Four: Pour Boiling Water Down The Drain
Take some more boiling water and pour it down the drain. The entire procedure is essential because when baking soda and vinegar combine, they produce a vigorous bubbling reaction. The reactions loosen the clogs in the drain.
The addition of boiling water into the drain in the last step helps in removing all the clogs and other dirt from the drain quickly. At the end of the procedure, the drain will be clean and free of clogs.
Dont Mix Chemicals Unless You Know What Youre Doing
On that note, its important to remember you should never mix chemicals unless you know that its safe to do so. In the case of combining baking soda and vinegar, the result is harmless. But in other cases, mixing chemicals can have dangerous results. Youve probably heard the common warning that mixing bleach and ammonia create toxic gasses called chloramines that can make you nauseated or unable to breathe. Its the same with other types of chemicals.
Yes, even non-toxic products like vinegar the stuff you use to make salad dressing can be dangerous if its mixed with the wrong chemical. For example, vinegar should not be mixed with bleach or else it creates a chlorine gas that could be lethal if inhaled.
Its therefore important that you dont use vinegar or baking soda in your drain if youve used a store-bought drain cleaner immediately beforehand. Similarly, if baking soda and vinegar prove insufficient at clearing your drain, do not use a drain cleaner immediately afterward. The results could be dangerous!
Sometimes A Professional Drain Cleaner Is Your Best Bet
Dave Balkan: It seems like you can have a lot of foaming, and all of this action, but theres really nothing happening. That didnt clear the drain out. You know sometimes you need a professional drain cleaner. So, when youre dealing with slow and clogged drains, you just gotta call a pro sometimes.
Christina: And not believe myths about cleaning drains with baking soda and vinegar.
Dave Balkan: Thats right!
Christina: So I believe, I think we should just save the baking soda and the vinegar for volcano science projects for the kids!
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What About The Pressure Created
Lots of readers ask about the pressure created during the vinegar/baking soda reaction and wonder if it will force a drain clog out. The answer is yes and no.
- Yes, when baking soda and vinegar are combined the chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide gas which creates pressure in a closed container.
- No, the baking soda/vinegar reaction created in a drain/household plumbing system does not take place in a closed system so pressure cant build up enough to blast a clog out of the pipes.
You may have seen vinegar/baking soda experiment conducted in a closed container like a balloon or bottle. Theyre an impressive demonstration of the power of chemical reactions. However, its important to note that these experiments take place in a sealed container where the CO2 gas has nowhere to escape.
A household drain system is not a sealed container. From kitchen drain to sewer your pipes hold a much larger volume of liquid or gas than a balloon or bottle, so it would take a lot more CO2 to fill the pipes to a point where pressure builds up. Plus, the CO2 being created byt the baking soda/vinegar reaction can escape though the plumbing vent system, holes in your drain or drain cover, and/or spaces in the clog. Its not air tight!
For Most Clogs: Baking Soda And Boiling Water
Most run-of-the mill clogs are caused by fatty deposits and other gunk that coats the side of a pipe, eventually restricting water flow. A homemade drain cleaner made with baking soda and boiling water will dissolve those deposits, clearing the drain, says Jackson.
Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Allow that to sit for about 5 minutes while you boil a pot of water. Dump the boiling water into the drain and repeat if necessary.
Quick tip: Performing this method once a month on a regular basis will keep your pipes clean, Jackson says.
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When To Use A Drain Snake Or Auger
Drain cleaners break down clogs and flush them through the pipes. Unfortunately, that won’t work for everything.
If any of the solutions above don’t clear the drain, you could try a commercial drain cleaner, but there’s a good chance you actually need to manually unclog whatever is causing the blockage. This happens most with hair, which won’t dissolve in the drain, Jackson says.
A plunger can help loosen some clogs, but for most blockages Jackson recommends using a drain snake. If you’re unfamiliar, a drain snake is long, flexible cable wire with spikes you can use to clean out clogs made from hair and soap scum buildup. Drain snakes also called plumbing snakes or augers come in different sizes to accommodate various pipe lengths.
“It’s less expensive than calling in a plumber, and they’ll probably use the same tool to tackle the job,” Jackson says.
