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How to Clean Drains with Baking Soda and Vinegar

In today’s conscious world, where sustainability is more than just a trend, homeowners are constantly on the lookout for green solutions to everyday problems. One such problem that frequently occurs in households is clogged drains.

Before you reach for harsh chemical solutions, did you know there’s an eco-friendly and effective method using just baking soda and vinegar? This post will guide you through cleaning your blocked drains with these natural ingredients, offering a safe alternative that’s better for your home and the environment.

What you’ll need

To get started, make sure you have the following items ready:

  • A tea kettle or pot for boiling water
  • Baking soda (120 g)
  • White vinegar (250 ml)
  • A drain plug or rag
  • Measuring jug

Step-by-step guide to clearing your clogged drain naturally

boiling a pot of water

Begin by boiling a pot of water. Once it reaches a rolling boil, carefully pour boiling water directly down the drain. This initial step helps soften the clog, but be careful when handling very hot water and allow it to drain slowly.

pour baking soda

Next, pour baking soda (120 g) down the drain. Follow this with a 250 ml of water and 250 ml of vinegar mixture. The combination will cause a fizzing action, indicating that the cleaning process has started.

use vinegar

Quickly cover the drain with the plug or a rag to keep the reaction below the surface, where it can do its work. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the bubbling action of the baking soda and vinegar to break up the clog.

step 4 to pour water again

Finish by pouring another pot of boiling hot water down the drain to flush away the loosened debris.

How does it work?

The cleaning power of this method lies in the chemical reaction between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid). When you mix baking soda with vinegar, they produce carbon dioxide, which creates pressure and agitation, breaking up the clog without damaging your pipes.

Benefits of using baking soda and vinegar to clear a drain clog

  • Eco-Friendly: This method avoids relying on harmful chemicals that are often found in drain cleaner, making it safe for you and the environment.
  • Cost-Effective: Baking soda and vinegar are inexpensive and likely already in your pantry.
  • Safe for Septic Systems: Unlike chemical cleaners, these natural ingredients won’t harm beneficial septic tank bacteria.

Common types of blockages solved using baking soda and vinegar

  • Hair build-ups
  • Soap scum in sink drains
  • Fatty residues
  • Minor food blockages

What this won’t work for

  • Major obstructions such as tree roots or large foreign objects
  • Severely compacted blockages and tough clogs that require mechanical removal
  • Collapsed drains


How do I avoid future blockages?

To prevent future blockages and ensure your drainage system remains free-flowing, practising routine maintenance and mindful usage is key. Installing a drain trap in sinks, showers, and tubs can catch hair, soap bits, and other debris before they enter your pipes, significantly reducing the risk of clogs. Carrying out routine cleaning of these traps and disposing of the waste properly can keep your drains clear. Additionally, never pour oil, grease, and food residue down the kitchen sink, as these can solidify and accumulate over time, leading to blockages.

By following these simple practices, you can maintain the health of your drainage system and avoid the need for frequent, aggressive cleaning techniques.

What should I do if I still have a blockage?

If after trying this method you face blockage issues, consider using a plumber’s drain snake for physical removal or a plunger for suction. However, for persistent or severe clogs, it’s best to contact a professional plumber or drainage company like Any Drains Direct to ensure your plumbing receives the best care possible.

Is baking soda and bicarbonate of soda the same thing?

Yes, baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are two names for the same ingredient. Baking soda is commonly used in cooking and cleaning, while bicarbonate of soda is more often used in medical applications.


While DIY solutions like using baking soda and vinegar are excellent for minor clogs and regular maintenance, they might not solve all problems. Professional services ensure that your drains stay clean and functional without risking damage to your plumbing system.

If you’re struggling with persistent drain issues or require expert support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Any Drains. Our team of professionals is equipped to handle any drain problems, ensuring your home’s plumbing system is in top condition.

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