Keeping Baking Soda from Clogging Pipes

By Allison Dey 7 32

Years ago I used baking soda to clean my kitchen sinks and countertops. But then we found out that the washed away soda had over six months become a rock in my kitchen sink pipes. It cost almost $200 to have it snaked out and it broke two of the plumber's snakes before he could break it up.

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I've seen advice to use baking soda on this site and I'm wondering how others are avoiding ruining their plumbing. What did I do wrong? I'm practically stingy so I know I didn't use very much at a time. And I'm not the best housekeeper so it wasn't as if I was cleaning constantly...

Allison

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By Pam Rose 3 Flag

June 6, 2005

If you are using just baking soda with salt and/or water, it will solidify.

I use baking soda & vinegar. It doesn't take much, about the same of each, sometimes a little more vinegar. The foaming dissolves the baking soda. You also need to run water for a minute or so after it quits foaming to clear everything out. Have used this for 2oyrs. No problems. Hope this helps.

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By Linda Hug 4 21 Flag

June 6, 2005

Did you use vinegar with the baking soda? I think vinegar prevents the buildup of the soda. I will put salt down the drain with hot water and that helps keep it flowing too.

coolchinchilla

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By Susan Sanders-Kinzel 10 2,498 Flag

June 6, 2005

I agree that you need vinegar, too. The two make a chemical reaction that uses up the soda. Make sure to keep putting vinegar in until the fizzing stops.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

June 6, 2005

Allison didn't say she was cleaning the drains with baking soda, just the sink and counter tops. I wonder if maybe a bit more water to rinse the sink would help next time.

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By Ruth Kennedy 6 208 Flag

June 7, 2005

Hi used this once too~~soda and vinegar and it fizzed up and then went solid. It scared me cause I didn't want to call a plumber so I used something to dig as much as I could and rinsed it with very hot water and swore I'd never do it again. I'm not sure how other people do it either

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By Susan Sanders-Kinzel 10 2,498 Flag

June 7, 2005

I have used baking soda and vinegar for years with no problems. The key here is to use maybe a tablespoon or two of baking soda followed by however much vinegar it takes until it stops fizzing. Then follow with water.

If you think you have a problem with build up from baking soda, pour vinegar down the drain and listen for the fizzing. Vinegar will remove scale and lime if it sits next to it long enough so pour straight vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 1/2 hour or so before running water through the drain.

Vinegar will help clear drains on its own because it can clear out some of the grease but I think the foaming action of both baking soda and vinegar works the best at breaking up clogs.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

June 17, 2005

I swear by baking soda and vinegar , used as above. Then after all the fizzing stops run lot hot water down the drain for a few minutes.

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

January 21, 2007

This is the first I have EVER, EVER heard of this. My father taught me to use baking soda and vinegar for years when we had serious clogs both to prevent and to clear. The chemical reaction is better than ANY commercial product, cheaper and NOT harmful to the environment.

Are you sure you weren't paid by Drano and Liquid Plummr to post this?

Editor's Note: Make sure you use vinegar until it stops fizzing, otherwise the baking soda can clog your pipes. Baking soda alone is not a good idea.

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

June 21, 2008

I simply boil water in a couple large stainless steel pots, put a half a cup baking soda in each drain and vinergar in each pot, and then wash it down the drain. Has never given me problems and I know it works because it fizzes up quite a bit.

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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

June 21, 2008

I simply boil water in a couple large stainless steel pots, put a half a cup baking soda in each drain and vinergar in each pot, and then wash it down the drain. Has never given me problems and I know it works because it fizzes up quite a bit.

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