Does Vinegar and Baking Soda Actually Clean Your Drains?

September 18, 2020
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So you have this problem.

You have a clog in your drain, and you have no idea how to clear it out of the way. 

You remembered a while ago someone told you that baking soda and a vinegar mixture would clear that blockage out of the way.

Before you take all of that time gathering your supplies and seeing for yourself if this actually works, I decided to help you by experimenting myself.

Vinegar and baking soda are a great natural way to clean your house. You can use it for cleaning so many areas in your house: washing windows, it makes a great disinfectant and removing hard water marks of your dishes left behind by your dishwasher.

When it comes to the uses of vinegar and baking soda around your house this is a pretty small list. 

When it comes to cleaning clogs, it has a tough challenge ahead of it. Does vinegar and baking soda clear drains? Let ‘s find out.

I had a clog in my bedroom’s ensuite, and before I went out to grab a chemical clog cleaner, I wanted to see for myself if using baking soda and vinegar works to solve this draining problem.

Let’s see if cleaning your drains with vinegar and baking soda is worthy of the hype it gets. 


Listen carefully, I am only going to explain this once. 

It’s not that difficult. 

Take some hot water and pour it down your drain.

Take some baking soda and shake about 1 cup of it into the drain.

Next, take the baking soda ( 1 Cup) and hot water (1 cup) together and pour it into the drain. Wait for about 10-30 minutes.

You’re going to see the baking soda begin to erupt out of the drain slowly. It’s going to look like the those volcano projects that your kids created in school. 

Now you’re going to add more hot water to the drain. The reason for all the hot water is because the hot water washes away all the grim and junk that’s causing the clog. 

That’s all there is to it. 


Before I answer this question, I want to explain this important fact about my situation. 

I had a pretty severe clog.

I think it was hair that was tackled inside the drain pipe that was casing the problem. If you have woman in your house you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

Does Vinegar and Baking Soda Actually Clean Your Drains?

I added the vinegar and baking soda as described above.

It foamed like a volcano just like I was told.  I waited for 20 minutes, and then I added some hot water.

It probably took about 20 minutes to drain. I ran the tap to see if it was draining better, but it was the same as before.

To be honest, it didn’t make much difference.

I decided to try this again. I doubled the recipe and followed the steps.

I waited for it to drain and tested to see if there was a difference.

There was a slight improvement, but the problem was still a problem (if you know what I mean).

Remember that this was a severe clog. After using the vinegar and baking soda there was a slight improvement, but the problem persisted.

My experiment concluded that the baking soda and vinegar mixture does help with clogged drains, but will not totally clear away severely clogged drains.


The reason baking soda and vinegar work at unclogging drains is because of the acid-base reaction. It cuts through the grease, grime and debris that causes your sink to drain so slowly or not at all.

It’s works wonders in the bathroom and is commonly used to clean most parts of the house. Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your dirty oven – it’s the same cleaning principles. 

Another significant fact about using the vinegar and baking soda duo to unclog your drain is the baking soda absorbs odours.

Drains can often smell from the built-up grime inside the pipes. The baking soda can absorb those orders which makes your bathroom smell great (Well, as great as a bathroom smells typically).


What if your drain is too blocked for baking soda to work?

I went to the hardware store and bought some liquid plumber. I used the entire bottle of the liquid plumber and when I was done the drain was still slow moving.

The clog was bad (I told you).

This is when the vinegar and baking soda shined.

I used the baking soda and vinegar again after the liquid plumber, and the drain freed up and was draining normally.

It proves that the vinegar and baking soda is perfect for slow-moving drains, but for drains that are completely blocked, it may need a little help.

If your drain is so clogged that vinegar or baking soda won’t break it up, you may need to use a chemical cleaner.

If using a chemical cleaner is not an option, You could buy or borrow a drain snake to loosen the blockage and free up the drain. 

A drain snake can be purchased at any pet store and is . . . I’m joking. You get those at a hardware store and it’s just a line that goes down the drain and breaks up debris.

If the snake doesn’t work for you,  then you may have to break down and call a local plumber.

I would make sure that I’ve tried everything before calling a plumber. Only call the plumber if there is an emergency or you can’t get anything else to work. 

Plumbers are pricy, and most drains will unclog if you keep working away at it. 


This is a great question.

There was a time when people would throw a bottle of vinegar down their sink every month or even week.

Adding a ton of vinegar to your drain isn’t the best idea.

I would recommend, from what I’ve read, that you only put 1 cup of vinegar with the baking soda down your sink with some hot water, then let it sit for 10 or more minutes. After 10 minutes or so, throw some more hot water down to wash everything away.

This way is far better on your sick and pipes than continually using vinegar week after week.

It’s also crucial to add the hot water which dilutes the vinegar and breaks up the grime and debris that may form inside the pipes.


My conclusion is simple.

Using vinegar and baking soda for your clogged drain is more than just hype – it actually works.

Just don’t expect it to work perfectly, and don’t expect it to work if the drain is severely clogged.

For small clogs and slow-moving drains, baking soda and vinegar is the way to go.

Also, a helpful hint would be to wait for 10-30 minutes to let the vinegar and baking soda do its thing. The longer you let it work, the more chances of it breaking up the debris and the hot water washing it all away.

Don’t rush the process, be patient.

I believe that this is an excellent hack for homeowners with a problem that can be draining or not so much. 

Lucy's Family Owned - Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128 oz) - 5% Acidity

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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - 64 oz

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