How to Clear A Clogged Drain

  • June 25, 2024

We asked our licensed red seal plumbers, clogged drain plumbing experts, on how to clear out a minor clogged drain or toilet.

Here are some of their DIY tips for homeowners.

1. Boiling Water

Boiling Water

Boiling water can dissolve minor clogs caused by grease, soap, and other debris.


  • Boil 8-12 cups of water in a kettle or large pot. (Be cautious with PVC pipes as boiling water can cause damage — heat the water to about 80 C).
  • Carefully pour 2-3 cups of boiling water down the drain.
  • Allow the water to sit for a minute, then repeat the process. 
  • If the drain is still slow, you may need to repeat the process a few times or try another method.

2. Dish Soap

Dish soap

Dish soap cuts through grease and lubricates clogs.


  • Squeeze a few tablespoons of dish soap down the drain.
  • Follow with boiling water (80 C if you have PVC pipes).
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes to break down the grease.
  • Flush with hot tap water to see if the clog has cleared.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar

The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar breaks down clogs.


  • Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain.
  • Follow with ½ cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz and bubble.
  • Cover the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Pour several cups of boiling water down the drain to flush out the loosened debris.

4. Plunger


Plungers create suction pressure that can unclog a drain.


  • Fill the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger bell. For sinks, block the overflow hole with a wet rag.
  • Place the plunger over the drain and ensure a tight seal. Plunge up and down vigorously.
  • Repeat the plunging action until the drain clears.

5. Drain Snake

A drain snake is a flexible, coiled tool used to physically break up and remove clogs.


  • Insert the snake into the drain and push until you feel resistance.
  • Rotate the snake to break up the clog.
  • Pull out the snake and clean off debris.
  • Repeat the process until the drain is clear. Test by running water down the drain.

6. Hair Removal Tool/Wire Hanger

These tools hook and pull out hair and debris clogs.


  • Insert the tool into the drain as far as it will go.
  • Twist and pull out to remove the clog. Clean the tool and repeat if necessary.
  • Flush with hot water to clear any remaining debris.

7. Take Apart the P Trap

P trap

The P-trap is the U-shaped bit of pipe located underneath your sink. Removing the P trap allows direct access to the clog.


  • Place a bucket under the P trap to catch water.
  • Unscrew the plastic nuts that hold the trap together.
  • Remove the trap and clean out any debris.
  • Reassemble the trap and test the drain by running water.

8. Bio Clean Drain Cleaner

Our Toronto drain cleaners dissolve clogs in an environmentally friendly way that’s safe for you and your plumbing system. Bio-Clean is one of the best ways to clean organic materials from your plumbing system.


  • Carefully follow the product instructions on the bottle.
  • Or – work with a Toronto drain cleaning specialist.

9. Preventing Drain Clogs in the First Place

Preventing drain clogs reduces the need for frequent unclogging.


  • Don’t pour grease down the drain; dispose of it in a container.
  • Use strainers or drain guards to catch food particles and hair.
  • Dispose of food waste in the garbage.
  • Schedule regular professional cleanings and inspections.

While these tips can help with minor clogs, sometimes you need a professional. That’s where we come in.

At Hoerner Plumbing, we offer expert drain clog removal and drain repair services to return your peace of mind.