The Balkan Drain Team Is The Team You Trust
After just under 70 years in continuous business and over 70,000 satisfied customers, Balkan is The Team You Trust. From the time of your first call, receiving courteous attention, to our guaranteed 4 hour response time, we are your best and most trusted local drain cleaner. Team Balkan operates 7 days a week, and after hours as well. There is never a premium charge for weekends, holidays, or after-hours service calls.
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One Southern Living Writer Puts The Popular Method To The Test
Perri Ormont Blumberg is a writer with a particular interest in news, travel, food, country music, and commerce. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and is also a culinary school graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute. She was previously a senior staff writer at Southern Living on Southern Living’s News Team. Her work has also appeared in the New York Post, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Robb Report, Rolling Stone, and many others. Her goal is to visit every state in America, and all the better if she can catch a Dave Matthews Band concert in each one . She’ll never turn down a bloody mary or yoga class. Got a story lead? Tweet her @66PerriStreet.
In another life, I was blessed with thick, straight hair…that doesn’t shed like wildfire every darn day. This is not that life. Like clockwork, every three months or so, I have to call up my building’s super to unclog the sink and tub drains in my bathroom. So when I came across this tutorial on how to unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar on CrunchyBetty.com, I was ready to grab my cleaning gloves and get started. A cheap, green method to clean my drain out with no grocery store trips required? You don’t have to tell me twice.
How Often Should You Clean Your Drains With Baking Soda And Vinegar
You should clean your drains with baking soda and vinegar every few months. This will help keep your drains clear and free of clogs.
If you have a clogged drain, baking soda and vinegar can be a great way to clear it. These natural ingredients work together to break down clogging agents and help clear your drain. You should try this method before calling a plumber, as it could save you money.
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Can You Really Clean The Drain With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Youre usually careful about keeping your sink clean, but you just watched your Great Aunt Betty pour a whole skillet full of bacon drippings straight down your drain after a family dinner.
Now all you can think about is having a house full of company and a clogged kitchen sink, hands plunged into gross dishwater with the residue of a dozen plates and cooking pans burping backward onto your basin.
Dont worry because, yes, you really can clean your drain with baking soda and vinegar.
Can Baking Soda And Vinegar Really Clean Drains
So, can you really clean a drain with baking soda and vinegar? Many online life hack accounts post about it as if the two products in any combination will work to miraculously clear any clogged drain. But your kitchen drains arent as simple as social media would have you believe. There are a few things to keep in mind when trying this at-home drain cleaning technique:
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How To Clean A Shower With Vinegar
Most likely, you bought the white vinegar in your house for cooking purposes.
While white vinegar is a great ingredient in your food, its also a great cleaning agent when used the right way. It can give you sparkling surfaces in your bathroom when applied to the floor, walls, windows and also in unclogging the drain and shower heads.
The advantage of using white vinegar over other solutions is its naturalness. You wont worry about toxic sediments or harming the environment when you use it. Here is how to use this great ingredient for a clean shower.
Why You Might Need More Than Baking Soda And Vinegar
The basic kitchen staples and conventional wisdom of cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar only go so far, and only if the clog is not deep in the pipes.
Lets face it. Whether you have a new home, an old home, an apartment, or a condo, you dont know whats gone down those pipes in the last few years. Here at ServiceOne, weve found all kinds of crazy objects clogging drains.
Sometimes baking soda and vinegar just arent enough to get rid of the blockage.
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The Science: How Baking Soda & Vinegar Help Unclog Drains
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a base. Vinegar is made up of water and acetic acid, which is an acid.
When you combine these, a reaction happens where molecules get exchanged, creating carbon dioxide and water that bubbles through the clog, breaking it up to create loose material.
And drainage pipes arent pressurized like your typical water system. When you use boiling water to flush the drain, pressure is added. Along with gravity, this pressure helps remove unwanted goop out of the pipes and unclogs drains.
Baking soda, vinegar and boiling water can help clean drains naturally, but you may need something stronger, like Liquid-Plumr, to fully unclog those really tough drain clogs.
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The Question On Pressure
The majority of people may be curious to understand the role of pressure in the removal of greasy and tougher stains.
The reaction of baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide, which causes pressure build-up in closed containers. This pressure plays an important role in clearing clogs from the drains.
