Learning how to clear a clogged drain can save you money and avoid inconvenience. Drains usually begin to clog slowly with hair that traps soap particles and other debris. Eventually this can build up to a solid mass of soap that completely clogs the drain.There is advance warning when you find the sink or tub needs a longer time to drain. The best time to clear a drain clogged with soap is before it becomes a solid mass and the water can't drain at all. There are a number of ways for a homeowner to do this without calling a plumber.
Bathtub and Sink Drains
Use a plunger that is in good condition, not warped with over-use and is capable of maintaining an airtight seal over the drain.
Fill the bathtub with enough hot water to cover the head of the plunger and fit it over the soap-clogged drain hole. Make certain the rubber seal of the plunger head is placed so that it covers the drain with an airtight seal. If your tub has an open drain hole, usually found in the front of the tub underneath the faucet, place a large wet towel over it .
Maintain the airtight seal of the plunger over the drain and press downward with sharp, energetic strokes. This creates blasts of air pressure that usually can dislodge soap-clogged drains.
Clean the hand sink by filling it with hot water to a height that covers the head of the plunger.
Seal the overflow valve that is located under the faucet on the back wall of the sink with a heavy cloth that completely covers the overflow valve. A second person is required to hold the cloth seal in place.
Place the rubber seal of the plunger head over the drain hole. Maintain an airtight seal and push the plunger down sharply with rhythmic strokes to create blasts of air pressure in the drain. The suction action can usually dislodge a soap clog.
Alternative Drain Openers
Mix 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup white vinegar.
Pour the solution slowly down the center of the drain and then cover the drain with a wet towel.
Wait 15 minutes, remove the drain cover and pour several gallons of boiling water slowly, steadily and directly down the drain.
Clean Drain Hole
Remove the screw in the middle of the tub drain screen.
Use a bent clothes-hanger to pull out clogs of hair and solidified soap scum. Replace the tub drain screen.
Raise the lever to the open position for the tub drain if the tub does not have a drain screen, then pull the stopper from the drain hole. Use your fingers and a bent clothes-hanger to remove all hair and soap build-up.