Do It Yourself Drain Cleaner

It happens to all of us. At some point, the kitchen and/or bathroom drain clogs and water backs up. As if that isn't bad enough sometimes the clog is accompanied by a pungent stench. When this happens most of us will do one of two things; call the plumber or reach for store bought lye-based drain cleaners. Most of these cleaners are toxic and can damage not only our pipes but our lungs as well. As a self proclaimed DIY girl and an apartment dweller I decided to look into cleaner ways to fix and prevent this problem from reoccurring. When little troublesome things like this occur I prefer to deal with it myself instead of calling for the maintenance crew to come take care of it. Call me crazy but I'd rather not have a strange guy walking into my apartment with his dirty shoes bending over to reveal the oh so unpleasant sight of a hairy butt crack. Yuck. Anyway, let's get back to the topic at hand; cleaning the clogged drain. Instead of reaching for that bottle of caustic drain cleaner under the sink, keep your water, drains, and lungs clean by choosing this simple, effective, and inexpensive homemade drain cleaner.

  • 2 cups baking soda

  • 4 cups boiling water

  • 1 cup vinegar 


  • Remove all water from the sink or tub and pour about 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Make sure that baking soda makes it down the drain.
  • Next, pour about 2 Cups of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda mixed with boiling water dissolves the sludge and gunk in the pipe, even if you don’t see it happening. Wait a few minutes.
  • Now, pour another cup baking soda down the drain then add 1 cup of white vinegar and plug the drain immediately. If you’re unclogging a double sink, plug both drains. You’ll hear sizzling coming up from the drain and see bubbles foaming up.
  • When the bubbles have died down, add the remaining boiling water down the drain.
  • Repeat this process if necessary. This can be used as a monthly treatment helps prevent future clogs too; simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drains followed by boiling water.
If the Drain Remains Clogged:

If the the drain remains clogged after using the homemade cleaner, you will need to use a small plunger for sinks. The baking soda and vinegar loosens the clogging material, freeing the gunk with the plunger’s pressure. Fill the sink with enough water to seal the plunger around the bottom against the sink. Push down fully and pull up quickly. Repeat if necessary.=)

Why It Works?

Baking soda is a base and when combined with vinegar, an acid, reacts to form carbon dioxide and sodium acetate. In drains, it works to create scrubby bubbles on the drain’s insides. These natural, non-toxic ingredients get flushed further down resulting in a clog-free drain. Baking soda and vinegar are common, inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients which poses no health dangers. They are natural ingredients preferable to the sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, found in most drain cleaners. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, sodium hydroxide can burn skin. If swallowed, it can cause chest and abdominal pain, and has the potential to lead to death if it severely damages the lungs, tissue, or causes a loss of pulse or shock.Yikes.

Live long and prosper 
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