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Clearing Clogged Drains

Before spending a bunch of money clearing clogged drains using some caustic cleaner, try the cheaper solution that you probably already have in your pantry.

The following vinegar and baking soda combination has been a tried-and-true method of clearing drains for many years.

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What You Will Need

The items you will need for clearing clogged drains are as follows:

  • 1 cup of vinegar 
  • 1 cup of Baking Soda
  • a full kettle of boiling water x 2
  • a drain plug if available

If there is standing water in your sink or tub you will need to get it out before you begin.

Use a cup to bail it out or some dirty towels to soak it up. Once you are down to the drain use a plastic hose to syphon the water remaining in the drain above the clog.

4 Steps to Clearing Clogged Drains


Never use vinegar and baking soda after using an industrial chemical or when it is still present in the drain.

  1. Put a kettle of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Pour the entire kettle of boiling water down the drain as quickly as possible.
  2. Pour the baking soda directly into the drain so it rests on or near the clog.
  3. Pour the vinegar in and replace the plug to contain the "eruption".
  4. Once the vinegar/baking soda stops fizzing remove the plug and pour another kettle of boiling water down the drain as quickly as possible.

If you haven't cleaned or maintained your drain in a long time it may be necessarily to repeat steps 2 - 4 until the drain runs freely.

Very stubborn clogs may even take two or three repeat treatments to get the clog cleared. 

What is Happening?

When you mix vinegar with baking soda hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda forming carbonic acid. 

The carbonic acid then reverts to water and carbon dioxide gas which bubbles through the clog breaking it up.

The boiling water then adds pressure to force the mass down and clear the drain.


Once your drain is cleared you can maintain it by pouring a cup of vinegar down the drain every 3 months.

You can also pour some baking soda down the drain periodically to eliminate odors. Try this when you expect to be gone for a few hours so it gets the chance to work on the problem.

Tip: Use the old baking soda that you have been keeping in your fridge whenever you are replacing it with fresh soda.

Alternately, for a nice fresh scent try a couple drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree or lemon. For more on essential oils visit my web site www.essential-oil-remedies.com.

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If you have enjoyed www.vinegar-home-remedies.com perhaps you would be interested in my other site www.essential-oil-remedies.com

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