How To Unclog A Drain With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Sarah Aguirre is a housekeeping expert with over 20 years of experience cleaning residentially and commercially. Over that time, she has been writing about tips and tricks for housekeeping and organizing a home for national publications.
The Spruce / Lacey Johnson
- Working Time: 20 – 30 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins – 12 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $1 to $5
Baking soda is a kitchen staple that can work wonders to clean clothes, appliances, and even drains that are smelly or clogged. A naturally occurring mineral compound, baking soda can dissolve mineral deposits and organic materials such as grease.
Baking soda has slight disinfectant properties to combat odor-causing bacteria and fungi. Regular cleaning with baking soda may prevent clogs from forming. Before using chemical drain cleaners or disassembling the drain trap, try baking soda to see if it does the trick.
Cleaning A Bathtub Drain
Drains can be hard to fully clean, so a drain snake or drain weasel like FlexiSnake will help you reach hair that has accumulated in the bathtub.
Drains can be hard to fully clean, so a drain snake or drain weasel like FlexiSnake will help you reach hair that has accumulated in the bathtub.
If you want to make your own snake, use a piece of wire, bending a hook at the end. The wire needs to be flexible enough to bend around curves in pipes but strong enough to poke and pull at clogs. Wire hangers work well, but some may be too rigid.
Vinegar And Baking Soda Garbage Disposal Magic
Tossing citrus peels in your garbage disposal keeps it smelling like freshly poured sunshine, but every once in a while, when someone puts onions in there and leaves them when theyre not supposed to , you might need a little extra help.
This is where you utilize the baking soda and vinegar goodness, as well.
How to freshen and clean your garbage disposal with BS/V:
- Start by running hot water through your garbage disposal for a minute.
- Pour about 1/4 c. baking soda into the drain.
- Flip the garbage disposal on for 2 seconds, just to whirl the baking soda inside, and then leave it alone for 10-15 minutes.
- Follow with 1 c. of vinegar. Watch the bubbles erupt out of your drain.
- Rinse through one last time with very hot water and run your garbage disposal for 5 seconds.
Why this works: The baking soda and hot water will deodorize your drain like nobodys business. And the vinegar volcano on top of all that will help dislodge any stuck pieces of food in the crevices, thereby releasing any potential future stinkiness.
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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.
Common Reasons Why Your Shower Drain Clogs
Understanding the reason for your clogged shower drain will allow you to prevent clogs from occurring in the future. Often, your clogged shower drain will be a combination of these reasons. Understanding the causes, however, is crucial to dealing with them in the long run.
Here are the most common reasons for a clogged shower drain!
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Pour Some Chemicals Down There
Its always nice when you can use a natural method rather than a chemical one. Unfortunately, some clogs are just too powerful.
If youve tried all the other methods with no success, its time to visit the store. Seek out a chemical made specifically for unclogging drains. The package will usually say whether or not it takes care of clogs, including hair in drains.
Follow the packaging directions exactly and apply the chemical as needed. Always wear your PPE, like gloves, goggles, and old clothes. Never mix chemicals, as you could create a potentially deadly substance.
Pour the chemicals down the drain, follow the directions, and unclog your drain. Its that simple.
We do emphasize, however, using this as a last resort. Drain chemicals can damage your pipes in some cases, especially with repeated use. Always try other methods before busting out the chemicals.
Lemon Juice + Baking Soda
Lemon juice is a weaker acid that works just as well. However, lemons have less acidity than vinegar, meaning you will have to add more lemon juice than an average drain cleaner recipe.
You can add 1/2 cup of baking soda with the lemon juice to prepare a decent chemical reaction homemade drain cleaner for drain cleaning.
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How To Unclog A Shower Drain With A Chemical Drain Opener
If you’re wondering how to dissolve hair in a shower drain, you may want to try a chemical drain opener. Be safe and wear rubber gloves and eye protection if you use a chemical product for unclogging a shower drain. Read and follow the directions on the label, and make sure you have good ventilation so you don’t inhale any fumes. It’s also important to note that chemical drain products contain powerful ingredients that may cause damage to your pipes.
While some DIY-ers try to unclog a shower drain with bleach, some professional plumbers do not recommend it. While bleach cleans and sanitizes, it’s not always effective on shower clogs.
