Victory! must be shouted as you smash the toughest blockages into mush and flush them down your pipes.
However, not every blockage calls for such fuss. Sometimes clearing odorous drain clogs and clearing drains only requires routine drain cleaning and a slight shove.
Introducing vinegar and baking soda. While they can sometimes clear clogs, Liquid-Plumr is your best option when home remedies fall short. Read on!
Step 3’s bubbling reaction between the baking soda and vinegar aids in unclogging the drain, and step 4’s boiling water aids in flushing the obstruction from your pipes.
A natural drain cleaner can be made using baking soda and vinegar. Are you ready to learn how it works scientifically?
The Science: How Baking Soda & Vinegar Help Unclog Drains
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a base. Water and acetic acid, an acid (you guessed it), are the two main ingredients of vinegar.
Combining these causes a reaction in which molecules are exchanged, resulting in the production of carbon dioxide and water that bubble through the obstruction, dislodging it to produce loose material.
And unlike a regular water system, drainage pipes are not pressured. Pressure is increased when hot water is used to flush the drain. This pressure helps unclog drains and remove undesirable crap from pipes in addition to gravity.
Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water can all be used to naturally clean drains, but you might need something more powerful, such as Liquid-Plumr, to completely clear out those very stubborn clogs.
Benefits of Using Baking Soda & Vinegar as a Drain Cleaner
The advantages of routine drain cleaning can help keep your drains clear of clogs, and over time, baking soda and vinegar may operate as a natural drain cleaner on weaker drain jams.
However, you might want to use a more potent drain cleaner, such as Liquid-Plumr, for stubborn drain clogs that need to be cleared right away.
Cleaning Tough Drain Clogs
Products from Liquid-Plumr can unclog stubborn drain clogs more effectively than home cures while still being safe to use in your pipes.
In order to help unclog difficult drains, Liquid-Plumr Clog Destroyer+ PipeguardTM has two potent liquids that, when mixed, produce a deep-cleaning foam that dissolves hair and odour throughout the whole pipe.
To efficiently dissolve the drain obstruction, the main active ingredients sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite emit heat. That is pretty strong science, indeed!
Is distilled white vinegar safe to pour down the drain?
This can lessen the likelihood of clog-causing buildup on the surface of pipes. A cup of vinegar can also be poured down the drain and let to sit for 30 minutes.
What kind of vinegar works to unblock drains?
Pouring commercial drain cleaner down your drain is not a good idea! Your pipes can be being damaged by you.
Here are three quick, safe, and environmentally friendly alternatives to calling a plumber to unclog your drain or garbage disposal.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Boil 4 cups of water, then pour it down the drain.
- Down the drain, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda.
- Give it five minutes to sit.
- Pour 1 cup of hot water and 1 cup of vinegar (apple cider vinegar works best) down the drain.
- To keep the interaction of vinegar and baking soda below the drain surface, plug the drain.
- 4 cups of boiling water should be used to flush the drain once more.
Salt and Hot Water
When soap or grease clogs, salt and hot water work best. The grease that is constricting the pipes is melted by the hot water. By acting as a natural scouring agent, salt forces the buildup out of the way.
- Down the plugged drain, pour 1/2 cup of salt.
- Give it five minutes to sit.
- 10 glasses of water or a water kettle on the stove, then carefully flush the drain.
- 3. Water on the Boil
Many clogs, particularly in kitchen drains, are caused by fats and oils that solidify inside the pipes as they become cold.
The clog can be easily removed by pouring a lot of hot water down the drain.
Important Information: Avoid harming plastics or breaking porcelain by pouring the boiling water directly down the drain.
Tips to Prevent Clogs from Coming Back
Never flush grease, fats, or oils down the toilet. Any ingredient containing a lot of fat (such as butter, bacon grease, nut butters, coconut oil, etc.) should be chilled before being thrown away or wiped into the trash before washing.
Avoid melting fats with hot water from the faucet so they can be poured down the drain. The fats will clog your pipes as the water cools.
Food scraps should be thrown away in the garbage or compost pile. Vegetable peels, such as those from onions, bananas, eggs, and oranges, among others, will shorten the lifespan of your disposal. Infestations of fruit flies and drain flies may be avoided by doing this.
Your bathrooms should have hair filters installed. Never flush hair down the toilet or drain. Place stray hair in the garbage.
Use one of the aforementioned techniques to flush the drains in the kitchen and bathroom once a month.
Call a plumber to snake your drains if you have attempted these solutions and are still stuck along with your drains.
