Homemade Drain Cleaners

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November 3, 2012

Clean out clogged pipes with three kitchen ingredients.



  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 qt boiling water


  1. Remove any standing water.
  2. Pour in salt (this usually fills the drain).
  3. Pour on baking soda.
  4. Pour on white vinegar.
  5. Pour on boiling hot water.
  6. It doesn't take effect immediately. Wait an hour, if it still has standing water add about a half a cup more vinegar.

I have used this on two sinks and one bathtub and it works.

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May 12, 2004

Buy a box of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar, dump the soda in your drains, followed by vinegar, let bubble out about 15 minutes, then run clean water down sink.

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May 22, 2007

To keep sink drains smelling good: once a month, sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda into drain, follow with a cup of white vinegar. Let this bubble up and work for about 5 minutes.

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December 6, 2007

You can unclog your sink, shower or tub with 3 antacid tablets and 1 cup of vinegar. Works wonders!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 8, 2006

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.


By Cadensnana of Delaware (Guest Post)
March 9, 20062 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 214 Feedbacks
March 9, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

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?

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By ash33 (Guest Post)
February 23, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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By Bubba (Guest Post)
April 23, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

If I could pour anything down my drain it wouldn't be plugged! Get a drain snake aka 'drain auger'.

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July 18, 20090 found this helpful
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(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

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December 9, 2008

Can you clean drains with salt?

Pete from Aurora, CO


December 10, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Drain Cleaner: For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue.


Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

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March 13, 2010

Can you use baking soda and salt to open slow moving drains? If so, how much of each?

By Sharon from Mackinaw, IL


March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Not table salt, use baking soda and VINEGAR.

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August 17, 2017

A natural solution for clearing a drain is using vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. While effective on moderate drain clogs, you must make sure all of the baking soda is flushed from your drain or it can create an even worse clog when it dries and becomes hard.

A jar of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar.

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November 30, 2018

While exceedingly convenient, indoor plumbing can require some routine maintenance not only to keep it clear, but also to reduce the possible odors that result from mold growth on debris lodged in the pipes. This is a page about cleaning sink drains.

Water going down the sink drain.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 13, 2010

To safely clean drains, I pour baking soda into the drain followed by table salt. If the clog isn't bad, I just use cold water to flush it down.

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