Does Vinegar Help Unclog Drains?

Drain clogs are something that nearly everyone will experience at one point or another. They also tend to happen at the most inconvenient times, such as when you are unable to run out and purchase a commercial drain cleaner.

What happens if you experience a clog and need to get rid of it quickly? You could always turn to an old standby-vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. Here’s how to use these ingredients to get rid of clogs in a hurry.

Step 1: Begin with Boiling Water

Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down your drain. This will help to loosen up any grease or debris that might be stuck inside your pipes. It will also ensure the vinegar is able to reach the source of your clog.

Step 2: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Next, pour around ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda into your drain. Follow this with one to two cups of white vinegar.

You’ll notice a fizzing reaction as soon as you pour the vinegar over top of the baking soda. This is normal-in fact, it is this reaction that is what allows these two ingredients to break up clogs.

Step 3: Add more Boiling Water

After adding the vinegar, pour another pot of boiling hot water into your drain. Do this while the vinegar and baking soda are still fizzing.

The boiling water will push the vinegar and baking soda solution further into your pipes. This is where it needs to be in order to be effective.

Step 4: Cover your Drain

After pouring in the boiling water, cover your drain with a plug or other object. Doing so will ensure that the vinegar and baking soda react below the drain’s surface rather than on top of it. This is perhaps the most common mistake people make when using vinegar, and is also the leading reason why this method fails.

Step 5: Allow the Solution to Work

Give the solution around ten to fifteen minutes to perform its work. During that time, you should notice some water slowly trickling down your drain.

Step 6. Add more Boiling Water

At the end of the waiting period, pour another pot of boiling water into your drain to help loosen up any remaining particles. The water should flow freely now, as your clog has likely been eliminated.

Step 7: Repeat if Necessary

After following the above steps, you may notice that your drain is moving again, yet is not quite back to normal. In that case, you may repeat the process.

If your drain is still clogged, you have a more serious issue that will require a professional drain cleaning company. Using this method again will probably be ineffective, so you should contact us instead.

Precautions when Using Vinegar

The vinegar method is typically very safe because no chemicals are required. Even so, vinegar is highly acidic, so you should avoid splashing it into your eye. Pour slowly, and always close your eyes or wear protective goggles.

Boiling water can cause burns. Ensure you handle pots of boiling water carefully, using gloves or oven mitts. As with the vinegar, you should also pour slowly to keep the boiling water from splashing onto your skin.

Heavy Clogs Require a Plumber

The vinegar and baking soda method will only work on minor clogs, such as those stemming from Fat, Oil, or Grease (FOG). Vinegar is insufficient for getting rid of hair clogs or cleaning backed-up sewer lines.

For those jobs, you’ll need someone with the right tools and experience. As such, you should contact us whenever you have a heavy clog that is too much for this DIY remedy.