If chemicals labeled for use on shower clogs don’t work, and you call a plumber, be sure to tell them what youve put into the drain already, so they can work safely.
Flush With More Hot Water
After the fizzing subsides, wait five minutes. Use this time to heat two cups of water to boiling. Flush the drain with this additional boiling water.
If the drain is now flowing, run hot tap water to flush all debris down the drain. If it is not draining, repeat the previous steps. If you haven’t cleaned your drain recently, it may be necessary to repeat the baking soda flush at least twice.
If a drain clog doesn’t clear after two or more attempts, use the baking soda and salt method described below.
The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi
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Can Baking Soda Damage Pipes
Baking soda will not damage your pipes, but it may not be as effective as other methods. First, pour boiling water down the drain to remove any grease or deposits that might be causing the clog. Next, mix together baking soda and vinegar, and pour this mixture down the drain. Finally, flush the drain with more hot water. If your drain is still clogged, you can try using a plunger or an old toothbrush to remove the obstruction. If all else fails, you may need to call a professional. Schedule a professional drain cleaning every year to keep your drains running smoothly.
Blast Hot Water Down The Drain
After about 15 to 30 minutes of pouring the baking soda and vinegar in the drain, dump a gallon of boiling water down the drain. Although baking soda and vinegar will have done most of the work, the water breaks down the clog further, and flushes it down the drain.
Please not that if you are unclogging a drain with a ceramic fixture like a bathroom sink or toilet, dont use boiling water as it can crack it. Just hot water will do it. If your sink has a hot water faucet, open it full blast for about 30 seconds.
Depending on the severity of your clog, sometimes you may need to repeat the process to completely unclog your drain.
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S To Unclog Your Drain With Baking Soda & Vinegar
Follow these easy steps to unclog your drain:
Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain.
Next, pour a cup of baking soda and 1 cup water/1 cup vinegar solution.
Cover with the drain plug and wait 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour boiling water down the drain again.
The bubbling reaction from the baking soda and vinegar helps to loosen the drain clog, and the boiling water in step 4 helps remove it from your pipes.
Baking soda and vinegar can serve as a natural drain cleaner. Ready for the science behind how it works?
How To Unclog A Shower Drain With A Plumbers Snake
Sometimes the best way to unclog a shower drain is with a drain snake, sometimes called a manual auger or electric auger. If it’s electric, you’ll need a power drill to run the plumber’s snake. If it’s manual, you’ll have to turn the handle by hand to operate it.
As you figure out how to snake a shower drain, insert the snake into the drain until it hits the clog. Turn the handle clockwise to hook the clog and continue running the snake down the drain. When you start to feel resistance, that means the snake is picking up clogs. When the resistance lessens, that often means the snake has cleared the drain. Give the handle one more full turn to ensure the clog is hooked. Then turn the handle counterclockwise to back the snake out of the drain. Go slowly, so you don’t lose the clog.
When the snake is completely out, remove the debris. Run hot water down the drain to test that the clog is completely gone and replace the drain cover.
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Why Does Baking Soda And Vinegar Unclog Drains
The baking soda and vinegar react to create carbon dioxide gas, which helps to break up the clog. First, pour boiling water down the drain to remove any grease or deposits that might be causing the clog. Next, mix together baking soda and vinegar, and pour this mixture down the drain. Finally, flush the drain with more hot water. If your drain is still clogged, you can try using a plunger or an old toothbrush to remove the obstruction. If all else fails, you may need to call a professional. Schedule a professional drain cleaning every year to keep your drains running smoothly.
Before You Unclog The Shower Drain
You may have to try more than one method to for unclogging a shower drain. The blockage could be caused by a build-up of hair, grease and soap. Other possible causes are a build-up of dirt or minerals from your water or tree roots growing through tiny cracks in your underground pipes.
To access your drain, you may need to remove the drain cover. Some covers can be unscrewed with a screwdriver. Others may need to be pried off. Pry carefully to avoid scratching the shower around the drain.
Safety tip: Be safe and wear rubber gloves as you figure out how to unclog a shower drain using these methods. Some drain openers also require eye protection.
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What Dissolves Hair Hair In A Shower Drain
Lets first talk about how to dissolve the hair clogging your drain. Is that the best way to go?
