What are the Best Drain Unblockers? DIY Guide to Unblocking Your Drain

What are the Best Drain Unblockers? DIY Guide to Unblocking Your Drain

You turn on the shower or prepare to do the dishes, and instead of being met by the usual fast-draining water, you get a backed up plug, and you simply can’t get rid of it. When your drain is blocked, it can be stressful and incredibly inconvenient, but we have an excellent solution for you.

Drain unblocker is the way to go when you are struggling to get things flowing normally again. Using them is pretty simple, but knowing which one to use can be a more troubling task.

There are so many different types of drain unblocker out there, but also a whole load of blockages that need different care and attention. So, which one do you use and how are you supposed to tackle it?

That’s why we are here to lend some assistance, not just with unblocking advice, but also the products you need. 

In order to help you find the best drain unblocker UK, we have put this guide together, compiling all of the relevant drain unblocker reviews in one place so that you can find the one that will fix all of your pipe problems. 

Which Drain Cleaner Works Best? 

We have so many drain cleaners that we absolutely love, but which one is the best? In the product section at the end, you can read about all of our top picks and why we have chosen them, but I’ll give you a little preview.

Editor's Pick

Scotch is a powerful solution that works quickly - A great all rounder for  around £10. 

Best Drain Unblocker for Hair – Scotch

Our favourite drain cleaner has to be Scotch. It’s powerful, works quickly, and can get rid of everything from kitchen grease to hair that is blocking up the shower drain. It is safe to use on multiple drains and pipes within your home, and you even have the choice to buy it in bulk if you want.

Due to its strength and the speed at which it works, it gets our vote for the best out there. Here are our top five drain unblockers for you to take a quick look at: Scotch, Buster, HG, Mr Muscle, PAL.

You can find each of these brands in the product area below with detailed reviews to help you make the best decision. 

Also Read: Great Rainfall Showerheads

How Do You Clear a Clogged Waste Pipe? 

These are particularly frustrating, and it is important to know how to get them clear and running smoothly again. Below, we have a few pieces of advice so that you are better informed and able to carry the task out yourself. 

#1 Using Chemicals 

Pretty much every drain unblocker you pick up in the store is made of different chemicals mixed together, and this is what makes them so good at clearing drains and getting the water running freely again.

The application is simple, just follow the instructions on the back of the packet and rinse the drain with boiling water afterwards. You can find all of our favourites in the product section. 

#2 Using Natural Solutions 

If you don’t fancy using chemicals to clear your drain, there are a few natural solutions that might be able to fix the problem, more on that later where we detail the best natural DIY solution for unblocking your drains.

#3 Using Tools 

Sometimes you can get rid of a blockage using specific tools that have been designed to slide down the drain and hook these things out.

They tend to be pretty cheap, and you can read more about them in one of the sections below. One of our favourite tools is even in the product review area for you to look at. 

#4 Removing the Waste Trap (Kitchen Sink)

When drain unblocker hasn’t worked on your kitchen sink, removing the waste trap might be the only option left for you. Before you unscrew this little bend, put a basin under it so that it can catch anything that falls out, and then remove it.

Empty the contents out and give it a quick scrub before screwing it back on and testing the drain out to make sure everything is flowing smoothly. 

#5 Calling the Plumber Out 

If every method above has failed to clear your drain, you are going to need the professionals to come out and take a look at things.

A plumber will be able to determine if there is a more severe issue that needs to be addressed, like tree roots growing into the pipes, or a really packed blockage that needs a more invasive approach in order for it to be removed. 

Also Read: Best Shower Drain Hair Catchers

Does Caustic Soda Dissolve Hair?

This particular chemical is pretty powerful, and it can dissolve almost anything that is natural – including hair (a paintbrush made with hair will last less than 20 seconds when dipped in caustic soda).

This isn’t all though, as it has been known to dissolve skin and can even remove fingerprints from your hands, as well as burn the skin horribly.

This is why you should always wear gloves and safety goggles when using it, because while it is incredibly effective on drains, it can also cause a lot of damage to your skin and body.

It does, however, practically guarantee that you will have a good drain unblocking experience when you use it, just make sure you check that it can be used with your piping and drain before you buy it as there might be restrictions due to the strength of the product.  You can get a tub of caustic soda at a reasonable deal here

How Do You Unblock a Shower Drain Naturally? 

