Vinegar: The Magical Drain Cleaner

Vinegar and baking soda

It’s not always feasible to call a plumber for a clogged drain, and although there are a variety of drain-cleaning products on the market, some chemicals can be harsh on your pipes. Fortunately, there’s a DIY option that most homeowners already have on hand: plain vinegar.

Whether it’s a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain that’s giving you trouble, the acidic nature of vinegar—especially when combined with baking soda for a foaming reaction—packs a powerful punch. Not only can the baking soda and vinegar combination break down clogs, but according to Heinz spokesperson Michael Mullen, a 5% solution of vinegar can kill up to 99% of bacteria.1 This makes vinegar a natural deodorizer!

To clean a drain with vinegar and baking soda, try the following2:

  1. Pour approximately ¾ to 1 cup of baking soda into the drain. You may need to push some of the powder into the drain manually.
  2. Next, pour ½ cup of vinegar into the drain. To keep the reaction from foaming out of the drain, cover it immediately (a small plate is fine for this purpose).
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for one-half hour (without using the sink).
  4. When finished, uncover the drain and turn on the hot water. The heat and pressure should help push everything through.
  5. Repeat as necessary for especially difficult clogs.

By keeping a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda on hand, you can easily unclog, sanitize, and deodorize your drains on a regular basis without fear of damage.

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