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How to Use Ammonia as a Drain Cleaner

Updated February 21, 2017

When kitchen or bathroom drains are in need of cleaning, they are also often clogged with residue from soaps, hair, grease and other materials that build up over time. In order to effectively clean the drain, the cleaning solution must have the ability to dissolve or loosen these substances to the point that they can easily be rinsed away. Ammonia is a strong chemical that is often found in commercial cleaning products; however, it is not necessary to purchase expensive products when using ammonia on its own can obtain the maximum cleaning benefits.

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  1. Fill two kitchen pots with 1 qt. of water each and bring the water to a boil.

  2. Set a 1 qt. or larger bucket near the sink that is being cleaned. Carefully pour one of the pots of boiling water into the bucket, taking care not to burn yourself.

  3. Pull on a pair of gloves to protect your hands, then measure out 1/4 cup of ammonia. Empty it into the bucket of water and mix it up with your gloved hand.

  4. Hold the bucket close to the drain to reduce the risk of splashing, and slowly pour the ammonia water down the drain. Leave the solution to sit in the drain for five minutes or longer, to help loosen any grime, soap build-up and any potential clogs in the drain.

  5. Pour the remaining gallon of hot water down the drain to completely rinse away the ammonia and any loosened dirt.

  6. Warning

    Never mix bleach with ammonia to prevent toxic fumes. Avoid pouring bleach into the drain after cleaning it with ammonia. Be careful not to splash or otherwise get ammonia in your eyes while pouring it down the drain.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Gallon bucket
  • Gloves
  • Measuring cup

About the Author

Mai Bryant

Mai Bryant is a Northern California writer who specializes in writing about health-related topics, fashion and relationships. She began writing online in 2005 but has freelanced privately for more than 10 years. Bryant's eclectic professional background as a medical technician, a licensed cosmetologist, copywriter and event planner allows her to write with authority on numerous topics.

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