There are a few ways you can unblock a shower drain naturally – it depends on how severe the clog is and what you have available to you at the time. Here are some of the natural methods that we find work best for you to flick through. 

#1 Boiling Water 

This is often the simplest fix for minor clogs in your drain, and if it is small enough, you should find that this solves everything. All you need to do is fill the kettle up, boil it, and then steadily pour the entire thing down the drain.

The heat of the water is usually enough to remove scum and grunge, or separate small blockages so that the drain is left clear and flowing smoothly again. 

#2 Vinegar and Baking Soda 

This is a really good natural solution for tougher clogs, and it can work pretty well if you don’t want to use chemicals on your drain. First, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen things up a little, and then pour half a cup of baking soda down after it.

Let it sit for a few minutes before you get a cup of white vinegar and mix it with a little hot water and pour it into the drain. Leave it for around 15 minutes, and then rinse it out thoroughly with hot water. It also deodorises the drain to get rid of any odours that might be lingering.

Drain Unblocker Tools 

If you want to try using a few tools to unblock your drain, it is important to select the right one for the job, and we have compiled a great selection of them for you to read more about so that you are better informed. 

#1 Hooks

This method isn’t great for things like mineral deposits, but it is ideal for hair and other such blockages. One of the oldest methods, it has a good rate of success, and it can even be performed with a coat hanger (although we would recommend an official kit).

All you need to do is gently slide it down the drain and try to hook any blockages that you find down there before pulling them out. 

#2 Plumber’s Snake 

This is also a great tool to get your hands on, and provides a pretty cheap way to try and unblock your drain – although it may not be suitable for use with all clogs.

The process is simple; you just need to slide the snake down the drain until you reach the blockage. Once there, twist the handle, and the snake will grab onto it so that you can pull it out – a bit like a fancy hook. 

You can pick one of these up from Amazon for around a tenner - click here

#3 Plunger 

The success rate of this method really does depend on the type of blockage you are dealing with, but it could leave you pleasantly surprised – plus, it’s really cheap so always worth a shot.

The secret to plunging your shower is to do so with great strength and vigour, because you won’t get any results with gentle effort. For maximum suction, you can also try lacing the outer edge with Vaseline as this will improve the grip.  Available from many high street retailers and Homebase, but we love this one for around £5 , it a tint compact plunger but as you will see from customer reviews it a must have for under the kitchen sink.

Symptoms of a Clogged Shower Drain

Here are some of the symptoms of a clogged shower drain you should be looking out for regularly – the earlier you catch it, the easier it will be to fix: 

  • Slow draining (or no draining)
  • An unpleasant odour 

Honestly, there are not many symptoms, and you will usually only realise that you have a blockage when you are in the shower and find your feet are completely covered by the water.

At this point, probably take action, or the blockage will only get worse and potentially cause damage to your pipes – that’s why we have a selection of unblockers for you below.

Sometimes, you might notice a bad odour first as organic material clings to the inside of your drain, but this is not a particularly common first sign that your drain is clogged. 

How to Prevent Future Clogs 

There is little more frustrating than a clogged drain, and so knowing how to prevent them from happening in the first place is really handy. Here are a few tips for avoiding drain clogs (or trying to) in the future:

  • Get a drain catcher for hair and debris to cover the drain when in the shower or washing dishes in the kitchen.
  • Invest in a good soap holder to prevent lumps from falling down the drain, but also to prevent accidents from happening (such as slipping over).
  • Keep your drain regularly maintained with a natural or chemical drain unblocker, a monthly cleaning is usually recommended. 
  • Don’t pour grease down the sink. Wait for it to solidify and then throw it in the bin with the rest of your waste. 

What Causes a Drain to Become Clogged? 

Of course, the big question is what exactly causes your drain to get clogged in the first place? The quick answer to that is there are many factors that can cause this, but we are here to give you the details on the subject, helping you to learn more about the way your plumbing works. 

  • Clumps of knotted hair (pet and human). This happens most if one or more people in the home have long hair, and it usually ends up matted with any grease or soap in the drain. 
  • Grease and fat. Grease from the frying pan should never be poured down the drain as it can solidify and cause a pretty solid blockage in your pipes that will need serious attention.
  • Dirt. This is especially important if you have pets that get muddy and need a wash. We don’t really think about it sliding down the drain and the blockages it can cause over time. 
  • Soap scum. Normal soap contains grease and fat, two things that like to stick around when washed away, and when combined with minerals they form a hard residue. 
  • Mineral build-ups. Many of these minerals dissolve in water, but they find ways to stick to the inside of your drain and pipes where they build up over time and cause clogs to occur. 
  • Tree roots. Even the smallest crack or leak will invite tree roots to make their way inside, and as they grow, they can cause severe damage and even block water flow completely. 

