How to Unclog a Drain With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Unclogging a drain with baking soda and vinegar is a popular, eco-friendly method that avoids the use of harsh chemicals. This method is effective for minor clogs and regular maintenance to keep your drains flowing smoothly.

For a fresh take on unclogging drains, begin by identifying the clog’s location, then unleash a potent mix of boiling water and grease-fighting dish soap to tackle grease-based blockages. Follow this with a classic concoction of baking soda and vinegar, a dynamic duo known for their clog-busting chemistry.

This method not only clears out clogs but also offers an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals. For stubborn clogs, repeating the process or seeking professional help may be necessary. This approach blends traditional home remedies with a touch of modern insight for a cleaner, smoother drain.

How to Unclog a Drain

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking Soda: About 1 cup.
  • White Vinegar: Approximately 1 cup.
  • Boiling Water: Have a kettle or pot of water boiling and ready to use.
  • Rubber Gloves (optional, but recommended for hygiene).
  • Safety Goggles (optional, to protect your eyes from splashes).


  1. Prepare the Area: Wear gloves to protect your hands. If you’re concerned about splashes, consider wearing safety goggles.
  2. Remove Standing Water: If there’s standing water in the sink or tub, try to remove as much as possible. A cup or small container can be used to bail out the water.
  3. Pour Baking Soda: Carefully pour 1 cup of baking soda directly into the drain. For best results, try to get as much of the baking soda as possible into the drain itself rather than just dispersing it in the sink or tub.
  4. Add Vinegar: Slowly pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the drain. The combination of vinegar and baking soda will cause a fizzing reaction, helping to break down the clog.
  5. Cover the Drain: If possible, cover the drain with a drain plug or a small plate to keep the fizzing action working in the drain rather than fizzing out into the sink or tub.
  6. Wait: Allow the mixture to sit and work on the clog for at least 15 minutes, though 30 minutes to an hour is even better for tougher clogs.
  7. Boil Water: While waiting, boil a kettle or pot of water.
  8. Flush With Boiling Water: After the waiting period, carefully pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot water will help to dissolve and flush away what the baking soda and vinegar have loosened.
  9. Repeat if Necessary: If the drain is still clogged, you can repeat the process. Sometimes, tough clogs require a couple of treatments.
  10. Preventive Maintenance: To prevent future clogs, consider using this method as regular maintenance every few months.


  • This method works best for small to moderate clogs caused by soap scum, hair, and grease. It may not be effective for severe clogs or those caused by foreign objects.
  • Avoid using this method immediately after using chemical drain cleaners, as mixing chemicals can create dangerous reactions.
  • For persistent clogs that don’t respond to this treatment, you may need to use a plunger, a plumber’s snake, or seek professional assistance.

Using baking soda and vinegar is not only effective for many types of clogs but also safe for your pipes and the environment, making it a great first line of defense against slow or clogged drains.

Maintaining Fresh and Flowing Drains

Preventative maintenance can save you from the hassle of unclogging drains down the line. Here are tips to keep your drains in top shape:

  • Weekly Hot Water Flushes: Regularly pour boiling water mixed with liquid dish soap down the drain to prevent grease accumulation.
  • Use Strainers: Prevent hair and food particles from causing clogs by using strainer baskets.
  • Avoid Grease and Oil: Never pour these down the drain. Wipe cookware with a paper towel before washing to minimize grease entering your plumbing.

Implementing these simple steps can keep your drains running smoothly and odor-free, making baking soda an indispensable part of your cleaning toolkit.

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