Vinegar And Baking Soda: A Powerful Drain Clearing Combination



Person holding mini plunger on sink drain

Remember science fairs? A huge crowd pleaser was the volcano that overflowed with red “lava.” Of course, we know that the lava was just baking soda and vinegar mixed together with red food coloring,

But did you know that that simple chemical reaction (minus the red food coloring) can help unclog your drains?

Here’s how:

Gather these Ingredients for your “mini-volcano”

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tea kettle full of boiling hot water (don’t make the water boiling you have PVC pipes–high temperatures can soften PVC pipes)
  • A thick rag or cloth

Follow these directions:

  1. Remove the sink stopper.
  2. Pour the half cup of baking soda into the drain.
  3. Get your rag ready in one hand and the vinegar in the other.
  4. Pour the vinegar down the drain and immediately cover the drain with your rag/cloth to keep your “mini-volcano” trapped in the drain. This will cause the reaction to push against the clog and loosen it.
  5. Let the ingredients sit for 5-7 minutes or so
  6. Pour in the hot water. This will help flush out all the loosened junk.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 as needed.

WARNING: Please be careful when pouring boiling hot water.  We recommend using the tea kettle because it’s safer to pour with.

Drain cleaning alternatives

While this method can work, it’s not a guaranteed fix. A few other effective drain cleaning methods include:

  • Using a rubber cup plunger (not a flange plunger, that’s for your toilet) to loosen the clog.
  • Using an auger/Plumber’s snake to slither down your pipes and break up the clog.

What we don’t recommend are chemical drain cleaners. While they are cheap, they have caustic agents that can damage your pipes and expose you and your family to toxic gases.

If your pipes need a serious unclogging and you can’t seem to get it done yourself, Mr. Plumber offers a drain cleaning service that guarantees to get your drain cleared.

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