Does white vinegar damage plumbing?
Just a few of the articles we’ve published for you are listed here. However, you might have heard that vinegar isn’t always suitable for your plumbing pipes.
The short answer is that vinegar, when used sparingly as instructed in many online recipes, won’t damage your pipes. Regardless of the material—pex, pvc, copper, etc.—your pipes are composed of. Your water pipes won’t get damaged by vinegar.
Does white vinegar work well to unclog drains?
White vinegar, which many people already have at home in their kitchens, can also assist to unclog a sink. A modest bit of white vinegar is another easy technique to unclog your sink drain, according to Drench.co.uk. One cup of white vinegar should be poured down the drain and let to stand for 30 minutes before being rinsed out with hot water.
Will vinegar take out my hair?
As a homeowner, there are several actions you can do to keep hair and soap scum out of your shower drain. While these methods work well for routine maintenance and can help clear smaller, less serious blockages, they shouldn’t be utilised to repair a main sewage line obstruction because doing so could cause long-term damage.
flushing your shower drain with boiling water. This is a fantastic initial step to take because the water’s temperature aids in more successfully breaking up the soap scum and grime buildup so that it may be thoroughly washed away. This can prevent clogs if you do it once a week.
Hair obstructions may be successfully released by using a plunger. Petroleum jelly lining the plunger seal will aid in improving air suction, increasing the plunger’s effectiveness. The greatest thing you can do to prevent hair blockages is to simply remove hair stuck in the drain cover after each shower. Regularly using a plunger will prevent hair build-up.
More than just a plunger may be required for a larger, deeper obstruction. Without using harsh chemicals, you can dissolve hair clogs naturally by combining vinegar and baking soda. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, and then add a cup of vinegar after a few minutes. After letting the combination dissolve the obstruction for a few hours, flush the drain with boiling water.
Chemical Drain-Cleaning Products
Although using caustic drain-cleaning chemicals on a daily basis may seem like a quick and inexpensive way to fix your clogged drain, doing so can harm your pipes and shower fittings, be harmful to your health, and pollute the environment. It’s probably time to call in the pros if your drain is so blocked that you’re thinking of employing these hazardous chemicals.
Can vinegar unclog a sluggish drain?
You can clean a variety of objects with ordinary household items like vinegar and baking soda. With the aid of hot water, you can also use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a slow drain. The baking soda should be measured in advance and placed in the kitchen or bathroom where you will be clearing the drain.
Here’s how to use vinegar and baking soda to unclog a slow drain:
- Bring a kettle of water to a rolling boil on the stove. When it begins to whistle, take it out and carefully transfer the kettle to the drain you are attempting to unclog. With caution so as not to splash yourself, pour the majority of the hot water down the drain.
- Down the drain, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda. If this is a bathroom sink with a stopper, raise the plug as high as it will go and push the baking soda down the drain with the aid of a skewer, object, or cotton swab.
- Pour one cup of hot water and one cup of white vinegar down the drain onto the baking soda. Bubbles will form as a result of the vinegar and baking soda combination. The sludge that has accumulated in the drain pipe will be helped to loosen by this process.
- Close the stopper or cover the drain with a plug. Give it ten minutes to rest.
- Bring another kettle of water to a boil throughout the ten-minute period. After the ten minutes have passed, carefully pour the hot water down the drain while taking care not to splash yourself.
- Heat some water. You’re done if it drains the way you want it to. If it’s still sluggish, try the steps again or one of the solutions listed below.
Freshen drains with baking soda and vinegar
For do-it-yourself cleaning, baking soda and vinegar are like PB&J or matcha and oat milk: They go along flawlessly. The pair can keep your sinks free of harsh, offensive chemicals and is incredibly simple to use.
Pour a mixture of 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup vinegar down the drain that is giving you issue. Parmenter advises sealing the drain and allowing the mixture to bubble up inside the drain. “Pour a lot of hot, but not boiling, water down the drain after about a half-hour.”
Repeat the procedure to clear any tough obstructions. Your drain will stay clean and clear if you use this procedure regularly once a month.
Cream of tartar drain fix
Another mixture is suggested by Bob Vila, the father of home repair, to clear up tough hair and soap scum clogs in the bathroom.
Add two cups of baking soda, two tablespoons (or about 1/8 cup) of cream of tartar, and one and a half cups of salt together. Give the solution in a jar a vigourous shake to combine it. Add your homemade mixture to two cups of hot water before pouring it down the drain. Let everything sit for at least an hour. While the cream of tartar cleans metals, the salt and baking soda will work to clear the obstruction.