Best Drain Unblocker for Hair – Scotch

Scotch is a big brand, and one that has proven itself time and time again.

When your drain gets clogged with hair (pet and human alike) it can be a real pain to get clear again, and that is why we have chosen a drain unblocker that is powerful and ready for action, so take a good look. 

The Good

This particular drain unblocker comes in a 1L bottle and as a single pack, although you have the option to purchase up to 12 in a bulk order – keeping your home stocked up and ready, which is particularly useful if you have muddy pets to rinse off.

It is one of the strongest formulas on the market as well, so you are assured success with every use. It doesn’t just push the hair down and out either; it actually dissolves it in the drain so that you have a completely clear system.

It even works to tackle grease, completely melting it, which is ideal if you fancy using it for the kitchen sink as well. The fact that it is able to get rid of two of the biggest clogs really works in its favour, and it works quickly, so you can get back to full functionality faster. 

The Not So Good

Some customers feel that it is quite expensive to buy, especially when compared with other brands. 

Our View

This drain unblocker is incredibly powerful and effective, making it one of the best on the market for removing hair and grease from drains.

While there are some who found it quite expensive, they all noted that it worked really well, and you don’t have to use the entire bottle on one blockage (unless it’s really severe). It is quick to act and easy to use as well as rinse out after, and so definitely worth spending a little extra. 

Q. How much do you need to use at any one time?

A. At one time it is suggested to use half the bottle to unblock the shower leave it overnight then flush it out with boiling water.

Best Drain Unblocker for the Shower – Mr Muscle

Mr Muscle has been a household name for decades, and for a good reason. 

It has always been a strong and effective drain unblocker, so if you find that your shower is clogged up, this could be the best one to go for.

Check out the reviews below and see what you think of this excellent product. 

The Good

This particular drain unblocker comes in a twin pack, with each bottle containing 500ml – perfect for severe blockages or for regular maintenance of your shower drain. 

One of the most important features that this cleaner has is that it is safe for use with all piping, making it multi-functional and ideal for use in every room.

It comes in gel form, which is easy to insert into the drain, and it works fast to get rid of grunge, hair, and grease effectively.

While it will clean your shower drain nicely, it will also remove any foul odours that might be lurking down there – leaving it smelling fresh ready for your next shower. If your shower had a slow running drain before, this unblocker promises to rectify it. 

The Not So Good

Some customers found this one quite tricky to get open, and a couple even ended up cutting a hole in the bottle. 

Our View

This one shot drain unblocker comes at a pretty good price, especially considering there are two bottles in the pack.

While there are some that have noted the bottles can be really hard to open (even resorting to cutting it open) at least you know it is child safe, and it doesn’t affect how well the product works. Ideal for showers, and the rest of your home, it’s a fast-acting solution to any blockage. 

Best Drain Unblocker for the Sink – Generique

If you are searching for the best drain unblocker UK, caustic soda might be your best bet.

We have talked about it before in the advice section, and now you can take a look at our top pick for caustic powder that can unblock your sink.

Have a look, see what you think, and maybe pick some up. 

The Good

This twin pack of caustic soda weighs in for a total of 1kg, meaning that you will have more than enough to keep your sink clear and ensure that it all flows smoothly again. 

It is incredibly strong, and it is also safe to use on all pipes – so if more than just your sink is clogged up, you have the perfect solution for getting the whole home back on track.

The reason it works so well on the sink pipes is that caustic soda is made for the removal of grease, so it will completely blast it from your drain in a relatively quick amount of time – just follow the clear instructions on the back of the container.

It is so strong that it can even be used for patio cleaning and weed removal, just make sure to wear gloves when using it as it can burn skin. 

The Not So Good

A few customers felt a little nervous using it because it is such a strong chemical. 

Our View

This drain unblocker is perfect for pretty much any drain in your home, and outside it, and it also comes at a pretty low price. While there are some who felt a little nervous while using it, as long as you are wearing gloves and don’t get any on your skin there is nothing to worry about.

Similarly, if you use it on an external drain, wear safety glasses just in case the wind decides to pick up. Overall, it makes for a great drain unblocker for any situation. 

