The Best Way to Fix Clogged Washing Machine Drains

Fixing a clogged washing machine drain can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. It’s important to know what tools to use, and disconnect the proper fixtures. It’s also possible to leave a clogged drain worse off than it was before your DIY attempt. 

That being said, however, being able to unclog washing machine drains on your own is a cost effective way to keep your plumbing costs down at home. You just need to have the proper tools, and a little bit of plumbing know-how. Being able to pick up this skill can keep your washing machine running well for years down the road.

Common Causes of Clogs

It’s important to know why clogs happen, before even attempting to clear them. Being able to recognize the signs of a clog is also important. For instance, is there water pooled at the bottom of your washing machine after a cycle runs? It may be a clog. 

Clogs are mostly the result of three things:

  • Soap residue 
  • Dryer lint and fragments
  • Grease, oils, and other substances that may have come off of your clothing in the wash

Manual Clearing and Snaking the Drain

With the right tools on hand, clearing a clogged drain is actually fairly easy. Without these tools, however, it can be a difficult and thankless job. Here’s what you’ll need to have:

  • Basin and hex-shaped wrenches
  • Industrial drain augers, or “snakes”
  • Wire and pipe cutters
  • Conventional tools, particularly screwdrivers

The first step in manually cleaning the drains is using a screwdriver to take off the drain pipe. This is usually located on the back of the machine. You may also want to have a bucket on-hand, as water in the system may come out once the clog is dislodged. 

Once you’ve removed the drain pipe, you’ll see that there is an additional drain hose to remove from the pipe. This is where most clogs occur. Once you’re able to disconnect the hose from the pipe, you should be able to snake the hose, and clear out any debris. Using a snake to clean out the drain hose is usually an easy, three-step process.

  1. Push the snake through the hose, until you hit the clog. Then use the snake’s turning mechanism to latch on to the debris and start to dislodge the clog. 
  2. Using liquid and the snake’s twisting motion, breakthrough the clog, and push the snake through until you no longer meet resistance. 
  3. Slowly pull the snake out of the hose, bringing any attached debris with it. 


If pulling apart drain pipes and hoses isn’t your thing, there are other options you can try. For instance, you can try to flush out your system with a mixture of baking soda, hot water, and vinegar. The acids in these substances can work to break down clogs, and get your machine running the way it was meant to. Chemical drain clearing products can be hazardous, both to your health and the components in your machine. 

Let the Washing Machine Clog Experts in Northwest Houston fix Your Problem! 

If you’ve got a clog that you just can’t fix, it might be time to call the professionals in. Like any home project, it’s important to know your DIY limits. At Rooter-Man Plumbers, we have the experience and equipment to handle all types of washing machine issues and replacement. Call us today at 281.351.4422.

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