It’s not always feasible to call a plumber for a clogged drain, and although there are a variety of drain-cleaning products on the market, some chemicals can be harsh on your pipes. Fortunately, there’s a DIY option that most homeowners already have on hand: plain vinegar.
Whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain that’s giving you trouble, the acidic nature of vinegar—especially when combined with baking soda for a foaming reaction—packs a powerful punch. Not only can the baking soda and vinegar combination break down clogs, but according to Heinz spokesperson Michael Mullen, a 5% solution of vinegar can kill up to 99% of bacteria.1 This makes vinegar a natural deodorizer!
To clean a drain with vinegar and baking soda, try the following2:
- Pour approximately ¾ to 1 cup of baking soda into the drain. You may need to push some of the powder into the drain manually.
- Next, pour ½ cup of vinegar into the drain. To keep the reaction from foaming out of the drain, cover it immediately (a small plate is fine for this purpose).
- Allow the mixture to sit for one half hour (without using the sink).
- When finished, uncover the drain and turn on the hot water. The heat and pressure should help push everything through.
- Repeat as necessary for especially difficult clogs.
By keeping a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda on hand, you can easily unclog, sanitize, and deodorize your drains on a regular basis without fear of damage.