If you are experiencing a clogged drain, you may be tempted to call a professional plumber right away. However, there is a simple and inexpensive way to unclog your drain that you can try first: using baking soda and vinegar.
What’s nice about this solution is that its incredibly cheap and has always worked for me. Additionally it is non-toxic and doesn’t leave any chemical residue on the shower floor or fuming out of your kitchen or bathroom sink. It works incredibly well and fast and all you need is baking soda and white vinegar to make it happen.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain, as well as how to use boiling hot water to push the clog through if this method doesn’t work.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Boiling water (optional)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
- Plunger (optional)
- Bucket (optional)
Step 1: Remove standing water If you have standing water in your sink or bathtub, remove as much of it as possible. You can use a bucket or a cup to scoop out the water. If you can’t remove all the water, don’t worry – this method can still work.
Step 2: Pour baking soda down the drain Measure out 1/2 cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Make sure you pour it down the center of the drain, rather than around the edges.
Step 3: Pour vinegar down the drain Measure out 1 cup of vinegar and pour it down the drain on top of the baking soda. You will notice that the mixture will start to fizz and bubble – this is normal and means the reaction is working to break down the clog.
Step 4: Let the mixture sit Allow the baking soda and vinegar mixture to sit in the drain for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight if possible. This will give the mixture time to break down the clog.
Please note: This may work just fine, so try these steps first and let it sit and see how much burning occurs. Your drain may flow through just fine after this. If it doesn’t work, I then recommend starting over from scratch and pouring baking soda and vinegar in again and then adding step 5 (boiling hot water) into the mix to really push it through.
Step 5: Flush with boiling water If the clog is still present after the baking soda and vinegar mixture has sat for some time, you can try flushing it out with boiling hot water. Heat up a pot of water on the stove until it reaches boiling point, and then carefully pour it down the drain. This will help to push the clog through and break it up.
If the clog is still present after trying these methods, you may need to repeat the process or consider using a plunger. It’s important to note that you should never use chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage your pipes and be harmful to the environment.
I have lived in some older buildings and had some drains that haven’t been cleaned for years and I have not once not been able to use baking soda, vinegar on top, boiling hot water and a plunger to unclog these drains.
I have also found that it is worth simply pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain every few months just to keep the drains free and clear from clogging up in the first place. This also prevents and/or kills mold growth that can release unhealthy spores into any living environment. The bathroom and kitchen are especially moist places in the home where mold can grow, so this is a good routine to keep on hand.
I have used this in the bathroom tub and seen plenty of hair and chunks of whatever it may be fizz up and be removed. I have used this in bathroom sinks as well as kitchen sinks. It works in ANY drain in the home incredibly well. It’s cheap, natural and effective to do!
Another method which can work quickly is this:
In summary, using baking soda and vinegar can be an effective and safe way to unclog a drain. Just follow the simple steps outlined above, and you’ll be able to clear your drain in no time!