Tips & Tricks to Fix Your Slow Drain Problem

[fa icon="calendar"] January 14, 2019 / by Home Services Expert

sink drainEver wondered if you could fix your slow drain all by yourself without having to pour chemicals down the drain? Sometimes the reason behind the slowness is just a little bit of build up or a big old ball of hair that just never went down. In either of these cases, you should absolutely try fixing your slow drain yourself before calling a plumber to take care of it for you.

Try any of these tips and tricks below to turn your drain from slow moving to running smoothly and save yourself money in the process.


1. The Universal Tool

In this instance, the universal tool is your fingers. The only time to use your fingers is if you can see the problem, most likely hair that got stuck, causing water and other liquids to drain at a slower rate. The easiest way to get the hair out is to pinch your pointer finger and thumb and start pulling. You may have to go in for a second pull as the hair breaks apart. 

It’s not the most glamorous tool, but more than likely it’s your hair you’re pulling out, making it just a bit less gross overall. It’s also a very effective way to get hair out of the drain, but if this grosses you out too much move on to Option #2.


2. Zip-It Tool 

This inexpensive tool will allow you to get the hair and debris out of your drain without having to do much work. The tool has little hooks all along the length of it which attach and grab on to everything it comes in contact with it, perfect for the bathroom sink or shower drain.

All that’s needed from you is to move the tool slightly up and down (ensuring it captures as much as possible), then pull it completely out. After pulling it out you can do one of two things: throw it all away completely or take off the hair/debris attached, wash it, and reuse it again or put it back for next time. The company that makes the tools recommends you use the tool once a month to continue to keep your drain spic and span.

Tip: try using the tool before removing the pop-up, if it doesn't work properly then remove the pop-up and try again.


3. Homemade Drain Cleaner (Three Options)

When it comes to homemade drain cleaners there seems to be a debate on which is the best to use. The majority of people say that the classic vinegar, baking soda, and hot water will do the trick every time. Others believe this classic homemade drain cleaner doesn’t do anything at all and have come up with a few other ways to clean up their drains.

  • Hot water and dish soap work great for your kitchen sink as the dish soap will help to dissolve any grease build up.
  • Bob Vila has taken a twist to the classic homemade drain cleaner by exchanging vinegar with cream of tartar.


4. Plunger 

You don’t have to wait until there is a full-on clog to use a plunger AND it works for more than the toilet. Although, you’ll need to purchase one that isn’t designed for the toilet and will completely cover your sink drain.

Make sure that your sink overflow or other holes in your sink are plugged with a wet rag. Then run some water into the sink and plunge several times thoroughly, but gently. You’ll know it’s done the trick if the water drains out. Afterwards run the hot water for a few minutes to make sure everything washes out.


Each of the tips and tricks above are simple to do and don’t require much work or knowledge of plumbing to make them successful. Once you’ve fixed your slow drain make sure you stay on the upkeep to avoid future clogs.

Of course, if you go through all of the options above and it’s still draining slowly then it is in fact time to contact a Chico plumber. They will gladly come out to your home and make sure your drain is running smoothly by the time they leave.

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