Best Drain Unblocker for the Bath – Buster

Just like the shower, the bath can get clogged pretty easily – especially if there is a lot of hair and soapy scum getting down the drain.

To tackle blockages like this, you need something powerful, and Buster is one of the leading brands. Have a look at the reviews below and see what you think of it. 

The Good

This drain unblocker comes in a pack of six, each of which contains 300ml of liquid so that you can get started right away.

It is good for use on drains that are fully clogged, as well as those that are slow moving due to build-up starting. 

Made to be powerful, it will dissolve any hair that it down the bath drain, as well as soap scum and any other debris that has built up in there.

It has been designed to be used on showers, baths, and basins, so your entire bathroom is covered by this pack of drain unblocker, and the instructions are really easy to follow with a strong and effective solution to get things back to normal.

While normally used for unblocking drains, you can also use a small amount for regular maintenance so that things remain clear. 

The Not So Good

Some customers have noted that it can be a little slow to start working, especially with severe blockages. 

Our View

This drain unblocker doesn’t just come from a reputable brand; it is also really cost-effective because it comes in a handy six-pack. While it has been stated that it can be a little slow to work, the results are absolutely fantastic and well worth waiting a little longer for.

It’s a powerful solution that will eliminate hair and scum in your drain, leaving it fresher and cleaner than ever before. Plus, it can be used as a preventative measure – which is great if your bath gets a lot of use. 

Best Drain Unblocker for Outside Drains – Jeyes

The outside drains need love too, and it is pretty normal for them to end up clogged at some point.

To help you out, we have picked our favourite outdoor drain unblocker so that you can ensure it works well the first time.

Take a look below and see if this is going to be the one for you. 

The Good

This drain unblocker comes in a 500ml bottle, which is more than enough to take action on any blockages in your drain. 

It is a thick gel that will cling to the entirety of the drain, wrapping itself around the blockages and working to dissolve them so that you have free flow again. It will even deodorise the drain to remove any foul odours.

This particular drain unblocker will dissolve grease, hair, soap scum, food, and even leaves, so there really isn’t anything this particular cleaner can’t work on when clearing the external drain.

It works incredibly fast as well, ensuring that within 30 minutes you are able to see the water running normally again – or overnight for those really difficult blockages – after rinsing. 

The Not So Good

Some customers found that they needed a few bottles for the really bad clogs. 

Our View

This drain unblocker comes at a pretty reasonable price, and is perfectly suited for use outside. While some customers found they needed a few bottles for their blockages, this is not a common occurrence, and so you should be fine with just one.

It doesn’t just unblock the drain either, it also leaves it with a fresh smell and gets rid of whatever was causing the foul one. A fantastic choice to make for any outdoor drain. 

Q. Can you use this on an inside drain aswell as an outside drain?

A. Although it is sold as an outside drain product, there should be no problem using it inside aswell. 

Best Toilet Drain Unblocker – PAL UK

What do you do when the toilet is blocked, and the plunger has failed you? Your first instinct might be to call a plumber out, but first, you should try some unblocker- and we have just the one for you. 

Have a good read of the reviews below and see what you make of our top toilet drain unblocker. 

The Good

This particular drain unblocker has been designed as a last resort before calling the plumber, so you know it has pulled out all the stops in order to ensure strength.

Additionally, it is used by professionals, which means that it is stronger than most standard drain unblockers, and it comes in a large 1L bottle so that you have plenty to use.

It is safe to use on plastic, ceramic, and rubber equipment meaning that all toilets are suitable for this particular drain cleaner. The way it works is by dissolving the blockage by generating heat as soon as it comes into contact with the water.

Due to the high-specific gravity contained within the liquid, it is able to make its way down and through the water to the source of the blockage. 

The Not So Good

Some customers have noted that it is quite expensive when compared to other drain unblockers. 

Our View

This drain unblocker is the perfect last resort when your toilet is blocked, and you don’t want to call the professionals out just yet. While there have been some comments about the price, when you consider how powerful the product is, and how effective it is, you won’t feel cheated in any way.

It’s safe to use on any toilet, and it promises to work hard to unblock whatever is stuck down there. With this, you might not need a plumber after all. 

Best Heavy Duty Drain Unblocker - HG

There are some blockages that just need something extra in order to get loose, and this is where our best drain unblocker for those really heavy-duty tasks comes in.

