What Causes a Drain To Clog?

From shaving your beard to washing your face, a lot of the things you use your sink for every day can cause it to back up. Some of the most common culprits include:

  • Dirt
  • Food Waste
  • Hair
  • Mineral Buildup
  • Small Objects
  • Soap
  • Toilet Paper Buildup

In most cases, placing a drain guard in your sink can prevent clogs from happening. If a clog occurs regardless, there are a few simple ways to unclog a sink. 

Drain Cleaner

When most of us are faced with a clog, we turn to drain cleaner. This product is able to penetrate the clog, quickly dissolving any gunk, hair, or soap scum. Drain cleaners can be used in your kitchen or bathroom sink, shower, or bathtub, but they should not be used in toilets. Drain cleaners are a simple, quick solution, however, they do contain chemicals that some might not want in their home. 

Washing hands using kitchen faucet

Snaking the Drain

A drain auger, more commonly known as a plumber’s snake, is a smart investment for every home. A relatively inexpensive solution, plumber’s snakes enter the drain directly, physically clearing any obstruction. Snaking the drain is a quick process, but it is not for those with a weak stomach — hair isn’t as pretty after it’s sat in a drain pipe for a few days! 

  1. Feed the snake slowly down the drain and through the pipe. Try to get it in as far as it can go. 
  2. Once the snake is in as far as it can go, twist it around to gather up debris.
  3. Slowly pull the snake back out. Any debris should be wrapped around the snake.
  4. Clean the snake, and repeat if necessary.
  5. Once the drain is clear, flush it using hot water. This will completely clear the drain of debris.


Once you know how to unclog a drain, you’ll be able to take care of this minor inconvenience in a manner of minutes. If these steps aren’t enough to unclog your drain, or if your drain continues to back up, it might be time to call in a professional plumber, such as First Chicago Plumbing. We can handle all of your plumbing needs — planned or unplanned, big or small. Whether your faucet or your pipes need to be repaired, we can get down to the root of the clog. Just contact our team today, and we can help get your sink unclogged!