When things go wrong in your home, it can not only be extremely frustrating but also exceedingly costly. That is why so many homeowners have found alternative methods for repairs, for some projects, like unclogging a drain.
If you are experiencing a serious clog in which the sink won’t drain at all, it’s probably time to call the plumber. But, if you have a slow drain that’s backing up, we have great news for you! This DIY drain cleaner really works so you can get back to doing the fun things in life.
Keep reading to learn more.
DIY Drain Cleaner: How to Unclog a Drain With Vinegar and Baking Soda
Baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner is actually an age-old method for unclogging pesky drains. The trick is in how you use it.
Before you can begin, make sure your sink or drain is dry at the surface. You don’t want standing water so do your best to sop it up with a towel or sponge. Once the drain is clear, you may begin gathering your supplies.
Do not worry, this should only take about twenty minutes.
Step 1 – Gather Supplies
You probably already have some baking soda and vinegar lying around the kitchen. And dish soap, too. Now, all you need to clean your drain is a pot for boiling water, a measuring cup, and a funnel if you want to keep things tidy.
If this first attempt doesn’t quite work, it may be necessary to repeat the steps. Otherwise, you can try the same method with salt and baking soda. We’ll break it down for you here:
Step 2 – Boiling Water
Get your pot or tea kettle and boil at least two cups of water. You may want to boil about 2 1/2 cups to allow for evaporation. Likewise, you can use a large glass measuring bowl and heat the water up in the microwave.
Step 3 – Pour
Boiling water will not unclog a drain on its own but this is the first step for clearing it. Add about a teaspoon of dish soap (Dawn is a powerful grease fighter) to your boiling water and slowly pour it down the drain.
It’s okay if it backs up, let it drain.
Step 4 – Baking Soda
Next, take your baking soda and measure out one cup to pour down the drain. You may want to use your funnel here to prevent baking soda from getting all over the sink and ensuring that it ALL gets down the drain.
Step 5 – Vinegar
Now, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain after the baking soda. It’s important to note that the vinegar-baking soda drain remedy may look and sound kind of scary. Not to worry, the alkaline in the baking soda and the acetic acid in the vinegar combined will create an explosive effect.
Step 6 – Wait
That explosive effect will take a few minutes. Allow the baking soda vinegar drain mixture to perform its magic while you heat up another few cups of boiling water.
Step 7 – Boiling Water
After about five or ten minutes, you can flush the drain with two cups of boiling water. If the drain is still not draining, you may need to repeat these steps. If it is draining, congratulations!
Allow hot water to run through the drain for a few minutes and presto, you’re all done!
How to Unclog Your Drain Using Salt and Baking Soda
If the baking soda and vinegar trick didn’t work, here’s what you can do with baking soda and SALT. It is recommended performing this practice at night just before you go to bed. This will allow the combination to work overnight.
Step 1 – Baking Soda
Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Again, you may use a funnel to make this easier.
Step 2 – Salt
Pour a half cup of salt down the drain just after the baking soda.
Allow this mixture to sit in the drain for at least several hours or overnight.
Step 3 – Boiling Water
Flush the drain in the morning with two cups of boiling hot water. Continue flushing the drain with hot tap water.
If you are still having troubles, you may be experiencing a more serious problem than clogged pipes. Consult your local plumber right away.
How Often to Clean Your Drains
In order to avoid plumbing problems in your future, consider cleaning your drains at least once per month if not once per week. You can use the baking soda vinegar method as soon as you notice water draining slowly. Performing regular maintenance like this will also prevent headaches later.
Tips to Keep Your Drains Clean
It may seem inevitable that things will fall down your drain, like hair and food particles. But, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from getting clogged in the first place.
Never allow food particles to fall down the drain, and especially grease or oil. Keep a strainer basket in the sink to help alleviate the food particles and wipe out pans and glassware with a paper towel before rinsing it in the sink.
You can also pour boiling water with dish soap down your drain periodically. The dish soap will work to fight greasy buildups.
Finally, if you have a garbage disposal causing an issue, you can use these same cleaning methods reducing the baking soda, water, and vinegar by half.
Need Something Stronger Than Drain Cleaner?
DIY drain cleaner is just the trick you need to clear clogged drains in your home. This method is safe to use and safe for the environment. Not to mention that all of the ingredients are less expensive than your traditional drain cleaning products.
If you’re still wondering how to clear a clogged drain or this method isn’t working, it may be time to call a plumber. Feel free to contact us with questions or to schedule an appointment. We have trained and licensed professionals waiting to help you.