How to Unclog a Drain with Household Items

Whether you’re a man or a woman, a clogged drain is an inevitable occurrence that plagues the bathroom or the kitchen. With all of those chemical drain cleaners on the market, it’s hard to find one that will actually work–and isn’t harmful to the environment. Fortunately, there is one basic trick you’ve probably never thought to try for unclogging your pipes-and you won’t even have to go to the store to buy anything.

Unclogging a Drain using Household Ingredients

If the clog is so bad that the sink is full of water, remove as much of the water as possible from the sink. Allow the sink to sit and drain so as much of the water is removed as possible. Do not proceed any further until you have cleared out the water, or else the recipe will not be as effective as it will not be able to penetrate properly.

Warning: Before you begin, be sure to don a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves. When combined, baking soda and vinegar can cause skin burns!

Once the water is gone, pour down approximately one cup of baking soda directly into the drain. Be sure to get as much into the drain as possible, rather than in the sink.

Next, pour down one cup of vinegar, again, directly into the drain. Plug the drain hole immediately.

Let the mixture sit for about half an hour, or until the bubbles have died down. Then, you can run some hot water down the drain to help clear any remnants out.

How it Works

Actually, it’s pretty simple. Remember making those volcanos in elementary school with baking soda and vinegar? It’s basically the same concept, except that you’re capping off the top of the volcano (i.e., the drain,) instead of letting it blow.

The bubbles from the mixture will help to scrub away the debris build up inside the drain and also help to dissolve whatever is causing the clog. Meanwhile, the pressure helps to move the debris out of your pipes and into your sewer system (or, septic tank.)


When mixed together, vinegar and baking soda make a mixture known as sodium hydroxide.

Though this is a commonly used recipe for unclogging drains (and homemade science projects,) it can be potentially harmful if swallowed or if skin contact occurs. If swallowed, contact poison control immediately, as it can result in death in some cases. Sodium hydroxide can also cause skin burns and should be rinsed off immediately.


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