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We’ve all had slow drains.  They are part of having a home: showers, kitchen sinks, laundry rooms, toilets. Calling a plumber is sure to get your drain cleared, but it also comes with a cost, and if you want to try the DIY first, you can likely save yourself some cash now and then. DIY won’t cure every clog, but it can speed up a slow drain and clear and small clog most of the time.

For slow drains, start first with the easy fixes: clean the hair out of tubs, showers, and sinks in your bathrooms.  A pair of needle nose pliers usually does the trick, and you’ll likely want some rubber gloves because nobody wants to touch that mess!  You can also get a hair chain for your drain so you just have to pull it out once a month or so and keep the hair from washing down at all.

For toilets, try plunging it now and again.  Most of the time, the water flushing power in a good toilet is sufficient, but some older toilets—the ones you have to hold the handle down on a for a bit to get a good flush—those can benefit from a good plumbers’ helper on a regular basis.

The old baking soda and vinegar solution is a great way to gently speed up slow drains and clear minor clogs without causing any harm to your pipes. Simply run about a gallon of boiling or very hot water down your drain, then add a cup of baking soda and follow it with a cup of distilled white vinegar, immediately covering the drain so the reaction goes down and clears soap buildup and other small things.  Follow it with another gallon of hot water, and maybe a second turn at the baking soda and vinegar.