4 Methods to Help Parents Teach Children How to Unclog a Drain


Children clog drain pipes for a variety of reasons. A young child might accidentally clog a toilet by dropping a small toy into it or see a toilet or sink overflow and then try to repeat the event because they enjoyed it. Older children might simply not care about their actions because they believe that a clog is not “their” problem. When teaching children how to unclog drains, you need to help them understand the serious problems that clogs cause and why they should care about those problems. Consider the following four methods for educating them.

4 Methods to Help Parents Teach Children How to Unclog a Drain

Go Into Detail

The best way to start the discussion is by teaching children about how clogs form and the negative potential outcomes before they ever clog a pipe. Spend at least a half-hour with your children going over a list of commonly-used everyday items that cause clogs. For example, you might explain that some small objects like plastic toy soldiers, jacks and cotton swabs do not usually block water or waste on their own but collect hairs and debris until a blockage forms. Additionally, describe the damage and disruptions caused by toilets and sinks overflowing. For example, you might mention bacteria and mold growth and expensive cleanup costs.

Hire a Professional

Children need to learn that there are times when do-it-yourself plumbing repair is not enough. Some companies, like Rapid Rooter Plumbing, know that sometimes the help of a professional is needed. Teach them to respect the complexity of plumbing systems and the value of expertise by hiring a professional plumber when all other options fail.

Set an Example

Never throw anything that can cause clogs down a sink or into a toilet bowl. For example, when you are in a rush, you might be tempted to toss a paper towel, wet wipe or beard trimmings into a toilet or pour grease down a kitchen sink drain. Check your own actions so that you are never faced one day with your children pointing out that you taught them these bad behaviors.

Make Repair Fun

Show your children how to use items found in the kitchen to clear pipes, such as equal parts boiling water, baking soda and vinegar. Another option: turn on accordion music and then playfully push up and down on a black accordion-style plunger when clearing a clog. You might also use a pipe snake that they can help you wriggle around inside of a pipe.


You can prevent clogs and overflow messes caused by children. Use these four easy methods to begin teaching them today.


Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter @RachelleWilber

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