Richard Southern, plumbing expert at HomeHow.co.uk, recommended a variety of unblocking methods, including using boiling water.
1. Boiling water
The expert explained: “Boil a kettle or pot of water, making sure it’s enough to pour down the drain in one go.
“Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the drain, start slowly at first to avoid any splashing or burns.”
Britons should allow the water to work its way through the pipes for a few minutes before assessing the situation.
If the blockage is minor, hot water can help break it down and clear the drain, especially if it is soap residue or hair.
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This method is ideal for those on a budget and is virtually “free”, other than the cost of boiling the water, but Britons could always use leftover kettle water from a cup of tea.
Test the running water down the drain to see if it is flowing freely and if it isn’t, it is time to use some baking soda and white vinegar.
2. Baking soda and white vinegar
The plumbing expert said: “Start by pouring boiling water down the drain to remove any loose debris before measuring out half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain, allowing it to sit for a few minutes.”
Next, mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of hot water and pour it down the drain to cover the baking soda.
Quickly cover the drain with a plug or cloth to create pressure and the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will help to “dislodge” the blockage.
Richard added: “Leave it for around 15 minutes to allow the chemical reaction to take place. Remove the plug or cloth and pour boiling water down the drain to flush away the dissolved blockage.
“Test by running water down the drain to check if it’s clear. If the blockage persists, move on to the next method.”
3. Use a plunger
Plungers use suction to remove clogs in sinks, drains and toilets, and can be picked up for as little as £4 from stores like Toolstation.
To use one, fill the sink or basin with enough water to cover the rubber part of the plunger.
Next, place the plunger over the drain, ensuring a tight seal between the plunger and the surface. Push down firmly and rapidly, then pull up and sharp to create suction, repeat this action several times.
The expert continued: “After a few plunges, quickly remove the plunger. The suction and pressure created should dislodge the blockage.
“Test by running water down the drain to check if it’s flowing freely. If the blockage remains, try the final method.”
4. Use a plumbing snake
If the above methods are not working, try purchasing a plumbing snake which uncoils down the drain, eventually reaching the obstruction that is blocking the piping and causing the backup.
To use one, insert it slowly into the drain, rotating it clockwise while gently pushing it further into the drain. Keep feeding it until you encounter resistance, which is likely the blockage.
Richard said: “Rotate the snake back and forth while applying gentle pressure to break up the blockage. Slowly pull the snake out, taking care not to damage the drain pipe.
“Flush the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris. Test by running water down the drain to ensure it’s clear and flowing properly.”