In the pressure build-up experiment, the container used is completely sealed such that the carbon dioxide has no way to escape.
However, most plumbing systems do not have an enclosed system. Air can escape from the holes on the drain or from the drain cover, which may not be tight, or even the plumbing vent system.
Furthermore, from the kitchen drain to the sewer pipes, it has a larger surface area and volume. Hence they need a lot of carbon dioxide to fill in space to create pressure unlike in bottles and balloons.
In such cases, pressure may not really be effective in cleaning the clogs from the pipe.
If you are keen enough, you will notice that most companies recommend using baking soda and vinegar with hot water.
Hot water is the real deal as it melts the grease stains and creates pressure to drain the clog away.
How To Clean Clogged Drains With Bicarb Soda And Vinegar
The most ignored part of any household plumbing system is the drain. As long as it still does its job, we dont really pay much attention to it. When we see water disappear from the sink, its a good sign that the drain is working. The real problem, however, lies in a blocked drain. Pipes that often get more than just water like food residue and other solid wastes get blocked due to the accumulation of these solid objects. When this happens, its difficult for the water to drain. It will eventually reach a point when the water doesnt drain anymore from your kitchen sink.
Whenever we are faced with blocked drains, we are faced with the temptation to use the most powerful chemical drain cleaners in the market. Sadly, they do more harm than good due to their strong chemical nature. They can harm your plumbing system, you and your loved ones and the environment.
Instead of chemical drain cleaners, there is a gentler and more effective way to clean clogged drains, and all you will need are the following household items: bicarb soda and vinegar.
How does it work, one might ask?
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Why Does Baking Soda And Vinegar Work
Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid and when you combine them, a chemical reaction occurs that is capable of eliminating stubborn gunks and greasy residues. Thats why sodium bicarbonate and vinegar has become a popular economical home remedy for numerous cleaning chores. If you have a sloppy stovetop, then this amazing duo can help you in cleaning it.
How Often To Clean Your Drains
Weekly, flush drains with boiling water mixed with liquid grease-fighting dish soap, such as Dawn. Clean your drain with baking soda as soon as you notice the water is draining slowly. You can also use this process as a regular maintenance method for your drains. For example, if you keep a box of open baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors, use the old baking soda to flush your kitchen drain when it comes time to change the box.
Here are the various methods with simple steps using baking soda to clean drains.
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How To Clean Drain Pipes With Baking Soda
Now that there are so many quick solutions available at your local grocery, you dont think twice about whats available at home when it comes to cleaning drain pipes. However, some of the most effective cleaning solutions can just be found in your own kitchen, and baking soda is one of them.
Its understandable that when you think drain cleaner, your mind wont directly go to baking soda. But you should know that the kitchen staple has proven effective when used on smelly and clogged drains. This is not saying that you shouldnt go for those chemical solutions on the shelves of stores. Rather, its more on trying a simple and home-made solution to see if it clears things up. If not, then you can proceed with using ready-made solutions.
Another good reason to use natural solutions is that some rental properties dont allow their tenants to use chemical drain cleaners. This way, you can still keep your drain fresh and flowing without resorting to banned solutions.
Baking Soda And Vinegar Drain Cleaner
Use the vinegar and baking soda combination to help clear a sluggish drain. And there really isn’t much to this method.
Then add half a cup of white vinegar.
A 1:1 ratio of baking soda to vinegar works best to clean drains. However, you can play around with this ratio depending on the clog.
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Baking Soda And Vinegar Drain Cleaning Made Easy
Jennifer worked for five years as a housekeeper in a large hotel chain. In that capacity, she learned how to clean just about anything.
Learn about our Editorial Policy.
Green cleaners want to know can vinegar and baking soda be a drain cleaner? Yes, it can. Learn how to use baking soda and vinegar to unclog your drain, and find out why baking soda and vinegar work to remove drain gunk.
How Often Should I Pour Vinegar Down The Drain
There is a lot of debate over how often to pour vinegar down the drain. Some people believe that you should pour it down the drain every time you clean your bathroom, while others think that you should only pour it down the drain when there is a problem. There is no definitive answer, but it is always a good idea to check with your local municipality or landlord before making any decisions.
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