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Monday, January 28, 2013

Cleaning Clogged Drains with Vinegar and Baking Soda

I don't know about you, but the fewer chemicals I have in my house, the better. If I can use a natural cleaner over something harsh like bleach, ammonia, or other conventional cleaners, I will. I had heard that vinegar is great on just about anything to clean. You can read one of my first posts where I cleaned mold off of a door with vinegar here and here! The second link has visuals. In addition to being a great mold killer, vinegar, especially paired with baking soda, works wonders. 

I first heard about using vinegar and baking soda to clean pipes/drains on Pinterest. Of course. One of these days I'll come up with something original! Ha. The link to the original pin site is here

So if you're like me, your hair seems to constantly clog the drain in the tub/shower. And if you're not fortunate enough to have a garbage disposal, eventually crumbs and bits of food cause a gross buildup in your kitchen sink. You might be ready to reach for the Drano but wait! There's an easier way! 

I have no idea how much Drano costs, but I'm fairly certain that white vinegar and baking soda is cheaper. And, much safer. 

So read on if you want to effectively, cheaply, and safely clean that nasty, backed up drain! 

All you need is:
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Boiling water
  • Lemon juice (Optional: I used it to shine the sink) 

And in no time you'll have a sparkling sink and no more standing water! 

 Ok it may be hard to tell because of the quality of the picture but the left side has been cleaned and the right side is still nasty.

Dump a lot of baking soda into your drain. Fill it up if you want! It's fun to watch the reaction.

Then pour in your vinegar. No precise measurement, just pour until it foams nicely.

 Bubble bubble toil and trouble! That pesky junk in the drain shall be no more!

Let the baking soda/vinegar reaction sit for a minute, up to 15 if you want, then pour in a kettle full of boiling water. This will help flush everything down.

I was so excited to see how fast the water drained after I did this! I'll definitely be doing it on all of our drains, especially the tub! Gross. 

I quickly got motivated to give the sink a good scrub down. I sprinkled baking soda all around the sink then scrubbed with a regular sponge. The mild abrasiveness cleaned it really well. I then poured lemon juice on the sponge and wiped down the sink for a lovely shine. 

It may not seem like much, but it's a big difference, I swear! It's not the nicest sink, but it's what we've got! And that was probably the best it's looked since it was installed. The joys of renting. 

What are some of your favorite cleaning methods? Do you like to go all out with the strongest grade stuff available or do you like to use the not-so-harsh natural versions?

Till next time,


  1. Wow! This is a pretty nifty way to clean your sink. I did something like this before, but I added dishwashing liquid to eliminate the smell of vinegar. I must say that this one of the most effective ways to clean your sink naturally.

    1. Definitely! I personally didn't notice the smell of vinegar once I was finished but dishwashing liquid would definitely give it a nice fragrance when you're done!

  2. Indeed, a very cheap way to clean and unclog the sink! I greatly recommend to anyone having trouble with their sinks. My sink smelled a little soury at first but after I wiped some dishwashing liquid, the smell was gone.

    1. I can't wait to try it on the other drains in my home! I would recommend it too. I personally didn't notice much of a smell but I also wiped my sink down with lemon juice then just water. Glad to hear more positive feedback about this! Thanks!

  3. Oh no! I wouldn’t dare keep cleaning solutions that has strong chemical content in my house as well. Just like you, Catherine, I’d rather go all-natural with my cleaning solution, especially when unclogging our sinks. I keep in mind that it’s where I wash our food, and afraid that some of the chemicals may still be left in the sink. >Althea Tumlin<

  4. Knowing how to clear a blocked drain is a good thing even if you aren't a plumber, as the day may arrive when you encounter sluggish draining after you wash your dishes or maybe even stagnant dishwater in the sink.

    Blocked Drain Sydney


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