How to Clean Clogged Drains With Vinegar

Slow water drainage can indicate that drains are clogged. Hair, food particles and miscellaneous debris become lodged in drain systems, causing sinks to fill with water. Clogged drains are inconvenient, as they make sinks ineffective and dingy. Vinegar is a natural household cleaner used as an alternative to caustic drain cleaners. Unlike commercial drain cleaners, vinegar is neither toxic nor harmful to the environment. Vinegar, combined with other household products, can clean and unblock clogged drains.

Make sure the sink, tub or shower pan is completely empty. Scoop out any accumulated water with a bucket.

Pour 3/4 cup of dry baking soda down the drain. Immediately pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain.

Fill the drain opening with a thick cloth. Wait 15 to 30 minutes for the fizzing baking soda and vinegar reaction to unclog the drain.

Remove the cloth from the drain opening. Slowly pour 6 cups of boiling water down the drain to flush any remaining debris.

Turn on the faucet to make sure the drain is unclogged. If water is not properly draining, repeat the steps.


You can use this method on clogged garbage disposals.


Applying this method after using commercial cleaning products can produce harmful effects or even explosions. Carefully handle the boiling water to prevent burning yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Thick cloth
  • 6 cups boiling water
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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.