How to unclog a washing machine drain pipe

If your washing machine drain pump is clogged, this can easily lead to an overflow. You should consider clearing it out with the right tools. A little preparation is important since it can boost the performance of the washing machine.

To unclog a washer’s drainpipe, you can pour hot water into it. This can help with minor clogging. If it does not work, try using a commercial drain cleaner or snaking the drain. A high-pressure cleaner can also help you unclog the drain pipe. Learn more!

What can make the drainpipe of a washing machine clog?

Before you try unclogging the drainpipe, it is important that you first understand why it is clogged in the first place. Different things can lead to the clogging of a machine’s drain pipe. In most cases, the accumulation of soap residue often leads to the clogging of the drain pipe.

Apart from that, placing clothes with lots of oils or grease in the washing machine can make the drainpipe clog. Dryer lint can also prevent a washing machine from draining as expected. When such materials build up, they can cause plumbing issues when left unattended.

The washing machine’s drain pipe can clog slowly over time, especially when using this appliance every day. You should perform regular inspections on the drainpipe so that you can catch this problem early. Taking action fast can also simplify drain cleaning and minimize the extent to which the clog can affect the drain pipe. This task only needs a little effort and time so that the washer’s drain can start flowing freely again.

What to do to unclog a washing machine drain pipe

Get the right tools

You need to get the right plumbing tools for you to repair the clogged drain pipe. Some of the tools that you should consider getting before you start working on the washing machine include wrenches, snakes, pipe cutters, and screwdrivers.

Locate the drain pipe

Once you have all the necessary tools for this task, you should locate the washing machine’s drainpipe. In most washing machines, the drainpipe is found on the back part. This is the pipe that the hose of the washing machine pours into. You should be able to distinguish the drainpipe from the cold and hot water lines that come into the washing machine. These lines are mostly smaller compared to the drain pipe and are often colored.

Pour hot water

After finding the drainpipe or the washing machine, you should try unclogging it using hot water. This can work if the washing is draining slowly and is not entirely clogged. Pouring boiled water down the drainpipe can help clear any scum or soap residue that may be narrowing it. This will only work if you are used to running the washing machine on cold cycles.

If you stay in an area that tends to freeze during winter, the drainpipe of your washing machine can block up with ice. Pouring hot water down the drainpipe can help eliminate the ice buildup. Once you pour hot water into the drainpipe, give it some time and confirm if it is no longer clogged.

Consider using a commercial drain cleaner

If you have tried using hot water and the drainpipe is still clogged, you should consider getting a commercial drain cleaner. The market offers commercial cleaners that can help with minor clogs. Ensure that you get a safe for your drainage system. Avoid powerful commercial cleaners since they may contain components such as sulfuric acid, which can damage the drain pipe. Such commercial cleaners are also not environmental-friendly.

Once you get a good one, you should pour it into the drain pipe. Do not forget to flush the drain after the commercial clears it. Do not leave the cleaner on for so long since it increases the risk of damaging the drain pipe.

Snaking the drain

You can also utilize a drain snake to unclog the drainpipe of a washing machine. You can choose a snake from different lengths based on your preference. Experts recommend getting a medium-length snake that is about 50 feet long to unclog the drain pipe. Such a snake will be simpler to work with compared to a longer or bigger one.

Ensure that you slide the drain snake down the drainpipe until it cannot move further. Once you get to this point, you should be able to feel the resistance and reach the blockage. You should now start turning this drain snake back and forth so that you can clear out all the debris clogging the drain pipe. If the washing machine had some standing water, it is likely to come out during snaking. Once you feel that the drain is clear, you should pull the tool out of it. You can confirm if this method worked by pouring some water down the pipe to check whether it is flowing freely.

Utilize a high-pressure cleaner

For you to unblock the drainpipe with a high-pressure cleaner, you need a sewer hose. Once you get this accessory, you should mount it on the high-pressure cleaner then start pushing it down the drain pipe. You can then spray some water down the drain to flush the blockage.

Why the drainpipe clogs
The tools you need to unclog it
The buildup of soap residue
Leftover dry lint
Pipe cutters


Being able to solve most of the problems common with washing machines can save you time and money. If the drainpipe is clogged, you can unclog it by implementing the techniques that we have discussed above. All the best!


How can one minimize the risk of my washer’s drain pipe clogging?

You can place a lint catcher at the end of the pipe so that it catches the debris. Ensure you wash the lint catcher regularly to promote the free flow of water.

What is a snake?

This refers to a plumbing tool made of a long wire that can go down the drainpipe to help unclog it.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.