Unblocking a Drain Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Drain Rescue

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Unblocking a drain yourself can be a messy business. If you’ve found this blog, chances are you have a blocked drain and you’re looking for DIY solutions. We’ll talk you through potential DIY drain unblocker methods, and help you answer the question “can I unblock a drain myself?” or figure out if you need to call in the professionals.

What’s the best way to unblock a drain yourself?

The first step to finding the best way to unblock a drain yourself is to find out what kind of blockage you’re dealing with.

Blocked drains can be caused by:

  • Food debris, such as grease or food scraps
  • Hair and soap scum from the shower or sink
  • Foreign objects or debris in pipes, like baby wipes, sanitary products or things that have fallen in
  • Leaves or outdoor debris, or root ingress/pests


You may want to familiarise yourself with two more of our easy-to-understand blogs before commencing with any work yourself. Our DIY v’s Professional and The DIY Dangers will help to reassure and confirm you in the best route to take. 

A Step-by-Step DIY Guide to Unblocking a Drain Yourself

Second, use your common sense. DIY drain unblocking methods are only appropriate for minor blockages. If you’ve got a major blockage on your hands, like an outside drain overflowing. call in professional drain unblocking services ASAP. If you feel something more major may be amiss, you may want to consider a CCTV drain survey, which uses a camera to get to the root of the problem.

YouTube has a wealth of DIY information, including videos to help you find a blocked outside drain home remedy or learn how to unblock a sewage drain or demonstrate how to unblock a drain filled with soil.

You Can Try the Following Methods to Fix a Clogged Shower or Unblock an Outside Drain:

MZR Commercial & Domestic Drainage Services Birmingham

Grab a Plunger to unblock a drain

For blocked toilets, sinks or a  make sure you have the appropriate type of plunger. Place a bucket under your sink and push down on the plunger until water begins flowing out of your sink again. Repeat this process until all clogs have been cleared from your pipes. For a toilet, push down and keep plunging until the blockage clears.

Use a Drain Snake

Use this tool to reach places plungers can’t. Keep in mind that using too much force could damage both yourself and/or your pipes.

Hire a Drain Auger

This is like a snake, but it has a replaceable head. It is used to clear clogs from your pipes by rotating in a clockwise direction.

Try Household Substances for a DIY Drain Unblocker

You can try to clear a blockage with boiling water, bicarbonate of soda and/or vinegar. This might be enough to get things moving, particularly if your blockage is caused by fat deposits.

Buy Drain Unblocking Chemicals

Exercise extreme caution when using commercial chemical drain unblockers. The chemicals work by breaking down organic matter – and since you’re made of organic matter, they can be very harmful to you, too! They are highly corrosive and can do real damage to your skin and eyes and if inhaled or ingested.

What is the Best Chemical to Unblock Drains?

We’ve previously blogged about 10 of the best drain unblocker liquids for sale online. The most common drain-cleaning chemicals are sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Because they’re so powerful, you’ll need to wear protective gloves and preferably goggles when handling them.

Don’t go in first with the chemical drain unblocker. Once used, if it doesn’t work you can’t then start using a plunger or snake. And don’t use a chemical unblocker if you’ve previously tried household substances like bicarb of soda, bleach or ammonia – you could create a potentially fatal chemical reaction!

What is the Easiest Way to Unblock a Drain?

If you’ve tried all of the above and still can’t get your drain unblocked, it’s time to call in the professionals. They’ll have experience with all kinds of drains, so they should be able to diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently. Paying someone else to unblock your drain doesn’t have to be expensive.  See our blog post giving you an overview of how much it costs to get a drain unblocked in the UK.

If you’re in Birmingham, UK and have clogged or backed-up drains, call our experienced drain-unblocking professionals today and we’ll inexpensively, quickly and efficiently get to work unblocking your drains and getting things moving again.

MZR Commercial & Domestic Drainage Services Birmingham

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