If this is the kind of thing you need for your home, make sure you take a look at the reviews below and maybe pick a pack up. 

The Good

With this drain unblocker, you have a choice, because you can either pick up a single 1L box, or you can get as many as three so that you are fully prepared for current or future blockages. 

This particular product uses two separate cleaners that you will pour down your drain to create the ultimate and most powerful unblocker around, and it is safe for use on all pipes in your home.

It does not splash or foam when you pour it down the drain, so there is no stress when you go to use it, and it will just get straight to work.

It can get rid of anything from hair and grease, to soap scum and toothpaste, and even the biggest blockages can be broken down by this beast. The instructions for both bottles are also very clear, so you will find using them incredibly simple. 

The Not So Good

Some customers were disappointed that it needed to be left overnight to soak. 

Our View

This drain unblocker is incredibly effective and comes at a great price, making it ideal for difficult blockages in your home.

While there are some who were a little displeased with the fact it needs to be left overnight, but for blockages that need a heavy-duty cleaner, you can’t expect really quick results.

This drain unblocker does what it says it will, and that is the most important thing, as well as one of its biggest advantages. Overall, it’s an excellent cleaner to choose. 

Further Models of Rain Shower Head

Here are some further models of drain unblocker for you to look at, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements.

Best Drain Unblocker Liquid - HG

Another drain unblocker from HG, this liquid saviour is sure to leave you feeling quite satisfied with the end results. Ready to use, all you need to do is pour it into the drain and leave it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing it out with hot water.

When you do pour it into the drain, it won’t foam or splash, making it a tidy product to use, and it also guarantees that it won’t make the blockage worse – unlike granular unblocker.

It works on every form of waster pipe as well, making it a versatile product to choose, and it will even remove any foul odours for the perfect finish. Available at a low price, this miracle worker is sure to end up at the top of your list. 

Best Drain Unblocker for Fat – Buster 

Once again, we take a look at Buster, but this time we have a drain unblocker that can tackle our work enemy – fat.

We have all ended up chucking things down the sink that we shouldn’t, whether it’s because we were feeling lazy or simply didn’t realise at the time. If your pipes have ended up clogged with fat, this little bottle is just the thing you need. 

After pouring the whole bottle down the sink, you can leave it for 15 minutes or overnight (it depends on how bad the clog is) and then rinse it out with hot water once ready. 

Powerful and ready for action, it breaks down the organic material and leaves your pipes cleaner than ever. It might be a little pricey, but it is worth it. 

Best Drain Unblocker Tool – Silverline

There are times when you need a tool to unblock the sink as opposed to liquids and granules, and this is where the Silverline drain unblocker comes in.

All you need to do is hand-feed the spiral rod down the drain using the rotating handle. Using the pistol grip, you can clear stubborn clogs and blockages with great ease.

The whole system is very easy to use, and the ergonomic design means that it is also comfortable to hold.

The ideal combination of simplicity and functionality can be found in this model, and it comes to you at an incredibly cheap price. 

Best External Drain Unblocker – Envii 

This massive 5L container is ideal for external drains and will help to keep them clear and running smoothly at all times.

It has been made with a specially selected and mixed blend of bacteria and enzymes that work fast to eliminate grease, fat, and oil that have become clogged in your pipes.

Not only is it incredibly powerful, but it is also professional-grade for really quick and effective results, protecting you from future blockages, but also leaving the drain with a much pleasanter aroma.

Ready to use, it comes pre-mixed, and at a price you won’t want to miss out on. 

Best Drain Unblocker for the Kitchen – Mr Muscle 

Back to the classics, this is another drain unblocker from Mr Muscle, but this time it has been designed to deal with your kitchen – although this product will also work wonders on your bathroom pipes.

As soon as the liquid is poured into the drain, the two main ingredients are activated and produce a strong cleaning foam that will cleanse the entire width of your pipes; breaking down grime and debris to leave things clearer than before.

After leaving it for 15 minutes or overnight (depending on how bad the blockage is) just rinse it with hot water and you’ll be back in action. For a twin pack of this cleaning wonder, you’re getting it at a pretty good price. 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to help you discover the best drain unblocker for your needs, and the drain unblocker reviews have allowed you to make an informed choice.

When you are accompanied by the products we have listed here, you are sure to be an unstoppable cleaning team that can conquer any blockage – no matter how big or small it may be. With a range of brands and prices, we have something for everyone.

What did you think of our drain unblocker guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below.