I would like to know if there is a homemade way to clear drains instead of having to buy Draino or another name-brand clog remover? I have some trouble with my bathroom sink not draining properly at times.
The safest and cheapest is equal amounts of white vinegar and bakingsoda, then pouring boiling hot water. The chemical reaction of the soda and vinegar will break up/loosen ANYTHING and the hot water will help push it through. I get alot of hair clogs, and this is the most economical and safest for us, especially if you are on a septic.
By (Guest Post) 03/08/2006
I use the vinegar & baking soda mixture but also add powdered laundry detergent with it which contains enzymes to break up the gunk. When mine is really bad, I use the plunger after rinsing w/hot water & repeat w/mixture if needed. Also allow the mixture to sit in drain for at least 30 minutes or more before rinsing. Good luck.
By Lori T. (Guest Post) 03/08/2006
By far, the cheapest solution is to invest a dollar or two into a small plunger. Label the handle with colored tape or a permanent marker, so it will never be confused with the toilet plunger. It works nearly every time, and you won't be using any harmful chemicals.
By Dean (Guest Post) 03/09/2006
The drain usually gets clogged from hair and soap.Other than useing liquid cleaners try this.Disconnect the pop up stopper from under the sink.Pull out the stopper,pull off all the gunk and clean with soap and water.Replace the stopper.I do this when ever the water in the bowl is slow to drain.The liquid cleaners that one sees on TV unclogging drains is mostly useless.
By Cadensnana of Delaware (Guest Post) 03/09/2006
A plumber once told me to periodically pour a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid down the drain followed by a pan of hot water. The Dawn is a grease-cutter and the hot water helps it do its job. It seems to help our sluggish drains.
A large stock pot of boiling water (PLEASE be careful handling this!!) poured slowly over the drain where you have put a good squirt of Dawn dish liquid and about a cup of salt. Repeat every hour or so, but the drain SHOULD unclog. Pair this up with a plunger and you should be in GREAT shape!
Why not clean out your drain by taking it apart? You probably have it clogged full of hair. We never use any chemical to try to eat out the clog rather, we just open up the drain and clean it out. Why buy "garbage" chemicals, like drano, that don't work anyways?
By debbie (Guest Post) 03/27/2006
i used to have the same problem i used to put baking soda down the sink and then pour same white viniger and watch it bubble it may take several times but it will do the job unless it is too bad it is very safe
By Donna (Guest Post) 05/16/2006
In case none of those worked very well......I've used this successfully...Pour a mixture of :
1 cup salt - 1 cup vinegar - 1cup soda down your drain. Let it stand 15 min. Flush with 2 qts. boiling water, followed by flushing with hot tap water for 1 min. Repeat if necessary. I've never had to repeat. Good luck(quote)
By Edie (Guest Post) 05/29/2006
HI several people recommended vinegar and baking soda. I have read that two alka selter tablets followed by vinegar bubbles up and clears a slow drain. I don't know if it would clear a really blocked drain.
By Gwen (Guest Post) 08/29/2006
I tried 1 cup Salt/baking soda/vinegar and it worked great with a little help of the plunger!
By Steve (Guest Post) 02/10/2007
Here's something that just worked. I combined all the ideas from this forum, and used what I had: Hot water+baking soda+salt, drained down a bit first. Cleaned baking soda all into drain. Poured white distilled vinegar into drain after. Closed drain seal and listened until the bubbling stopped. Opened seal and used plunger vigorously. Some hair had poked up through the top, I yanked out what would come. I filled the tub with very hot tap water and mixed in some dish soap and plunged vigorously as it drained. I plunged more after that, probably didnt need to. It has cleared up significantly and is presently acting like new for the first time in months. Thanks guys :)
By ash33 (Guest Post) 02/23/2007
I'm sorry folks but if you mix equal parts vinegar (dilute acetic acid) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, base) the two will neutralize each other, i don't think the chemcial reaction is gonna do anything to break up hair/soap/gunk, all you are gonna get is salt water
Editor's Note: It's true that they do neutralize each other but the fizzing loosens the gunk. I've used this many times with great results. Just keep pouring in vinegar until it stops fizzing, then run hot water and out the clog goes. If it is a hard clog, like something solid stuck in the pipe, it won't help but it is particles of food, hair and oils, it works very well.
By lilbird (Guest Post) 10/20/2007
I tried the baking soda, salt & vinigar method with no success. I found using a crochet needle I was able to remove chunks of hair and resovled the problem that way. It seems to work well with long hair problems.
