One of the most frustrating experiences to have in your home is not knowing how to clear a blocked drain. From the water that refuses to drain out to the foul smell it produces, blocked drains are a nightmare.

So, if you’ve been racking your brain on how to clear a blocked drain, you’re in the right place. We’ll not only tell you how to unblock drains, but we’ll also tell you how you can prevent clogged drains in the future.

Now, there’s no way to avoid getting a clogged drain completely. However, there are preventive measures that can help reduce the chances of having one.

But if you still end up with a clogged drain, there are things you can do to clear it up.

How Do Drains Get Blocked?

You can get a clogged drain in the kitchen sink, bathtub, and toilet. And by knowing what causes these clogs, you can avoid having to unblock drains all the time. So, here are a few things that cause clogged drains.

Grease or Cooking Oil

Grease or cooking oil isn’t just bad for your heart, it’s also bad for drainage pipes. Due to its sticky nature, cooking oil can attach itself to the sides of the pipe when washed down, eventually leading to a drain clog.

Avoid pouring grease and oil down your drain altogether but if you must dispose of it in your kitchen sink, run very hot water down first with dishwashing liquid. Keep the hot tap running while you pour the fats down the drain, so they don’t solidify.


Having a few strands of hair going all over the place when washing your hair in the shower might seem inconsequential. However, when these hair strands get into your drain without any obstruction, it can become a problem.

That build-up of hair in a drain will most likely eventually cause a blockage. To prevent this, there are several products that you can use as a filter to stop hair strands from finding their way into your drain.


Many people often think that flushing toiletries such as baby wipes, nappies or toilet paper do not have any adverse effect. Unfortunately, this isn’t completely true.

For instance, flushing excess amounts of toilet paper can cause a clogged drain. This is because the pieces of paper can cling to anything in the drain resulting in a blocked drain. The same happens when you flush baby wipes.

Also, flushing nappies is always a bad idea. In fact, it’s almost impossible for you to flush a nappy successfully. Those stinky items can retain water and expand as a result.

When it expands, it becomes difficult for it to flow down the drain easily. So, we understand you can’t wait to get rid of those nappies, but you may just get a clogged drain as a result.

Food Scraps

If you force food scraps down the sink, then you might need to unblock drains frequently. Food scraps can accumulate over time, eventually causing a blockage. As such, you should use a basket waste or sink strainer plug to stop food scraps from entering the sinkhole.

Trees and Leaves

Having plants around your house has its environmental benefits. However, you need to find a way to control the leaves and the branches falling off the trees. This will ensure that they do not end up in your drain. The accumulation of leaves and twigs in your drain can cause a clogged drain.

Tree and plant roots are the most common cause of blocked drains on the Gold Coast. This happens when thirsty plants and tree roots go looking for water and find a way into your underground pipes via a joint or crack in the pipework.

Mineral Build up

Calcium can build up in your pipe. This typically happens when you have hard water, i.e., water with a high mineral content from calcium, magnesium, or potassium. The hard water will usually build up in pipes and may eventually cause blockages.

Cat litter

Allowing cat litter to wash into the drain can lead to a clump. This clump can completely block a pipe or drain.

Clearing Drain Blockages

Now that we know what could cause blocked drains, let’s find out how to clear up a clogged drain.

There are various methods you can use to unblock drains. These procedures are, however, not foolproof. Depending on the extent and cause of the clogged drain, they may not work.

In cases like that, it’s always best to reach out to a professional drain plumber that provides blocked drain services. You don’t want to turn a messy (and most likely stinky) situation into an even messier one.

So, here are some tips to help with minor blockages.

Boiling Water

One of the simplest ways to unblock drains is to use boiling water. Using this method requires pouring the boiling water into the sinkhole, toilet bowl, e.t.c. Boiling water can break down most clumps made up of items like soaps and food scraps.

For more effectiveness, you can mix the boiling water with detergent. However, if you have a PVC pipe, then you should opt for hot water rather than boiling water.

Natural Cleaners

To unblock drains, you can also use bicarbonate soda and vinegar. Mix these items into boiling water for more effectiveness, and then flush the mixture down the drain.

This method will not be effective if a plastic object or a twig is the cause of the blockage.

Caustic Cleaners

You can unblock drains by using a caustic cleaner, but you would have to be extra careful. This is because of the chemicals contained in these cleaners. When using a caustic cleaner, you will need to pour it into the blocked drain and leave it for a specific time. Then flush with cold water.

Caustic cleaners can dissolve tougher materials such as hair. You should avoid using a caustic cleaner if you have a PVC pipe, old pipes, or pipes with glue in their makeup. It’ll do more harm than good.


Plungers are one of the most common ways to unblock drains. All you need to do is to get a plunger that properly seals around a drainage hole, ensuring pressure.

Then press the plunger up and down over the drainage hole. Doing this will create an air-based force enough to clear obstructions.

Wire Hanger

You can use a wire hanger to unblock drains. You only need to unbend the hanger and make a small hook at one of its ends. You can then insert it into the drain to fish out any object causing a blockage. However, this method is only effective for minor blockages.

Contact Us for Expert Blocked Drain Services

Unclogged drains are a pain, especially when you’ve done everything you can to unblock them. What happens then? You call DCM Plumbing & Drainage if you’re on the Gold Coast!

As professional plumbers, we’ve been clearing blocked drains on the Gold Coast for almost 20 years. And we not only have the skills and experience, but we also have state-of-the-art technology to clear up even the most difficult of clogged drains.

No blockage, no matter how deep, can stand the power and precision of our high-pressure jetters. So contact us today and let us help you clear your blocked drain.