‘Great technique’ to ‘break down’ drain blockages using ‘cupboard item’

Mrs Hinch's best tips for clearing your sink drains

A blocked drain is a pesky ordeal that many will eventually have to face. Whether it is an obvious blockage or household fine mysterious and foul smells coming from their plug hole, they are a real inconvenience that isn’t always solved with a handy plunger. 

For those who have tried using a plunger and this method isn’t working, there are other “magical ways” to restore a drain back to its wonderful self, according to bathroom experts at Victorian Plumbing.

Baking soda and white vinegar

White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are staples to cleaning routines that can be used for most problems and in this case, heavy blockages. 

With just a few teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and 500ml of white vinegar, a “blockage may be gone”.

Add three teaspoons of baking soda into the drain and slowly pour in 500ml of white vinegar. Leave this for five minutes so that they can react and begin to “break down” any buildup. 

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Whilst this is happening, boil a full kettle of water. Once five minutes have passed, pour the boiling water down the sink to flush the blockage. This can be repeated if needed.

Washing powder 

The plumbing experts noted that there may be “other items in the cupboard that are versatile” enough to be used to unblock drains, such as a biological washing powder. 

They said: “Using washing powder to unblock a sink is a great technique due to the enzymes it contains. 

“These enzymes are used to break down fats, oils and grease in your clothes, which is why it can be used to unblock your sink.”

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Again, use three teaspoons of washing powder to put down the drain and immediately flush this through with a full kettle of boiling water and repeat the process if there is still slight blockage.


Known as a painkiller, Alka-Seltzer is a low-cost solution to unblock drains that gets to work in five minutes.

The plumbing pros said: “Another common household item that can also be used for unblocking your drain is Alka-Seltzer tablets.”

Pop two tablets into the plug hole and follow this up with 500ml of white vinegar to help lift tough grease and buildup that can be found down there. 

Give this another five minutes to take effect and then flush it through with another full kettle of boiling water. Again, repeat this if it is needed.

Bleach and water

If it has come to the last resort before ripping out the pipes, bleach and hot water could be the answer. 

Ensure your safety when using bleach by taking precautions such as wearing gloves and being careful not to breathe in fumes or get any in your eyes.

Get 250ml of bleach and pour it down the drain. After, get a kettle of boiling water and slowly pour it through the bleach so that it can begin to lift any mould and dirt.

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