How to Unclog Drain with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A clogged drain is a minor inconvenience. It’s not worth calling a plumber or spending much on a premium degreaser with harmful chemicals. Sometimes a simple problem only requires a trip to the pantry for an easy, eco-friendly, DIY fix. Did you know that the use of natural household cleaners has increased over the past years?

Environmental awareness has made green cleaning products increasingly popular, and there’s no better kitchen staple for green cleaning than vinegar and baking soda. This guide will show you how to unclog a drain with vinegar and baking soda in four easy steps. Keep on reading for some extra essential tips to prevent further clogging.

What You Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Boiling Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Funnel (optional)

4 Steps to Unclog Your Drain with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are everyday household items that, when combined, are effective, non-harmful cleaning agents. Now that you’re all set with what you need, it’s time to follow these four easy steps to get your drain back flowing:

1. Warm Your Drain with Boiling Water

Heat a pot of water to boil. Pour the boiling water down the drain to loosen up the drain pipes. You can also put a few squirts of dish soap into the drain and mix it with the boiling water. The combined dish soap and hot water will flush out easily-dissolved grease and debris.

2. Drop the Baking Soda into the Drain

Drop a 1/2 cup of the white powder into the drain. It’s important to note that the amount of baking soda must not be equal to the vinegar to keep a balanced mixture and for the reaction to work. A smaller drain opening may need a funnel to help you pour the baking soda well.

3. Pour Vinegar

Next, pour one vinegar cup down the drain. Cover the drain and let the reaction sit for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar and baking soda mixture will start a chemical reaction, dissolving grease and other organic compounds lodged in your drain pipes.

4. Rinse with Boiling Water

Finally, pour boiling water down the drain for another rinse to flush out the vinegar and baking soda slush, along with the left traces of gunk. Keep flushing if needed.

What If Your Drain is Still Clogged?

If you feel like your drain is still clogged, don’t worry! There may be more grease and debris left to clean out than anticipated. You only need to repeat the previous steps twice or until you achieve desired results.

The Drain is Unclogged … What’s Next?

If cleaning out the drain was a success, that’s good news! But prevention is vital for you to avoid clogging in the future. Though you have vinegar and baking soda to come to your rescue whenever the drain clogs again, routine cleaning, proper waste disposals, and other preventive measures are more ways to keep your drain clean and unclogged.

Regular Cleaning

Not many people pay attention to drain cleaning, and we can understand why—it isn’t exciting. But to prevent slow drains and a sink from smelling like the swamps, you must follow a drain cleaning routine.

It’s advisable to clean your drain monthly, preferably with a natural hack like vinegar and baking soda. Frequent drain flushing with boiling water and dish soap occasionally helps. You can also apply an annual routine cleaning if your drain is in good condition.

With your drain in constant care, plumbing runs smooth, and you’ll avoid costly regular maintenance.

Food Waste Disposal

Throwing food in the sink is a common habit. Some households have sink grinders, though it may not always be convenient. A better practice is to throw your food waste in a compost bin and altogether avoid throwing food in the sink.

For more negligible food waste, you can use mesh strainers or baskets to catch the bits and scraps that may pile up. Here is a list of a few food waste to avoid:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells and bones
  • Celery and other fibrous foods
  • Flour and other starches
  • Pasta and rice
  • Chia seeds

Collect Grease and Other Fats

Fat, when poured down the drain, hardens and becomes a trap for other debris to stick to. This is limited to grease and other fatty substances like cooking oil, butter, and margarine. It would help if you collected grease and other fats in sealable containers instead of dumping them.

Soaps are also fatty culprits, as soap scum can accumulate down the drain. Most beauty products like moisturizers and creams are also guilty of clogging the drain. Though they are not as extreme, vinegar and baking soda will do the trick.

Catch Hair and Lint

Hair is hard to break down and easily binds with grease or soap scum, becoming a trap for more gunk. Lint and other fabrics do the same thing as well. Hair or lint reaching the drain can be prevented by using a sink stopper to catch it.

Other sanitary products such as dental floss, tissues, or cleaning wipes should also be kept out of your drain with a stopper. But it’s better to throw away all these in the trash, not the sink.

Wrap Up

A clogged and smelly drain is a quick fix when you have something as practical as vinegar and baking soda. Their effectiveness as cleaning agents and disinfectant properties have made them favorable household commodities for many.

Given the increasing popularity of eco-friendly cleaning and environmental awareness in recent years, natural cleaners are becoming more preferred and more affordable than conventional cleaning agents.

Vinegar and baking soda as organic and non-toxic products are more readily available and abundant in the market. The benefits of both products are a great deal. Now you know how to unclog a drain with vinegar and baking soda, what more solutions can these two natural products offer?

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