There's nothing worse than sluggish drains. That is, until sluggish turns into a full-blown clog. Once your drains are clogged, you're not going to get anything to flow. If you've tried the plunger, but the clog is still there, you might be tempted to reach for the chemical drain cleaners. Unfortunately, that's probably the worse thing you can do in this situation. The harsh chemicals probably won't do much to clear the clog, but they will wreak havoc on your drains. Not only that, but if they build up on top of your clog, you're going to get a face full of chemicals if the clog backs up, or you try to use your plunger again. If your drains are at a standstill, you've got your work cut out for you, but you can clear the clog. Here are some instructions that will help you get the water flowing through your drains again.

Identify the Culprit

If you're dealing with a drain stoppage, the first thing you need to do is identify the culprit. That doesn't mean you need to disconnect your drains and look inside. It does mean that you need to consider which drain in your house has the stoppage. By identifying the affected drain, you'll be able to narrow down the possible causes. If your kitchen drain is affected, you're probably dealing with a clog that consists of food particles, fat, and grease. Your bathroom drains are probably clogged with soap scum and hair.

Take Evasive Action

Once you've identified the culprit, you'll be able to get started clearing the drains. You're going to need to gather some supplies though. For kitchen clogs, you'll need dish soap and water. For your bathroom drains, you'll need salt and water. You'll also need a plunger for both types of clogs. To clear your kitchen drain, you'll need to boil about a gallon of water and add about 2 tablespoons of grease-cutting dish detergent. The hot water will melt the fat and the detergent will dissolve it. Once the water is boiling, slowly pour it down the drain. Use your plunger to carefully push the water through the drain. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times. For the bathroom sinks, pour 1 cup of salt down the drain and let it sit for about five minutes. Flush with boiling water. Repeat if necessary.

Call for Professional Help

If the measures described above fail to clear the drains, you've got a significant clog deep in your plumbing. For this type of problem, you're going to need professional plumbing assistance help. Call a plumber near you and have them come out as soon as possible. Once the drains are cleared, you can use the tips provided earlier to keep your drains clean and avoid future clogs. Simply follow the procedures about once a month to keep fat, soap scum and hair out of your drains.