DIY non-toxic drain cleaner

Did you know that there was an easy-peasy, do-it-yourself and non-toxic way to unclog a drain? Yep, no toxins necessary! This is a great way to A) cut down on costs, B) protect your health and C) not feel guilty about pouring harsh chemicals into the public water source.

What you need:

  1. Baking soda
  2. Vinegar
  3. A rag or scrap cloth (it must be large enough to put into the opening of the drain as a stop)
  4. A kettle of boiled water

Step 1: Pour half of a box of baking soda down the clogged drain. Note: the drain must be dry so avoid using it for the hour or so prior to this process.

Step 2: Pour half a cup of vinegar down the drain.

Step 3: Immediately after you pour the vinegar, plug the drain with the rag, filling the hole completely so nothing can escape. If you do not plug the drain completely, you may have a third grade science project on your hands (think “miniature volcano”).

Step 4: Let the mixture stay in the drain for about 30 minutes.

Step 5: While the mixture works its magic in the drain, boil a tea kettle full of water (and pay some bills, paint your nails, or whatever else you can manage in half an hour!).

Step 6: After the 30 minutes is up, remove the rag and slowly pour the boiling water down the drain.

Step 7: Pat yourself on the back while saying “you’re so clever…”

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  1. The rag must be the missing piece! Ahhh! I’ve attempted this before without covering it and it just made a huge mess and really did not do much for the clog. I’m definitely going to have to try this again now that I need to unclog my bathroom sink again. Thanks for the tip!

  2. @Dana: roll a newspaper into a long funnel shape, wider at the top and small enough at the bottom so it fits into and a little ways down the drain. Then pour your baking soda down your funnel.

  3. i do this once a month….put the baking soda down first then the vinegar….helps wash the rest of the powder down with it….i love this idea…

  4. I often try this with mixed success. My biggest issue is getting the baking soda down the drain. Any tips?

  5. I am definitely going to try this and hope that I don’t blow the pipes out. 🙂