Pour two cups of boiling water down the drain after one cup each of baking soda and vinegar if it’s still clogged. Allow it to empty the drain while you sleep.
Dishwashing detergent and hot water
If you frequently use coconut oil for aesthetic purposes, you might have noticed that your drain has been slow. You can have a grease blockage in your drain. The “oops factor” of unintentionally pouring or leaking grease into your kitchen sink after cooking is another possibility.
We have your back. Pour boiling water into a pan, add two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent, and then slowly pour the hot water down the drain. Because you are bringing the fats back to a liquid condition and the detergent aids in moving the grease down the pipes and out of the drain, this method is particularly helpful at clearing fatty grease clogs. If you frequently use beauty oils or cook with a lot of grease that could clog your drain, Greener Ideal suggests doing this once a week.
Borax, salt, and vinegar
Parmenter suggests using this other DIY drain cleaning. Begin by mixing 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup each of salt and borax. After pouring the solution down the drain, fill a pot with boiling water. Prior to rinsing with hot tap water, let it sit for at least one hour.
Can vinegar and baking soda aggravate a plugged drain?
It turns out that my chemistry instructor from high school was correct—the fizzy mixture of baking soda and vinegar is useless for unclogging grease-clogged drains.
Why? Since vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, their chemical interaction results in water that contains a small quantity of salt rather than a drain cleaner that will obliterate fat. Additionally, since vinegar and baking soda are not surfactants, they do not assist water in the same manner that detergents do in removing oil and grease.
The degreasing ability of the detergent helps the hot water melt the FOG blockage more effectively.
What about the pressure created?
Many readers worry if the pressure produced by the vinegar/baking soda reaction will drive a drain blockage out and enquire about the pressure developed during the reaction. Both yes and no, is the answer.
- Yes, the chemical interaction between baking soda and vinegar results in carbon dioxide gas (CO2), which increases pressure in a closed container.
- No, the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar in a drain or household plumbing system does not occur in a closed system, thus pressure cannot build up to the point where it may blast a clog out of the pipes.
You may have seen an experiment using vinegar and baking soda done in a sealed container like a bottle or balloon. They are a powerful example of how chemical reactions may be powerful. It’s crucial to remember that these tests are conducted in an enclosed container where the CO2 gas has no way to escape.
A home drain system is not a container that is tightly sealed. Since your pipes carry far more liquid or gas than a balloon or bottle does from the kitchen sink to the sewer, it would require a lot more CO2 to fill the pipes to the point where pressure begins to build. Additionally, the plumbing vent system, holes in your drain or drain cover, and/or voids in the blockage might all allow the CO2 produced by the vinegar/baking soda interaction to escape. There is air leakage!
The Hot Water Solution
I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s debatable whether baking soda and vinegar are effective for cleaning drains. People become very enraged over it. I receive letters and comments that should not be published on a PG website.
Really, I’m sorry if this has upset you. I used to be an avid fan of baking soda and vinegar. I soon discovered, though, that the trick was not doing me much good and that I was wasting baking soda and vinegar that I could have used to clean other items. I started looking into green cleaning components and terrible cleaner combos.
Why is Baking Soda and Vinegar Recommend as a Drain Cleaner?
It could be the bubbling from the enjoyable chemical reaction, the desire of businesses to increase sales, or even the heat of the water.
- You’ll see that the directions for cleaning drains with baking soda and vinegar suggest following the baking soda/vinegar with almost boiling water. As seen in the aforementioned experiment, melting FOG blockages is a breeze with really hot water.
- Bonus: The pressure from the hot water’s weight on the clog may aid to loosen or dislodge it (thanks to gravity).
Try the Experiment for Yourself
Still not convinced? When your drain becomes slow or clogged in the future, consider running some hot water first. You could discover that it effectively removes FOG clogs, allowing you to avoid purchasing baking soda and vinegar altogether.
The Enzyme Solution
Have a hair-clogged drain or a challenging FOG clog that hot water can’t clear? Consider using an enzyme drain cleaner like Biokleen Drain Gel or Earth Enzymes Drain Opener.
- The enzymes and bacteria in these environmentally friendly drain cleaners break down the organic material in the obstruction to unclog your drain. (Green Gobbler Drain Clog Remover is another widely used remedy; it clears drain sludge using monosodium sulphate, a non-toxic acid.)