How to Clean a Clogged Drain Naturally

Written by liza blau
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How to Clean a Clogged Drain Naturally
Clean your clogged drain naturally with baking soda and vinegar. (water in a sink image by terex from

If you have a clogged shower, bath or sink drain, you may be wary of using commercially-prepared drain openers that contain strong chemicals, and for good reason. According to the University of Wisconsin-Extension, commercially-prepared drain openers are highly corrosive and contain toxins which can release potentially lethal fumes and contribute to environmental pollution. Fortunately, you can prepare your own natural drain opener to clean your clogged drain with safe ingredients found in your own kitchen.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • White or cider vinegar
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Fill a measuring cup with 3/4 cup of baking soda. Pour the baking soda down your clogged drain.

  2. 2

    Pour 1/2 cup of white or cider vinegar down your clogged drain after the baking soda. Don't use balsamic or rice vinegar that often contains salt or flavourings.

  3. 3

    Cover the drain immediately with an airtight plug or rag to make sure none of the ingredients can escape. Combining the baking soda with vinegar creates a mini-volcano that works to dissolve the debris that is creating your clogged drain. Leave the mixture in for 30 minutes or up to several hours, depending on how severe the drain clog is.

  4. 4

    Fill a tea kettle or pot with water and bring it to a boil on your stove.

  5. 5

    Remove the drain cover and slowly pour the hot water down the drain. Plug the opening again and allow the mixture to bubble. After a few minutes, remove the drain cover and check to see if the clog is gone by pouring water down the drain. If the water doesn't flow smoothly down the drain, repeat the steps listed above.

Tips and warnings

  • Boiling water by itself can often fix a clogged drain. When you first notice a drain acting slow, try boiling water and pouring it down the drain to help dissolve any clogs.

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