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How To Unclog A Drain With Vinegar & Baking Soda

Do you have a clogged drain at your house and hate using chemical cleaners? Learn how you can use baking soda and vinegar to help unclog your drain today.

collage of images unclogging drain with vinegar and baking soda.

How does this work?

A chemical reaction with vinegar and baking soda loosens up debris and gunk in your pipes.

Recommended Supplies

  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • Pot of Boiling Water
  • Screwdriver: To take the cover off
  • Old Rag: To act as a stopper

baking soda in 1/2 measuring cup and 1 cup white vinegar on marble table.

How To Unclog Drain With Household Items

Before you begin

Remove the drain cover.

hand holding very dirty drain cover.

If your cover is as gross as ours, you will want to clean it using a sponge and cleaner.

hand using yellow sponge to clean drain cover.

Step 1: Warm Up Pipes

Pour boiling water down the drain to warm the pipes up.

Step 2: Add Baking Soda

Carefully pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain.

Step 3: Add White Vinegar

Pour I/2 cup of white vinegar into the drain. There will be a chemical reaction so be careful.

hand pouring white vinegar down a drain.

Step 4: Plug The Drain

We used an old rag to plug the drain to let the chemical reaction work.

drain with rag in it on tile floor with bubbles around it.

Step 5: Wait 10 Minutes

Step 6: Clean Surrounding Areas

While you wait, use an old toothbrush and cleaner of your choice to clean the top of the drain.

hand using toothbrush to clean top of drain in shower.

Step 7: Pour Boiling Water

Pour a pot of boiling water into the drain.

pot of boiling water being poured down shower drain.

Step 8: Let Reaction Happen

You can see the debris loosen. Let the water sit and do its thing.

view of drain with boil water in it and grim coming up.

Step 9: Repeat Steps If Necessary

Repeat if needed. You can also run your shower on hot for 5-10 minutes to see if that helps clear the drain.

How-To FAQs

Does this always work the first time?

Our drain was very clogged. We ended up repeating this twice and our drain was clear. Running extra hot water through your pipes after can also help.

What are other safe ways to unclog a drain?

You can try hot water and dish soap, baking soda and cream of tartar, borax with salt and vinegar or baking soda and salt.

What should you do if the clog isn’t clearing?

When in doubt call at the plumber. The last thing you want to do is keep pouring more down your clogged drain. You may have a bigger problem on your hands and should seek professional help.

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Related DIY Cleaning Ideas

collage of images unclogging drain with vinegar and baking soda.

How To Unclog A Drain With Vinegar

Learn how to use baking soda and white vinegar to unclog a drain.
Print Pin Rate
Keyword: unclog drain
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: under $5

Equipment

  • Screwdriver
  • Sponge
  • Old Toothbrush

Recommended Supplies

  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 2 pots Boiling Water

Instructions

  • Remove and clean drain cover.
    hand holding very dirty drain cover.
  • Pour 1 pot of boiling water in drain.
  • Add 1/2 cup baking soda.
    baking soda being added to drain in shower.
  • Carefully pour in 1/2 cup vinegar.
    hand pouring white vinegar down a drain.
  • Plug drain and wait 10-15 minutes.
    drain with rag in it on tile floor with bubbles around it.
  • Clean the drain while waiting.
    hand using toothbrush to clean top of drain in shower.
  • Unplug drain and pour boiling water into drain.
    pot of boiling water being poured down shower drain.
  • Repeat steps if neccessary. You will see the reaction happening in the drain. Flush with more hot water before attempting again.
    view of drain with boil water in it and grim coming up.
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