What do I do if the washing machine drain is clogged?
Cleaning the siphon
Your first job is cleaning your siphon. It might be that the siphon on the washing machine's drain is clogged. In order to clean it, first, place an empty bucket under the siphon in order to collect water and dirt. Next, unscrew the seal on the bottom and let the water and dirt flow into the bucket. Some siphons don't have a seal on the bottom; in those cases, you should unscrew the entire siphon and rinse it. After cleaning, screw the siphon seal back into place, or reattach it to the drain, and you're ready.
Rinse drainage pipe with soda and boiling water
The clogging might be further down than the siphon. In that case, an affordable and easy option is rinsing the pipe with soda and boiling water. First, remove your washing machine's drainage pipe from the drain. Next, fill a bucket with boiling hot water and add one half to a whole pack of soda. Use a funnel to pour it into the drain. Soda is a natural product that causes all the dirt and grease to come loose. The hot water will then rinse them away.
The drain snake
The next option is using a drain snake. For the best result, first remove the siphon from the drain to enter the drain from that point. Slide the drain snake into the drain until you arrive at the clogging. Now, rotate it using the handle and pull it back and forth to loosen the clogging.
Another possibility is using a drain cleaner. Before using these substances, read the manual carefully, since the product might not be suitable for the material your drain is made of. There are several brands, both in granule form and in liquid variants. Sometimes, it consists of 2 components you pour into the drain one after the other, causing a chemical reaction.
High-pressure drain cleaner
Your last option is using a high-pressure cleaner with a special accessory: the drain hose. It functions similarly to a drain snake, but it uses water under high pressure to flush out the clogging. Do mind that the hose should be long enough to reach the clog. For the use of this accessory, you'll need a high-pressure cleaner too, of course.
Drain still clogged
Unfortunately, you may not be able to resolve a clog yourself in some cases. In such cases, always call on the services of a recognized professional to prevent further damage.
How can you prevent your drain getting clogged?
Prevention is better than cure. This is also the case, of course, for your washing machine's drain. I'll gladly give you a number of tips to prevent clogging.
Time to prevent clogs
- Running a hot wash cycle: Once every 2 to 4 weeks, run an empty cycle at your washing machine's highest temperature. This ensures any leftover detergent and dirt will be thoroughly loosened and rinsed away.
- Soda and boiling water: Soda and boiling water can be used not only to get rid of clogging, but also to prevent it. By rinsing your drain with them once a month, you'll keep your drainage pipe nice and clean.
- Cleaning the siphon: Regularly cleaning the siphon prevents clogging. You can do this periodically together with rinsing with soda.
- Use the right laundry detergent dosage: It's important to use the right laundry detergent dosage. Too much detergent might stick to the washing machine or drain and clog them up.