Your home can have a couple of different sinks, yet the one in the bathroom can be the hardest to deal with when it gets clogged.
Hair, soap scum, toothpaste, and other grooming chemicals can form an impenetrable clog in bathroom sinks. But before you call a plumber, there are several easy and inexpensive ways to unclog your drain.
If you have a severe issue, you could need to know how to unclog a drain using a baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner, yet the first course of action is to know how to deal with clogged drains. (Read How to Use Baking Soda In Laundry)
In our guide, you can learn how to unclog drain using these chemicals to best advantage.
Does Baking Soda Unclog Drains?
Baking soda is a home mainstay that can help unclog drains caused by fat, oil, and grease.
Hair and scum from personal products are the most common clogs in bathroom drains. Baking soda powder can help as it is a naturally occurring mineral compound with slightly alkaline properties to dissolve mineral deposits and organic materials like grease.
Baking soda also has mild disinfectant properties that fight odor-causing bacteria and fungi.
Chemical drain cleaners have many disadvantages. They don’t always work, and the caustic chemicals can cause serious burns. In fact, some apartment buildings expressly prohibit the use of chemical cleaners.
Before you reach for a caustic chemical product, try one of these simple homemade baking soda techniques. (Learn How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Baking Soda)
How Do You Unclog a Drain Naturally?
While we focus on bathroom sinks, all of these methods can be used on other drains. Abrasive, poisonous chemicals are not used in any of the following methods:
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is an old method for unclogging drains that work well in bathroom sinks. Fill a measuring cup with 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup vinegar.
This mixture will fizz and create carbon dioxide and should be poured down the drain pipes immediately. The fizzing action helps remove hair and grime effectively. Let it sit for an hour, then flush it with hot water.
2. Baking Soda and Salt
Baking soda and salt also work well. Pour 1/2 cup of each into the drain.
Wait 15 minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain. Three ingredients create a powerful chemical reaction that can unclog even the toughest bathroom sink clogs.
3. Boiling Water
This works wonders on some bathroom clogs, especially soap scum. Boiling water works best when there is a slow drain and not much tepid water in the sink. Bring a large pot or kettle of water to a boil. Pour the water into the drain in stages. This method should work with quick results.
4. Wire Hanger
The most involved method is saved for last. To avoid this project, unclog your drain using the methods above. If not, you may need a wire hanger to unclog the most stubborn clogs in your plumbing.
- Wire hanger
- Pliers (to bend the wire)
- Rubber gloves and bucket.
- Turn off the water, place a bucket underneath,
- Clean the sink and shut the stopper completely.
- Remove the bathroom sink stopper. Under your sink, remove the pivot rod from the clevis strap by squeezing the spring clip.
- Loosen the stopper and pull it out from the sink drain.
- Clean the stopper mechanism from all the dirt, hair, and debris. (Don’t use the bathroom sink).
- Bend your wire hanger into a hook shape using the pliers.
- Lower the hook into the drain and twist to drag out as much hair and gunk as you can.
- Reassemble everything once it is clean and pour hot water down the drain to test and clean the stubborn particles in the clogged drains.
How Much Baking Soda does it take to unclog a drain?
Using baking soda, vinegar and hot water, you can create a volcanic reaction to produce a natural but powerful cleaning solution to deal with an array of drain problems.
The two common household items are inexpensive and don’t contain the harmful chemical sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, found in a store-bought clog unblocker alternative.
A fully clogged drain will demand the services of a professional plumber, but a partially clogged drain may be resolved with baking soda and vinegar. This solution will dissolve the sludge and push it through the pipes, allowing water to flow freely.
- Let the hot water run or use water from a kettle to warm up your pipes.
- Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain.
- Pour slowly 1 cup of vinegar, and then cover the drain with a plug.
- Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes as they fizz together.
- Once it stops fizzing, pour more hot water down the drain to clean.
Repeat steps 1-5 until you achieve the desired results.
The simplest way to avoid gunk in the pipe is to prevent a blockage from occurring.
Regularly cleaning your drain with baking soda and vinegar helps prevent the collection of debris and clogs and the need for DIY plumbing. (Learn How To Whiten Clothes With Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda)
How Do I Clean My Kitchen Sink with Vinegar and Baking Soda?
If you want to try the DIY route first, try these baking soda and vinegar hacks for routine drain cleaning:
Just as you take out the trash regularly, cleaning your garbage disposal should be another routine task to keep your appliance running smoothly.
Follow these steps to keep the garbage disposal running in tip-top condition:
- For a minute, run hot water so the heat can loosen fat.
- Start by pouring a quarter cup of baking soda down the drain and turn the garbage disposal for a couple of seconds. Allow 10 minutes for the baking soda to sit.
- Add 1 cup white vinegar and allow the vinegar and baking soda mixture to bubble and create pressure for a few minutes.
- Run the garbage disposal for a few seconds after rinsing with hot water.
- Pour into your drain 2 cups ice and 1/2 cup salt. Turn on the garbage disposal and run cold water until the ice is gone. The ice and salt will loosen food debris.
- Citrus peel from lemon, oranges or grapefruit can be dropped into the garbage disposal as you run the cold water. Your garbage disposal will smell great, thanks to the fruit slices!
Tips to Keep Your Drains Clean Longer
To keep hair and food particles from traveling down the drain, always use strainer baskets.
Pouring oil or grease down the drain is never a good idea.
When cooking greasy or oily items, wipe the cookware with a paper towel before washing to prevent grease, oil, and fat from forming a clog in the drain.
To prevent fatty clogs, pour boiling water with a grease-fighting dish soap down the drain system regularly.
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain and let it sit overnight, then flush the system with hot water or a hot cup of vinegar in the morning to freshen it up.
Cleaning and freshening your garbage disposal may be done using baking soda, vinegar or baking soda and salt. Reduce the required amounts of baking soda, water, vinegar, and salt by half and follow the procedures above to remove odors from your garbage disposal.
- 2 to 4 cups of boiling water
- Dish soap
- 1 to 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup of salt
Baking soda can be used to clean a clogged drain system. You only need to follow these steps if your drain is running slow.
Boiling water can be found in a tea kettle on the stovetop or a big microwave-safe measuring cup for pouring down your drain.
Squirt some grease-fighting dish soap, followed by boiling water, into the drain. Natural dish soap can help with the removal of a grease blockage.
Pour 1 cup baking soda into your drain; if you have a smaller drain and too much baking soda falls into your sink rather than the drain, use a measuring cup or a funnel.
Add to the drain one cup of distilled white vinegar. Don’t be surprised if you can hear the reaction in your pipe.
Baking soda is a mild acetic acid, while vinegar is an alkaline chemical. The combination of the two compounds makes them react violently to neutralize one another. The fizzing sound you hear in your pipe results from this reaction, which creates pressure to help to unclog your drain pipe. (Learn How To Clean Upholstery With Baking Soda)
Wait five minutes after the fizzing stops. During this time, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Boiling water should flush the drain. Run hot tap water down the drain or use water from a kettle.
If it’s not draining, repeat the steps, and if you’re cleaning your drain for the first time, you may need to repeat the cup of baking soda flush at least twice.