How to Clean Blocked Drain Pipe


A blocked drain pipe can be frustrating and inconvenient, but it is often a simple issue to resolve with the right tools and techniques. This guide will walk you through how to clean blocked drain pipe, highlighting the essential tools and products needed to do the job effectively.

What You Need to Clean Blocked Drain Pipe

The correct equipment and supplies can make a difference when unclogging a drain. This section will explore the various tools and products for clearing sink, shower, and toilet drain blockages.


A plunger is an easy-to-use and efficient tool for unclogging drains in sinks. It creates suction to dislodge any debris or hair causing the blockage.

Why It's Important: It helps to dislodge any debris or hair causing the blockage, making it a great starting point for clearing blockages.

How to Use: Place the plunger over the drain, ensure a tight seal, and push down and pull up quickly to create suction. Repeat this process several times to help dislodge the blockage.

Drain Snake (Auger)

You can unclog drains by inserting a long, flexible rod called a drain snake. It works wonders on sources of clogs like hair, grease, or any other kind of built-up debris in the pipes.

Why It's Important: It helps to remove stubborn blockages and debris that the plunger cannot dislodge, making it a valuable tool for more severe blockages.

How to Use: Feed the snake into the drain, rotate it as you push it further in, and pull it back out to remove any blockages. Be careful not to push too hard, as this can cause damage to the pipes.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can use equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to dissolve and break down drain obstructions. This method is popular among those who prefer not to use harsh chemicals because it is harmless to humans and the environment.

Why It's Important: It is a non-toxic and environmentally friendly method for clearing blockages, making it a great option for households with pets or young children.

How to Use: Put one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for a few hours before rinsing with hot water. The mixture will help break down any blockages and clear the drain.

Chemical Drain Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners are strong chemicals designed to dissolve and break down blockages. Professionals often use them for severe blockages that other methods cannot clear.

Why It's Important: They can be effective for severe blockages, but use them cautiously as they can damage pipes if not used correctly.

How to Use: Follow the instructions on the product label carefully, and ensure you wear protective gloves and eyewear. Chemical drain cleaners can be harsh on the skin and eyes, so it is essential to take proper precautions.

Drain Camera

A drain camera is a specialised tool for visually inspecting the inside of drain pipes. It is particularly useful for identifying the source and extent of the blockage.

Why It's Important: It helps identify the source and extent of the blockage, making it easier to choose the right cleaning method and avoid further damage.

How to Use: Feed the camera into the drain and use the footage to diagnose the blockage. The footage can help you determine the best course for clearing the blockage.

Steps to Clean Blocked Drain Pipe

Now that you have the necessary tools and products, it's time to put them to use. Here are the steps to clean a blocked drain pipe:

1. Identify the Source of the Blockage

To choose the right cleaning method, determine where the blockage is occurring. You can identify the source by checking the sink drain, shower drain, or toilet for signs of blockage.

2. Clear the Blockage

Use the appropriate tool or product to clear the blockage. Start with the plunger and drain snake, and if necessary, move on to chemical drain cleaners or a drain camera.

3. Check the Drain

After clearing the blockage, check the drain to ensure it flows freely. Run hot water through the drain to test its functionality.

Considerations When Cleaning Blocked Drain Pipe

Before you begin cleaning your blocked drain pipe, remember a few considerations. Here are some important factors to consider:


Wear goggles and protective gloves whenever you handle chemicals or sharp objects. Because of their abrasive nature, chemical drain cleaners must be handled with extreme caution around the eyes and skin.


The best way to keep your drains clear is to clean them regularly using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. You should not pour them down the drain because cooking oil, grease, and food scraps can build up and cause clogs over time.

Additional Tips

In addition to the steps and considerations outlined above, here are some additional tips to help you clean your blocked drain pipe effectively:


Check and clean your drains regularly to avoid clogs. Look for signs of blockage, such as slow draining or unusual odours.


You should not just pour used cooking oil, grease, or food down the drain. Rather, put them in the garbage or recycling bin.

Regular Cleaning

To prevent blockages, regularly clean your drains with baking soda and vinegar. This approach can help break down debris or hair accumulating in the pipes.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Clean Blocked Drain Pipe

What will dissolve a blocked drain? 

Baking soda and vinegar can dissolve and break down blockages. Chemical drain cleaners are another alternative; however, they require special caution.

What tools do licensed plumbers use to clear blocked drain pipes that non-professionals can't use? 

Licensed plumbers often use specialised tools like drain cameras and hydro-jetters. These tools can help diagnose and clear blockages more effectively.

How much does getting services for blocked drain pipes in NSW cost? 

The cost varies depending on the severity of the blockage and the location. Licensed plumbers in NSW typically charge between $150 and $500 to clear a blocked drain pipe.

Is it safe to put boiling water down the drain? 

No, boiling water can damage pipes and cause further blockages. It is best to use hot water, not boiling water, to clear blockages.

Is it possible to defrost pipes by pouring hot water down the drain? 

No, hot water will not unfreeze pipes. Instead, use a drain snake or chemical drain cleaner to clear blockages.

Get Expert Help for Your Blocked Drain Pipe Today!

If you're dealing with a blocked drain pipe, don't hesitate to contact All Needs Plumbing for expert assistance. With our 24/7 same-day services, you can rest assured that our licensed plumbers can resolve your issue quickly and efficiently. We offer a $0 callout fee, $150 off hot water systems, and a 15% discount for seniors. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and take advantage of these exclusive offers.

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