DIY Baking Soda & Vinegar Drain Hacks
Baking soda and vinegar are not just for the science fair – their volcanic reaction produces a powerful cleaning solution that can solve an array of drain problems. These two common household items are inexpensive, plus they do not contain the harmful chemical, sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, found in store-bought clog remover.
If your drain is suffering from a major clog and you need immediate drain cleaning service, find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location to book your appointment online right away!
If you want to try the DIY route first, try these baking soda and vinegar hacks for routine drain cleaning:
How to clean, deodorize and maintain a garbage disposal
Just as one takes out the trash on a regular basis, cleaning the garbage disposal should be another routine chore to keep this kitchen appliance running smoothly. Follow these steps to keep the garbage disposal running in tip-top condition:
- Run hot water for a minute.
- Drop ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds. Allow baking soda to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of vinegar. Allow the vinegar and baking soda combination to fizz for a few minutes.
- Rinse with hot water and run the garbage disposal for another few seconds.
- Fill the drain with 2 cups of ice and 1/2 cup of salt. Run cold water and turn on the garbage disposal until the ice is gone. The ice and salt will loosen food debris.
- Cut up a citrus peel (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit). With cold water running and the garbage disposal on, drop fruit slices in one at a time. The fruit slices will leave your garbage disposal smelling fresh!
How to prevent garbage disposal clogs
There is some discrepancy whether certain foods clean or clog a garbage disposal. Take our advice and avoid putting the following foods down your disposal. Use them as garden compost instead.:
A common drain myth is that egg shells sharpen the blades in a garbage disposal. Not true. The membrane on the inside of an egg shell can stick to the grinders and make them duller.
Putting coffee grounds in the garbage disposer has been a common practice for eliminating odor. Coffee grounds are not so much damaging for the garbage disposal as it is for the drain – they can accumulate and cause clogs.
Corn husks, celery, onion skins and artichokes – what do they all have in common? Their stringy and fibrous texture is perfect for tangling up in a garbage disposal and jamming the motor.
Potatoes create a thick paste when churned in the garbage disposal while pasta and rice produce a slimy coating on the blades.
Grease or Cooking Oils
Since grease and oil solidify at a certain temperature, they are disastrous for garbage disposals, pipes and waste water treatment down the road. Fats are the worst offenders when it comes to complete pipe and sewer blockage.
How to clean a dishwasher
Cleaning a dishwasher may seem redundant, but routine cleaning can extend the appliance’s lifespan and keep it running efficiently. Here is how:
- Remove the bottom rack of the dishwasher to access the drain. Remove any food remnants.
- Place a cup of vinegar on the upper rack and run a hot water cycle in an empty dishwasher.
- Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run another hot water cycle.
We recommend cleaning the dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar once every month.
How to unclog a drain
A completely clogged drain will require the help of a professional plumber, but baking soda and vinegar might be a quick fix for a partially clogged drain. This solution will dissolve and push the sludge through the pipes to allow water to flow through easily.
- Let hot water run for a minute to warm up the pipes.
- Drop in 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain.
- Pour in 1 cup of vinegar, cover the drain with a plug and let sit for 10 minutes – you will hear fizzing.
- Rinse with more hot water.
Repeat steps 1-3 until desired results are achieved. This may take more than one time.
The best way to avoid drain troubles is prevention. Clearing out drains with baking soda and vinegar on a regular basis can prevent accumulation of debris and clogs all together, however, we recommend using the ARS®/Rescue Rooter® Network DrainRight® Drain Maintainer as a better alternative.
DrainRight® Drain Maintainer is made from a special formula that liquefies and disperses grease, soap scum, food residue, and other waste build-up. It also cleans and deodorizes drain lines, vent lines, and grease traps. DrainRight® Drain Maintainer is 100% biodegradable, so it won’t harm your pipes or the environment. It’s non-acidic, non-caustic, non-corrosive and safe to use on any kind of pipe or drain.
For serious clogged drains you can't clear yourself, find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location to book a drain cleaning appointment online right away!