unwanted back-up, try one of these little-known remedies to keep everything flowing smoothly.

  • "For a moderately clogged drain, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Replace the drain cover loosely, then let it sit for three hours before running water. Bonus: these two ingredients create lots of foaming and fumes, so keep that in mind if your kid is in need of a science fair project. If you know the clog is from grease, use half a cup of salt and half a cup of baking soda, followed by a generous amount of boiling water (a teakettle or potful should do it). Let it sit overnight." – Curtis L., Woodbridge
  • "If you don’t necessarily have a blockage at the moment but have noticed water isn’t flowing quite as well as it has in the past, try this preventative measure. First, combine one cup of baking soda, one cup of table salt and one-fourth cup of cream of tartar in a large jar. Pour one-fourth cup of the mixture into the drain, followed immediately by one cup of boiling water. Wait 10 seconds, then rinse with cold water. Can’t be bothered to get out all the ingredients? Simply flush out your pipes once a week with boiling water (and no, hot water from the sink doesn’t count – come on, boiling water isn’t so difficult)." – Steven M., McLean
  • "If a sink is clogged, fill the basin with enough water to cover the head of a plunger. Here’s the important step: coat the lip of the plunger with Vaseline – it helps create a better seal. Then slide the cup of the plunger over the drain opening, then rapidly pump the plunger up and down. With repetition, this movement can build up enough force to dislodge the blockage. Pump the plunger about a dozen times, then jerk it up quickly. Water should flow out. If it doesn’t, repeat the same steps two or three more times." – Mike D., Alexandria

If these simple home remedies don’t work, it’s time to call F.H. Furr and let a professional take a look. You may be tempted to use a commercial drain cleaner but resist the urge. Although they may be effective, they’re often filled with caustic chemicals that will, over time, wear out your pipes. Corroded pipes are a lot more difficult and expensive to fix than a mere blockage. Let us keep your home running smoothly instead.