While large, nasty globs of gunk residing in your drain require extra vigor and effort to remove, smaller clogs don’t need as much theatrics.
Instead of reaching for the caustic drain cleaner on your shelf or running to the store to grab a chemical cocktail that will blaze through any clog, you could try using vinegar and baking soda.
These two ingredients are powerhouses in the kitchen, but not only for cooking purposes. They make excellent cleaning ingredients in various natural, all-purpose cleaners, including tackling the clog in your drain (in kitchens, bathrooms, and anywhere else).
Here’s how to remove the pesky clog solely using baking soda and vinegar (plus a bit of patience and a splash or two of hot water).
How Long Does Baking Soda And Vinegar Take To Unclog A Sink?
Baking soda and vinegar are a powerful combo when it comes to tackling stubborn, clogged drains. They work quickly and efficiently, creating a fizzy reaction in your drain that breaks through blockages in a matter of minutes.
In many cases, you only need to wait ten minutes for the mixture to work before flushing the drains with hot water. Sometimes, you might need to flush the drain more than once to remove stubborn clogs, but if it takes more than two applications to dislodge the clog, you should try an alternative method.
How Much Baking Soda And Vinegar Do You Need To Unclog A Kitchen Sink?
You don’t need much baking soda or vinegar to unclog your kitchen sink drain. In most cases, you’ll only need a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda. Sometimes, you might need to flush the drain a couple of times with the mixture to dislodge the clog fully, so you might need extra.
A small box of baking soda and a few cups of white vinegar should do the trick. If you need to flush the drain more than once or twice, it’s usually best to try an alternative method.
Why Do Baking Soda And Vinegar Work To Unclog A Drain?
When you combine baking soda and vinegar, you get a bubbly concoction that fizzes and froths as it reacts. It’ll take you straight back to the science fair in sixth grade, back when you won first place with your volcano experiment. Baking soda and vinegar, boom: volcano.
While you probably learned the science behind the reaction in middle school, you might’ve forgotten how it works, so let’s run through a quick refresher. Don’t worry; we won’t get too scientific!
Baking soda, scientifically known as sodium bicarbonate, is the base of the reaction. Vinegar, made up of water and acetic acid, is acidic. When you combine the two, molecules exchange, creating carbon dioxide and water that fizzes and bubbles through the clog.
As the mixture fizzes in your drain, it slowly breaks through the blockage, loosening it enough to send it away down the plumbing. Once you flush the drains with hot water, you add pressure, which further dislodges the clog and escorts it away from your drain to the sewer system (or septic tank).
How To Unclog A Sink Drain With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are an excellent cleaning duo, especially when it comes to removing clogs from the drain systems throughout your home. However, this method works best on drains without standing water, as the mixture needs to come into contact with the clog.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Hot water
Start by pouring a half cup of baking soda into the drain and follow it with one cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain with a stopper or plug and wait ten minutes for the mixture to work. You might hear it bubble and fizz, which signifies it’s doing its job.
After ten minutes, remove the drain plug and flush the drain with hot water. You can use boiling water if you have metal plumbing but stick with hot tap water if your home has plastic plumbing.
Avoid using boiling water if you have plastic joints throughout the system, too, as boiling water can wreak havoc on the plastic.
Once you flush the drain, check for proper drainage. If the sink drains smoothly, you’re good to go. However, repeat the method if the sink slowly drains or doesn’t drain at all. After another attempt, check for proper drainage. If the problem persists, try an alternative method.
Note: Sometimes, adding a drop or two of dish soap can help lubricate the plumbing and dislodge the clog. So, if the mixture doesn’t work the first time, add a couple of drops of dish soap to the second attempt.
How Do You Unclog A Sink When Baking Soda And Vinegar Doesn’t Work?
If the combination of baking soda and vinegar fails to remove the clog from your kitchen sink, there’s no need to worry. You can employ a few alternative methods to address the stubborn blockage, including using a sink plunger or a drain snake.
If you decide to use a plunger, ensure you use a sink plunger, as they feature a slightly different design than toilet plungers. Plus, you don’t want the grime from the toilet in your kitchen sink, so it’s best to use a sink plunger that has never seen the horrors of the toilet.
Alternatively, if you opt for a drain snake, be careful using it, especially if you have a garbage disposal. If you have a garbage disposal, a drain snake isn’t the best option unless you check for blockages beyond the unit by disassembling the plumbing beneath it.
If all else fails and you can’t pinpoint the clog’s origin, it’s usually best to call a plumber. Sometimes, the clog is particularly stubborn or located in a hard-to-reach area, making it tricky to remove.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Baking Soda And Vinegar A Natural Alternative To Chemical Drain Cleaners?
If you’re not thrilled about the idea of using caustic chemicals to tackle the clog in your kitchen sink, baking soda and vinegar can be the perfect alternative.
Compared to chemical drain cleaners, which often contain strong chemicals, vinegar and baking soda are gentle cleaning solutions to address the clogs residing in your drain.
Of course, they might not always do the trick, but it doesn’t hurt to try if you prefer to steer clear of commercial drain cleaners.
Will Baking Soda Deodorize My Sink Drain?
Baking soda has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which helps it eliminate pungent odors wafting from your kitchen sink drain. Vinegar works great for disinfecting things, so it can also help eliminate things that could be causing the stench.
So, if you’re using baking soda and vinegar to escort a clog out of your drain, you’ll reap the deodorizing benefits of both ingredients.