How to Clean Bathroom Pipe Blockage? Read this First!

A fully functioning plumbing system should be one of the first things on the checklist while buying a new house. Apart from maintaining the resale value of your residence, learning how to clean bathroom pipe blockage will let you deal with the clog immediately. But, how can you clean bathroom pipe blockage?

Sometimes you can clean a bathroom pipe blockage with nothing but your hands! But, in most cases, you would require a more intricate approach like using homemade or commercial cleaners or using a specialized/ improvised tool.

Here, we will discuss all you need to know about unblocking bathroom pipes. Besides going through different methods, we will answer some of the most common questions that DIY plumbers have about freeing up congested pipes.

Things You Will Need

  • Pot/kettle
  • Lye
  • Liquid soap/ detergent
  • Water
  • Vinegar 
  • Screwdriver
  • Baking soda
  • Plunger
How to Clean Bathroom Pipe Blockage

How To Clean Bathroom Pipe Blockage Using Lye?

Step 1. Purchase A High-Quality Commercial Lye

Dengarden.com labels lye as the “ultimate de-clogger” for bathroom pipes. In chemistry, lye is known as sodium hydroxide, and it can be prepared at home. However, raw lye can be damaging to pipes. Therefore, we recommend buying a good quality commercial lye like the Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener.

Step 2. Read The Instructions

Lye is a powerful alkaline solution, so it can cause severe damage to the piping if not used in moderation. Read the instructions on the label attentively to find out the suitable usage amount.

Step 3. Pour & Flush

Drop the appropriate amount of lye into the toilet or drain. If you want, you can try unclogging with a plunger first. The lye will wash out the residuals. However, you can skip the plunging part and apply lye directly. Leave it for the amount of time prescribed on the instruction label. After that, flush with water.

How To Clean Bathroom Pipes Using Plunger?

Step 1. Prepare The Plunger

Just like we did while cleaning bathroom drain pipes, we will apply petroleum jelly along the edges of the plunger’s suction cup. It will enhance the seal and allow the plunger to exert a superior pull.

Step 2. Put The Plunger On The Pipe Opening

Undo the drain screws and take off the drain covering. This will expose the opening of the pipe. Place the suction cup of the plunger on it and start pulling. To improve suction, you can keep the floor submerged. A wet suction cup would impose a stronger grip.

Step 3. Start Plunging

Apply pressure back and forth so that the plunger can pull out the blockage. Keep on doing this until you are convinced the pipe is 100% obstruction-free. We would recommend the Master Plunger MPS4 Sink & Drain Plunger for this.

How To Clean Bathroom Pipe Blockage With Drain Snake?

Step1. Insert The Snake Into The Pipe

A plumber’s snake is a sophisticated plumbing tool that can help you in situations like cleaning bathroom vent pipes and other plumbing emergencies. Uncap the drain and put the snake inside. Keep on turning the handle so that the auger uncoils.

Step 2. Continue Probing Until You Find Obstruction

Continue uncoiling the auger until it reaches the blockage. Once you sense an obstacle, you would have to put on some extra pressure to maneuver the bent regions on the pipe. In the linear portions of the pipe, the snake will navigate effortlessly before hitting the clog.

Step 3. Rotate The Snake To Break The Buildup

When the snake touches the blockage, start rotating it. In doing so, the head of the snake will push through the obstruction and break it up. In the case of hairy clogs, the tip will capture it. If you feel the snake is not dissolving the clog, pull it out and see whether or not it’s stuck with the snakehead.

Step 4. Flush

Run water down the pipe to remove the remaining dirt. If the water doesn’t pass through smoothly, reenter the snake and probe for further blockages. The Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 can be a good pick if you are looking for a plumber’s snake.

How To Clean Bathroom Pipe With Boiling Water?

Step 1. Take Appropriate Amount Of Water

Pick a pot or kettle that can contain at least two liters of water. Pour water to its full capacity. You would need a lot of water to run down the blockage, so don’t hesitate to pick larger pots or kettles.

Step 2. Boil The Water

Fire up your stove and put the pot or kettle on top of it. Within a few minutes, the water should start bubbling, which means the water has been boiled. Are you using an electric kettle? If you are, then make sure the base is dry before you switch it on. Otherwise, you might get an electrical shock.

Step 3. Add Soap (If You Want To)

This is not a mandatory step, but if you want your bathroom drain pipes to be germ-free, we would suggest you go through the extra trouble. Add three tablespoons full of liquid soap or detergent powder to the water and mix it well with a spoon.

Step 4. Flush The Pipe

Remove the drain cap and flush the water down the pipe. Repeat steps one to four a couple of times for dissolving the clog properly.

Using Baking Soda & Vinegar?

You will find vinegar and baking soda in the cabinets of almost every kitchen. You can use these common ingredients to produce a working homemade cleaning agent for your bathroom pipes. Simply add 1/3 cup of vinegar to 1/3 cup of baking soda. Wait a bit for the reaction to happen. Once you see the mixture fizzing, it’s ready for action.

Dump the mixture down the pipe and follow up with a stream of hot water half an hour later. The pipe should clear up. There’s also an alternate way to do this. Instead of mixing the ingredients, you can drop the vinegar and baking soda separately. Then, flush with hot water to complete the cleansing.

What Makes Your Bathroom Pipes Clogged?

For clogged bathroom pipes, the guilty party is mostly hair. When we take a shower or shave, strands of hair make their way into the drain pipe. Gradually, the block gets bigger, and the problem shifts from minor to serious. You can try using hair guards on drains to prevent this from happening.

Soaps are based on fatty acids. When they come in contact with the minerals present in the supply water, it reacts. The result of this process is a layer of sediment buildup over time in the pipes. Unfortunately, soap is so prevalent in our body hygiene products that you can’t do much to prevent this. Just don’t use more soap than necessary.

When we wash off dirt from our bodies or clothes, where do they end up going? Yes, they are supposed to go out of your house through the pipes. But, surprise, surprise! Some of the dirt gets stuck into the pipe. The pile gets larger and larger, and one day, it reaches a level that you would be compelled to take action.

Bathroom pipes are not meant to handle food particles and the oil and grease that come from them. If you often do your dishes on the bathroom sink, you are burdening the bathroom pipes with extra congestive materials. So, stop washing your dishes in the bathroom sink. Don’t do this even occasionally.

What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Bathroom Pipe Blockage?

If you ask us to pinpoint one method to deal with bathroom pipe blockage, we will go with the vinegar and baking soda approach. We like it because it’s economical, safe, less abrasive, and incredibly simple to prepare. On top of that, it has an unbelievable success rate. If you find this method unsuccessful, however, we will suggest using lye or other commercial cleaners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Clean My Pipes Regularly Even If I Don’t Experience Clogs?

It’s a very good idea to schedule regular cleaning for your bathroom pipes even if they don’t appear to have any obstructions. It will minimize the likelihood of developing future clogs and keep the pipes in excellent health. Just flush some hot water down the pipes every week, and use vinegar-baking soda mix every two to three months.

What Are The Signs Of A Clogged Bathroom Pipe?

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms to identify a clogged bathroom pipe:

  • Toilet refuses to flush.
  • The water takes time to drain out in the sink or the shower.
  • You have been getting some unpleasant smell, but you are not sure where it has been coming from.

Conclusion

We have tried to give you a complete rundown on how to clean bathroom pipe blockage. Reading this article, you can hope to remedy your blocked bathroom pipe woes all by yourself. We also hope you picked up the techniques that will delay the clogging process and save you the hassle of executing a thorough clean-up.

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