By Robert (Guest Post) 12/12/2007
I have a slow running drain at my kitchen sink. For years I have used Baking Soda, Vinigar and Hot water. This has kept the drain running freely. It's something about the foaming action created from mixing the two that seems to open up the drain. I do this on the average of once every three months.
Also there is a small item you can buy at various hardware stores. It's normally a 99 cent item. It is a long slender stripe of plastic with barbs on it similar to the thorns on a rose bush. These barbs bush through the hair clog and then grip the hair clog and pull it out when you retrieve the tool. This works pretty good, providing you can reach the clog.
By Diane. (Guest Post) 01/02/2008
OMG I am so glad I found this website! I did half cup of baking soda and half cup of white vinegar and half cup of salt and then waited 16 min and then poured a big pot of hot water down in the sink and plunged away. About 3-5 min. OMG I am still in shock because my husband took the pipe off and the clog was way in the pipe past the wall. (meaning we would need a plumber now) But this homemade draino stuff worked! Oh Thank You
My husband used a hair dryer on the outside of the sink pipes followed by HOT water for a greasy clog. It slicked right out.
By Bubba (Guest Post) 04/23/2008
If I could pour anything down my drain it wouldn't be plugged! Get a drain snake aka 'drain auger'.
By Cole (Guest Post) 06/03/2008
I don't know about the homemade draino recipe, but I do know a lot about clogged drains in NYC apartments...if that helps? You should definitely purchase a snake at your local hardware store. It's good to have on hand (especially if you live in an old, old brownstone and/or have long hair), and is commonly what a plumber would try if they came to your aid. It's a little nasty, but you push the snake through the clog in your pipe, then yank that gelatinous-hairy-mess right on outta there.
If you're on a diet - this will really help stave off any hope of an appetite.
By Aloha (Guest Post) 07/08/2008
If you've got a shower that is plugged, and don't have vinegar or baking soda on hand, this work successfully for me (as long as their is at least partial drainage, i.e. pipe not completely obstructed): Pour some dish soap or other emulsifying agent (any kind of soap would help), then turn onto hottest water and using plunger, keep plunging away many many times. If you think it won't work, plunge some more, and this should free up the plug. I was desperate and threw some Listerine that was nearby, though I don't think it did anything other than waste money.
By lulu (Guest Post) 07/11/2008
I have used vinegar and baking soda with some success. But by far the easiest is my vacume cleaner.
Put it on the blower plug all vents with a large towel and turn on the machine.
Works every time.
By kudude (Guest Post) 08/11/2008
I just bought the cheap drain snake for $11 at home depot. Fixed the problem very, very quickly. Had used drano and plungers before to no avail. Thanks for the help
By Peter Le Fluer (Guest Post) 10/04/2008
I've had this issue in the past as I am a home fat-rending enthusiast and frequently accumulate terrific deposits of lipids from pig fat.
I've had the most success using a peruvian tool developed by indigenous plumbers. It's referred to as a Quel Hatcha and resembles an apple draper but with an articulated goose neck. Legend says it was invented by aztecs to clear accumulations of blood and hair from their primitive drain systems.
But if you don't have access to rare devices of plumbing antiquity, I also hear baking soda and vinegar is as best as you can do with homemade goods.
By tom (Guest Post) 11/15/2008
Everybody has heard what Coke Soda will do to a piece of meat. I'm wondering if pouring a 2 liter of Coke would work with a drain clog?
By marj (nyc) (Guest Post) 01/08/2009
YES! Thank you! When i lived in queens we always used a plunger, but I haven't purchased one for my new place in NYC.
The vinegar/salt/baking soda and hot water worked wonders. You may want to get rid of hair that you can see right at the drain opening. I also have long hair. ^_^
By Robert (Guest Post) 01/10/2009
I recently had a problem with a slow drain in my bathroom sink. I put a small scoop of Oxiclean (not sure if that was needed but it was cool lol) then I boiled a saucepan full of water mixed with salt and vinegar and poured that down the drain with the Oxiclean. No more drain problems :)
By Nicole (Guest Post) 01/21/2009
My parents sink has been backed up for two days. My dad has tried everything, from the snake to plunging. I looked this recipe up and used it with the plunger. Once I got tired of plunging, I walked away. Within 2 minutes the sink sucked all the water out and no more clog!
(Submitted via email)
I was looking for a home made substitute for draino, to safe some money and not to use harsh chemicals. I tried the advise from different ladies, to use salt, vinegar and baking soda and it worked.Thank you girls. my beloved one