We’ve all been there before. You’re taking a shower and eventually you notice that it’s turning into a bath with all the water that’s building up around your feet. Even worse, there are bad smells coming from your sink, or your taps are making uncomfortable gurgling noises.
Sounds like your drains are clogged – what a pain! But clogged drains are more than just a minor inconvenience: if left alone, they could lead to major problems for both you and your home, such as bacteria build up or leaky pipes.

While prevention is the most effective way to avoid clogged pipes, here are a few tips for unclogging your drains yourself. If these tips don’t work, or if clogging continues to be a problem, get professional drain cleaners to do an inspection in case the issue is more serious than you realize.

1. Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar
One of the most popular methods for unclogging your drains is by using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Not only is it effective, but it is also less harmful to your pipes than the standard store-bought drain cleaner that could possibly cause chemical corrosion to your pipes.

Mixinga thirdof a cup of baking soda with third of a cup of vinegar will cause a fizzing reaction and that’s your cue to pour the mixture into your clogged drain. Flush with hot water and cover the drain with a stopper. The chemical reaction of the mixture will loosen up the gunk in your drains, and the hot water will flush it out.

2. Use a Bent Wire Hanger
If you’ve got a spare wire hanger hanging around, here’s a neat trick. Straighten out the wire hanger and then bend one end to create a small hook. Begin funnelling the hanger into your drain and start fishing for junk.The aim is to pull this stuff out, so try to avoid pushing it further in. Once you think you’ve taken out as much as you can, run hot water into the drain andthings should begin to clear up.

3. Clear the Trap
When it comes to your kitchen or bathroom sinks, there’s always the option of clearing the trap (a U-shaped pipe under your sink) of any possible congestion. Begin by placing an empty bucket underneath the trap pipe and then start the process of removing the trap. You’ll need a plumber’s wrench to loosen the slip nuts but afterwards you should be able to pull the trap out yourself.With the trap free, empty its contents into the bucket that you’ve prepared. Check to make sure that there isn’t any leftover gunk in the trap – you may need to remove it. After you’re done, rinse the trap with water and then put it all back together.

Don’t Leave it to Chance
While it’s natural to just hope the problem will go away itself, eventually it might be time to call a professional plumber and request a drain cleaning service. They have the tools to identify the source of the clog and will come up with solutions to completely clear your drains and pipes.