When the water starts pooling around your feet in the shower or the sink is taking a long time to drain, you know that you’ve probably got a clogged drain on your hands. What happens when the plunger fails you but you don’t want to have to result to calling in a plumber? Check out some easy and creative ways that you can unclog drains on your own:

  1. The Bent Wire Hanger: take a wire hanger and straighten it out as much as possible. Bend one end to create a small hook, then push that past the drain cover to start fishing. You should be able to pull out the hair and anything else that’s blocking the drain. Also, always pull gunk out. Try to avoid pushing it further in. Run hot water when you’re done.
  2. Boiling Water: slowly pour boiling water down the drain in 2 or 3 stages. Allow the water to work for several seconds after each pour.
  3. The Drain Snake: check out this how-to video for using a pretty inexpensive, low tech piece of equipment:
  4. Salt and Baking Soda: mix together 1/2 cup of table salt and 1/2 cup baking soda. Pour this down the drain and leave it for 10-20 minutes before pouring boiling water down it.

Find more helpful tips for your most difficult clogs over at Wise Bread’s 10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains.