Tip On How To Clear A Clogged Drain

Dated: 11/08/2018

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Last winter, my kitchen sink was clogged and a friend told me that she had used vinegar, baking soda and borax to unclog hers. At first I didn't think it would work but to my surprise it did!!  Hope this helps you!


How to Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar

If you've noticed standing water in your tub or your kitchen sink draining slowly, you probably have a clogged drain. Fortunately, if caught early you can clear a clogged drain using common household items. Vinegar, baking soda, borax, and lots of hot water are simple, yet effective tools in clearing slow-draining sinks.

Part1Preparing the Drain Mixture

  1. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 01 1 Drain any water from the sink or tub. If it's really slow-draining, this may take a while, but if you remove the water, you drain-clearing mixture will be able to work on the clog much faster.

  2. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 02 2 Gather household cleaning/kitchen items. You have several options for creating a non-commercial drain opener. Most involve vinegar and another substance that create a chemical reaction when combined. See if you have any of these drain-opening agents on hand:

    • Vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar work) is the acidic base for creating the foaming reaction.

    • Lemon juice is acidic like vinegar, but smells refreshing. This makes lemon juice a good option for clearing out clogged kitchen sinks.

    • Baking soda is frequently used as a multipurpose cleanser.

    • Salt will help eat away at the clog.

    • Borax is frequently used as a multipurpose cleanser.

  3. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 03 3 Pour vinegar and another drain-opening agent down the drain. No mixing is needed before pouring down the drain. The mixture will foam up on its own as the chemical reaction occurs.[1]

    • For a vinegar and baking soda combination: use 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar.

    • For a lemon juice and baking soda combination: use 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of lemon juice.

    • For a salt, borax, and vinegar combination: use 1/4 cup of borax, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup of vinegar.

Part2Agitating the Clog

  1. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 04 1 Cover and let the mixture sit. Either use the tub stopper to close the drain or cover it with a steaming hot cloth. Keep the drain closed for 30 minutes. During this time, the foam will be working on wearing down the clog.[2]

  2. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 05 2 Plunge the drain. Use a small, sink size plunger to agitate the clogged-up material. Create a seal and push up and down on the rubber base of the plunger.

    • Plunging works best if you fill the tub or sink with water. The added pressure from the water will help force open the clog.

  3. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 06 3 Use a hanger to pull out the clog. If the drain is clogged with hair, take a metal hanger and twist it till you have a long piece of metal with a small hook at one end. Carefully feed the hook end of the wire down the drain. Twist the wire around and try to snag the clog. Gently pull the wire back out once you've caught the clog.

    • Take care not to scratch your sink or tub with the exposed metal. Also, use caution when untwisting the hanger. The metal may be sharp.

  4. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 07 4 Use a drain snake. A drain snake looks like a long metal rope. You'll need to carefully feed the snake into the drain. When the snake gets stuck, you'll want to turn the cable. This will make it catch onto the clog. When you slowly pull the snake back out, the clog should clear. Flush with water and repeat.[3]

    • Wear work gloves since the metal snake can be sharp. You should also have an old towel and bucket handy to set the clogged material.

Part3Flushing the Drain

  1. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 08 1 Flush the drain with hot water. Boil at least 6 cups of hot water or several kettles full of water. Uncover the drain and slowly pour the hot water down.

    • If you have plastic piping, just use very hot water. Avoid pouring boiling water in the drain.[4]

  2. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 09 2 Repeat. If the water is still draining slowly, repeat the process again until the drain becomes clear.

    • If the clog still stubbornly resists draining, you may have a hairball stuck. This may require manually removing the clog. Consider calling a plumber, especially if the drain completely stops up.

  3. Image titled Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 10 3 Use gravity and pressure to flush the drain. This works best on a clogged tub, since you can fill the tub with gallons of water. Fill the tub with hot water. Then, open the drain and let the pressure of all that water help break up the clog.[5]

Blog author image

Celinda Bradshaw

Celinda is the wife of Travis Bradshaw, together they have four children, Benjamin, Allie, Carli and Addie, ranging from age 11 to 22. She happily resides in the city of Schertz, TX. She enjoys hel....

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