The cleaning expert shares the water trick to clearing clogged drains – and it costs less than 10p

An expert has shared the easiest, most inexpensive ways to clear a clogged drain using items you probably already own — including one that’s almost free

A clogged drain
Clogged drains can be cleared for as little as 6p (stock photo)

Clearing a clogged drain can be an absolute nightmare, and it can often feel like your only option is to use bleach or expensive drain cleaners to get your drains flowing freely again.

However, according to experts, there are some cheaper ways to get similar results — and some don’t even require you to leave home.

Chetan Mankar, operations director for leading home emergency insurance company Smart Cover, told that clogged drains are most commonly caused by a build-up of food, grease or hair and while the problem sometimes requires a professional plumber, most of the time a couple will do simple home repairs.

He said: “Clogged drains are one of life’s little annoyances, but sometimes the problem can be so serious that it costs hundreds of pounds to fix.

“They are often caused by a build-up of food, grease and hair that has accumulated over time, making it difficult for water to penetrate. Fat in particular can be a nightmare to get rid of, but luckily there are a few tricks to get things going again.

Boiling water is an easy way to unclog a drain (stock photo)


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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“It can be as simple as pouring hot water down the drain, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or using a little elbow grease and a plunger.

“Sometimes clogs can be severe enough to require a plumber to fix them, but often they can be fixed with a few simple tweaks.”

Hot water

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to unclog your clogged drains is to pour some boiling water down the drain – which will only cost you the price of boiling your kettle on your electricity and the extra buck on your water bill.

Although you’re probably flushing water down the drain every day, using freshly boiled water, which is at its hottest, can help melt and remove any curdled grease or other clogs.

Chetan said, “Using hot water to unclog a sink is one of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions. Bring a kettle to a boil, then pour the hot water into the sink and let sit for a few minutes.

“If the water is standing there without draining, the clog is still there. Repeat the process several times to remove the clog. This strategy works for clearing many other types of clogs.”

According to Real Homes, boiling a full two-litre kettle will cost you around 6p per boil, while boiling half a kettle will cost you around 3p – making the hot water method one of the cheapest ways to clear your drains.


Another common tactic is to use a plunger to unclog your drains — but experts suggest investing in a “flat-bottomed plunger” rather than the kind you would use for your toilet.

Explaining how to use a plunger effectively, Chetan said: “Continue to fill the sink with hot water until it is half full and a seal is formed around the drain. Hold the plunger over the sink drain and continue pumping up and down quickly and repeatedly.

“Take off the plunger and see if the water drains out or not.”

Then simply repeat the process until the water drains completely and freely, indicating an unclogged drain.

baking soda and vinegar

For a more scientific solution that’s still chemical-free, try a white vinegar and baking soda mixture you may already have around the house.

Remove excess water from the sink, then use a spoon to pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, squeezing the powder into the tube as needed.

Next, add a cup of white vinegar and cover the drain with a stopper or lid before allowing the mixture to sit for 15 minutes. After that, you should be able to run hot water down the drain with no problem.

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