Baking soda can work wonders on smelly and clogged drains. Mixed with a little vinegar, it often works better than any harsh chemical commercial product. Try one or more of these methods as part of your regular home maintenance routine and keep your drains fresh and free-flowing!
Ready to get down to the science of cleaning drains? The technical term for the bubbling action of baking soda and vinegar when used together is called displacement. When the sodium bicarbonate of baking soda collides with the water and acetic acid of vinegar, molecules get exchanged and create a carbon dioxide/water recipe that bubbles through and breaks up the clog. Ready to try it?
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and top it off with 1 cup of vinegar. Some people like to first use the microwave to heat the vinegar for a couple seconds. Wait 5 minutes and then flush the drain with 2 quarts of very hot water. Repeat if necessary. This is also a great regular home maintenance task; or
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda and one-half cup of salt down the drain and let it sit there overnight. In the morning, flush the drain with 2 or more cups of boiling water.
You can also use the same ideas to clean and freshen your kitchen’s garbage disposal, just reduce the amount of baking soda, vinegar, water, and salt by about half. Here’s the full process:
- Run hot water through the disposal for at least one minute.
- Pour 1/2-cup baking soda into the drain.
- Turn the disposal on for 2 seconds, switch off, and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of vinegar and wait for the bubbles to erupt!
- Using very hot water, run the disposal for 5 seconds.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Safety Tip
You may have heard that you should never combine baking soda and vinegar, and it’s true! While using them separately as part of your home maintenance drain cleaning routine, due to the explosive chemical reactions, it’s never a good idea to mix them up ahead of time to store them for later use.
Keep in mind that even if you’re using all-natural ingredients, some things should never be mixed together. Avoid suggestions of mixing either hydrogen peroxide or castile soap with vinegar.
We love sharing home maintenance tips that make your life easier! To see more, check out The Home Maintenance Checklist from First Quality Roofing & Insulation, Las Vegas's premier residential roofing and insulation company. Download the free checklist now and learn how to tackle home maintenance tasks like drain cleaning and removing mold the natural and easy way.