Honestly, there are some good natural remedies for dissolving hair. In fact, one of them is recommended below. But most of the time, the best methods are to use a tool of some kind. This ensures that all the hair has been removed without damaging your shower drain.
Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners are harsh on your pipes and we dont recommend them. They can actually cause more damage that can lead to corrosion, leaks, and costly water damage.
How Do You Unclog A Shower With Standing Water Uk
Firstly, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then after a few minutes pour a cup of vinegar down the drain as well. After a couple of hours you can turn the shower on and see if the blockage has been dissolved. Then add boiling water again to clean out thedrain.
How do I stop my shower from clogging?
Baking soda and vinegar are natural plumbing solutions for a clog-free shower drain. Pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow that with one-half cup of white distilled vinegar, and seal the drain. Let the mixture sit for about half an hour, then flush with hot or boiling water.
How do I know if my shower drain is clogged?
3 Signs of a Clogged Shower Drain
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Is There Ever A Safe Way To Unclog A Drain At Home
As plumbing experts, well tell you candidly that there are ways you can safely unclog your drain at home. For instance, its relatively safe to use a drain snake, even without significant background knowledge on drain cleaning. Chemical-free drain cleaners may also do the trick. In minor cases, hot water alone may help bust the gunk in your drain.
However, whenever you try any unclogging method at home, there will always be risks attached to doing it yourself. While you might be able to save money, other times, you may end up spending more cash trying to attempt to fix your drain clog .
The only truly safe way to unclog a drain is to have someone with the knowledge and experience come out and fix it for you. After all, what you may think is a simple drain clog might be something much more severe, hence why you might have not been able to fix it on your own.
For Heavily Clogged Drains
If you are doing this for the very first time to a drain which has been heavily clogged, you may have to repeat it for two or three times with a few minutes gap between two trials. Alternatively, just one try is enough to remove large amount of debris.
Do it regularly to avoid future drain cloggings
Once you have cleaned your drain, you can continue it as a monthly procedure so that your drainage system would be effective. Sometimes, even after several attempts of baking soda with vinegar, the drain might remain unclogged. This does not mean that it did not work. The baking soda would have loosened up the clog. If you could use a plumbing snake or a plunger, you could easily remove the clogged material. Other additives can be added to make it more efficient and we will talk about this in detail, later.
Why does baking soda and vinegar unclog a drain?
What does the neutralization does to your drain? First, you should know the reason for a drain getting clogged in the first place. Human waste, hair and other debris are flushed down the pipe every day.
This debris gets attached to each other and blocks the further flow of debris and water. As the build-up grows in size, the space for flow of waste gets reduced, thereby reducing the efficiency of the drainage system. Most of the debris gets locked together with soap scum or any fat content. It is almost equivalent to pouring grease into the drain. The soap lather would coat the pipes and pull in as much debris as possible.
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Foreign Object Or Debris
Foreign objects falling in the shower drain are often inevitable and can contribute to a clogged drain. This is common with small objects, such as toothpaste caps, wrappers, and even the safety covers on razors.
When small objects like this wind up in your drain and your plumbing system, they can cause your shower drain to become clogged and are difficult to remove.
Using a device like a hair catcher or drain screen in your shower, as mentioned earlier, can also help prevent these foreign objects from becoming lodged within your drain and causing a clog.
How Often Should I Put Baking Soda Down My Drain
You can put baking soda down your drain once a week to keep it clear. First, pour boiling water down the drain to remove any grease or deposits that might be causing the clog. Next, mix together baking soda and vinegar, and pour this mixture down the drain. Finally, flush the drain with more hot water. If your drain is still clogged, you can try using a plunger or an old toothbrush to remove the obstruction. If all else fails, you may need to call a professional. Schedule a professional drain cleaning every year to keep your drains running smoothly.
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The Hot Water Solution
Let me tell you a little secret: questioning the drain cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar is controversial. It gets people mad, very mad. I get emails and comments that are not appropriate to post on a PG website.
Im sorry if youre upset, I really am. I was a baking soda/vinegar devotee for a long time. However, once I started researching green cleaning ingredients and bad cleaner combinations I realized that the trick was not doing me much good and I was wasting baking soda and vinegar that I could use to clean other things.