Boys are fun to raise. With that being said, mud and dirt come with the territory. I am certainly not against getting dirty. In fact, I encourage my boys to play outside frequently. But I am against dirt and mud in my sink.

Recently, we discovered our bathroom sink was clogged. After asking, one brother (in true brotherly fashion) told on the other. My youngest son thought his muddy shoes needed cleaning in the sink.

My husband wanted to buy drain cleaner, but we are on a septic system. I’m not crazy about a bunch of chemicals messing up the pH balance of the septic system, so I thought I would try a DIY cleaner. Guess what? It worked!

Depending on how bad the clog is, it may take 24 hours to unclog (ours was really bad).

Here’s what you need:

Baking soda.

White vinegar.


Dawn dish soap (if needed).

Plunger (if needed).

First, get all the standing water out of your sink. I had to use towels to soak up the water. Then dump ½ cup of baking soda in your drain. My drain was so clogged, we couldn’t even get the baking soda down it at first.

After that, dump ½ cup of vinegar. It will start fizzing like crazy. This is kind of neat to watch. Invite the kids in.

The fizz brings up gross stuff like sludge and hair. If you can, use a paper towel or toilet paper to get any solids out.

While fizzing, get one cup of hot water boiling. Once it boils and the fizzing stops, dump the hot water down the drain.

This is enough to unclog most drains. I say most drains because if you had mud in yours, you will need to do a little more. The hot water didn’t go down my drain. It literally sat there for about 12 hours before the cup of water finally drained.

My husband was getting antsy, and I agreed that maybe a DIY wasn’t going to cut it this time. But then I had an idea. What about Dawn dish soap? It would break down any fats in the drain and provide lubrication for the clogs to get through the pipe. I dumped ¼ cup down the drain. After an hour, I added one cup of boiling water.

After a few hours there was still no hope, so I used the plunger (so gross). All that happened was dirty water came up. However, this must have helped some of my Dawn soap get closer to the clog. A few hours later, my sink still had water in it. I plunged it again and voila! All the water went down. I turned the faucet on and the water flowed freely down the pipe.

I was so excited that I called my husband in to see my magical DIY. He was impressed that I had unclogged the drain. He admitted he didn’t think my DIY would work. Secretly, I had my own doubts, but now we know how to unclog the most stubborn drains. And, of course, this was a great teachable moment on why we do not clean muddy shoes in the bathroom sink. Until next time, happy drain cleaning.

Larry Mitchell, Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI, VLB

254 681 5115 Cell

254 226 3362 Direct Line

Jim Wright Company

3800 South W. S. Young Drive

Killeen, Texas  76542

Kindra Warner is a Herald correspondent. Contact her at