I Need the Formula for Using Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clear Drains.

Updated on February 22, 2008
L.R. asks from Cedar City, UT
15 answers

I need to know how to clear my drains without using caustic chemicals. What is the formula for using vinegar and baking soda. Do you use White or Yellow Vinegar? I have a floor drain that gets clogged and it has plumbing that cannot have caustic chemicals used on it.

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K.M.

answers from Santa Fe on

I have been cleaning and unplugging with vinegar for 30 years. I use white vinegar as it is the least odorous and expensive. For a toilet I use 1/2 gallon, and add baking soda slowly as it foams rather quickly. Depending on the clog, I may use up to 2 cups of soda. For a floor drain, can you shut the valve so the vinegar solution stays in the pipes a while? If not, add vinegar and soda alternately, and keep a plunger handy. Good luck. Kate

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G.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi: I don't know the formula for the vinegar and baking soda but I will tell you what I do when my shower drain gets plugged. I simply use the plunger on it. It loosens the clog. Some of it will come up into the shower and that is pretty gross but then it begins to drain and is OK again.

G.

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J.R.

answers from Tucson on

my plumber told me equal parts baking soda and vinegar- dump the baking soda first then the vinegar slowly.

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G.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi L.,

I just read an ad in "Ode" magazine the other day for an environmentally safe, non-toxic drain cleaner called "Drainbo". You can go to www.drainbo.com for more info.

Good Luck! :)

Warm Regards,
G.

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S.P.

answers from Phoenix on

My grandmother's recipe was 1cup vinegar(doesn't matter what kind)1 cup soda, and 1 cup salt. Put it in the drain and then follow with a quart of boiling water. It works pretty great if there isn't a big bunch of hair or something clogging the drain. Best in Kitchen sinks.

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M.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

1 cup of white vinegar (the cheapest) and 1/2 cup baking soda.

Pour the baking soda into the drain then the vinegar a bit at a time until the baking soda is disolved.
Let sit for at least 2 hours then rinse with cold water.

I usually do this at night to insure the "cleansing".

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C.W.

answers from Phoenix on

I got this in an email recently, along with a gob of other useful tips.

Unclog a drain.
Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.

Specifically for baking soda and vinegar I searched google for unclog drain, baking soda, vinegar and found a lot of links. Here is the first - http://housekeeping.about.com/od/environment/qt/bksd_drai...
Basically it says 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, wait for 5 minutes then flush with 2 quarts of hot water. Repeat if necessary.

Success

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D.D.

answers from Phoenix on

i think it wonderful to see that you want a nontoxic way to clear your drains. People have no idea what those typical brands have in them. SO, here is what i do: pour about 1/4 cup of WHITE vinegar or vinegar concentrate down drain. Let stand for 20 min. Another very effective cleaning action can be created using a quarter cup of baking soda and then add the vinegar-the resulting foaming action will clear the pipes. 2. flush drain w/ hot water. Freshly boiled water works best. 3.use a plunger to agitate the clogged-up material. It may be necessary to block any sink overflow to help build suction. 4. Flush drain again with hot water. 5. allow water to drain. 6. repeat steps until the drain becomes clear. (small sink size plunger available at most hardware stores is best thing to use.) Hope that helps!!! if you are interested in purchasing any type of noncaustic products that are actually less expensive than the name brands that you may be getting currently, please let me know. Thanks. D.

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J.P.

answers from Phoenix on

Pour 1 cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar (zap it in the microwave for 1 min.) Give it several min to work then add 4 cups of boiling water. repeat if necessary. :) You can also use 1/2 cup each of baking soda and salt, followed by 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture work overnight, then rinse with hot tap water in the morning. Wish you luck, blessings!

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K.M.

answers from Santa Fe on

I have been cleaning and unplugging with vinegar for 30 years. I use white vinegar as it is the least odorous and expensive. For a toilet I use 1/2 gallon, and add baking soda slowly as it foams rather quickly. Depending on the clog, I may use up to 2 cups of soda. For a floor drain, can you shut the valve so the vinegar solution stays in the pipes a while? If not, add vinegar and soda alternately, and keep a plunger handy. Good luck. Kate

1 mom found this helpful
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D.

answers from Albuquerque on

There is a website that is very handy for using vinegar for various things. I'm not sure of the name but if you type in what you're needing, it will probably bring it up. Good luck. By the way...white vinegar is what's used for things like this.

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M.E.

answers from Anchorage on

The friend that told me about it just said to empty about 1/2 a small box of baking soda into the drain and then add a cup or two of vinegar. Worked on my drains.

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P.M.

answers from Phoenix on

After the vinegar and baking soda have been in the covered drain, do your rinsing with HOT water. I like to boil a quart of water in the microwave and pour it down, followed by a few minutes of hot running water.

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W.Y.

answers from Santa Fe on

I don't know the formula, but you have to be an amazing woman!

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M.R.

answers from Phoenix on

All you need to do is put equal parts baking soda and vinegar in the drain, 1/2 cup is good to start with. Put the baking soda in, then pour the vinegar in and let it sit for 15-30 minutes then rince!

Make sure you do it when the grandkids are around, the reaction is fun to watch!

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S.T.

answers from Tucson on

It's equal parts white vinegar and baking soda. I imagine you could probably use yellow vinegar, too, since it is the acetic acid that reacts with the baking soda. You have to cover the drain as soon as you put the ingredients down there so that the gas that is created goes down the drain to clear it instead of out into the air. You also might have to do it quite a few times. I can get it to work for clogs that aren't too bad, but I haven't found a non-caustic trick for really badly clogged drains.

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