Unclog Your Sink's Drain With Just Zip-ties!




I've certainly seen my share of drain cleaning chemicals and gadgets on the market and not all of them work all that well. If you are on a serious budget like me then the cheap-o, DIY approach is just the thing that's needed! The best part is, all you need are some zip-ties and a diagonal wire cutter.

Lets get to unclogging!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

This step couldn't be easier: grab some zip-ties and a wire cutter. If you happen to have some extra long ones laying about, grab one of them.

Basically, you'll want enough to reach down into the drain trap.

Step 2: Link Up Your Zip-ties.

If you are like me and only have some shorties laying around, you can simply link them together to make a longer tool to reach all the way down into the dark recess of the drain trap where all the nasties are hiding out.

If you are lucky enough to have a really long one, you can skip this step. :)

Step 3: Snip Barbs Into the Zip-tie(s).

Take your wire cutter and carefully snip diagonal slots into the sides of the zip-ties. Cut only about 1/2 way through the width and angle the cuts down towards the bottom. Alternate cuts to maximize the effectiveness of this crude tool.

Step 4: Bend the Barbs.

Gently grab the tips of the slits and bend them outward to create barbs. Don't squeeze hard enough to cut the plastic, just enough to fold it over. You can alternate them and get all fancy if you want.

Step 5: Go Fishin'!

Carefully feed the zip-ties down and into the sink. If you can remove the stopper, all the better as this will allow you more direct access. If the stopper is still in, you might have a difficult time feeding the linked joints into the drain. This is why one long one is better.

If the zip-ties want to ratchet down, give them a little assist by holding the joints and pushing down.

Feed this baby all the way down and into the drain trap.

Move the whole thing with an up and down motion, as well as circular. We're fishing for gunk and want to hook as much of it onto the barbs as possible.

Step 6: Pull It Out and Get Grossed Out.

Slowly pull out the entire contraption along with the clog. This stuff is nasty, and you'll be happy you were wearing gloves. You are wearing gloves, right?!

You can repeat the fishing steps if you feel like there's more gunk down in there, but most of it will come out with the first fishing.

Toss out your cheap-o tool and the ball of gunk, wash your sink and wash your hands. You're done!



    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    11 Discussions


    Question 6 months ago on Step 2

    Do you cut off the ends where you hooked the zip ties together?


    2 years ago

    I did this today and started the process, then followed up with an 1940's trick. 1 Pan of BOILING HOT water with liquid detergent added just before dumping down the drain.

    doo da do

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I was able to get a really long one from a large diameter steel pole, it was formerly used for a a coke sign. Works like a charm. Doodado


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I did this last night with my bathroom sink and almost puked when a HUGE blob of hair come out of the drain.
    I paid $1.00 for 100 zip ties at dollar store.

    2 replies
    doo da doLola1974

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If you are in a real pinch straighten out a coat hanger and make a small hook on one end. I love that dollar store, you can get many different things for almost nothing.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've actually done this before, I just used a strip of straight plastic though and notched it. Hair fishing.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You know someone is going to want to patent this....  Like all good ideas, you thought of it first, ten years ago.

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    HAHAHA!! No way! I'm-a-gunna git sued. ;)

    This is hilarious. I wonder if I thought up this myself or if I saw one in the store and filed it away in the back of my brain. The video on the page is super funny too.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Figures...  At least jovino has pointed out the ease and cheaper way of doing it without having to pay someone to have it pre-made.