Formerly Jim's Plumbing

How to Make Homemade Drain Cleaner Using Everyday Items

There are few domestic problems as frustrating as household fixtures not working as they should. Blocked or clogged shower drains are a prime example.

Whether it’s hair and soap scum in the shower or solidified grease and other organic matter in the kitchen sink, the drain clog is a common problem that pops up now and again.

The usual fix involves pouring a chemical cleaner down the drain. Though it is generally fast acting, there’s plenty of evidence arguing that we should avoid using harsh chemicals to clean drains.

And then there are the costs to consider every time your drains or toilets become blocked…

So that’s why we’ve put together this helpful DIY guide. By using common items found around the house, you can unblock tough clogs in your drain using an all-natural cleaner that’s better for the environment, your plumbing and your wallet.

Here’s our DIY guide to making homemade drain cleaning products using everyday items.

Why Should You Use a Natural Drain Cleaner?

A natural drain cleaner is the ideal septic safe choice for clearing out your kitchen, bathroom, shower and laundry drains, and for adding that desirable shine to your steel fittings and fixtures.

There’s no doubt that a store-bought cleaner would unclog the drain just as well. However, most branded drain cleaners contain chemicals that are toxic and harmful to your health and the environment. Have you noticed how the bottles of professionally made products say to always wear gloves and never let the liquid touch your skin? It’s because these solutions are highly corrosive and can cause severe burns.

It’s common for branded chemical drain cleaners to contain sodium hydroxide, chlorine, potassium hydroxide and other chemicals, all of which are approved for use. And though they act fast and generally eliminate tough blockages relatively easily, they really should not go down the drain.

According to GWMWater, the harsh chemicals in cleaning products find their way into both landfill and the water supply. Their corrosive properties act like acid and degrade the quality of your pipes. Chemicals also give off toxic fumes that can then emanate back from a drain if not properly flushed out.

Why Use Homemade Drain Cleaning Products?

The big reason why you should use a homemade drain cleaner – and it’s a good one – is because a homemade cleaner will save you money.

Take a quick look around the supermarket and online listings. You will discover that store-bought drain cleaners can set you back upwards of $10 per bottle, and most products are designed to be used up in one go. It’s common to read the directions for use which specify pouring the entire contents of the bottle down a drain to remove the clog.

So every time you have to manage a blockage, that’s the price of another bottle washed down the drain. There’s also no guarantee that a store-bought product will unclog your drain. So the cheaper the cleaner, the better.

The good news is that you can easily craft a homemade drain cleaner using everyday items for a fraction of the cost. Baking soda and vinegar can get a drain free of clogs without causing harm and without damaging the pipe.

Even if you don’t have the products on hand, they can be purchased from a supermarket for no more than $5 and with enough left over to clean the toilet drain a second and third time.

The recipe is simple. Anyone can follow along. Here’s how to craft your own homemade drain cleaner and use it for the best possible results:

How to Make Drain Cleaner Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

What you will need:

  • 1 Cup of Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • Pot of Boiling Water
  • Sink Plug or Duct Tape
  • Hot water

Note: Mixing baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) with vinegar (acetic acid) causes a reaction that will bubble and froth and produce very low levels of carbon dioxide. Even though the chemicals are all-natural, it’s essential that the room is well-ventilated or a mask is worn when pouring the ingredients down the drain.

Step 1: Start by pouring 1 litre of boiling water down the clogged drain. This can help soften up the blockage before the remainder of the solution gets to work.

drain cleaner guide

Step 2:
Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain working it between the cover. Then pour the other 1/2 cup.

baking soda and vinegar solution

Step 3:
Next, slowly pour the entire cup of vinegar down the drain. It’s important to pour it slowly so the ingredients mix in the drain and not on the surface of the sink.

vinegar as a drain cleaner

Step 4: Block the sink drain off with a lid. This can be a plug or a makeshift cover. Even duct tape will work to cover the drain.

Note: The vinegar and baking soda mix will foam and bubble up into the sink. The plug or tape will force your cleaner downwards towards the clog. Just make sure the area over the drain is dry so duct tape will stick to the surface.

Step 5: Let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the blockage. A half-hour of waiting is required only for completely blocked drains.

time required to clean a drain

Step 6: Pour 1 litre of boiling water down the drain to break up the remaining blockage.

Step 7: Turn on the tap and flush the drain with hot water for two minutes to remove dirt and any leftover clog debris.

homemade drain cleaner guide

And that’s all it takes to craft a homemade drain cleaner and clean the drain – no more than $5 and 30 minutes of your time.

Reports and tips suggest that other recipes can also do the trick. Baking soda and lime juice, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar and baking soda, vinegar and salt all appear to all achieve positive results. So feel free to test out these alternative recipes if the products are already stocked in your pantry.

If In Doubt, Call The Experts in Blocked Drains

If the drain cleaner fails to remove the grease, clogs or blockages stopping the water from flowing, repeating the process could prove successful. If not, then it’s time to call in a plumber. Plumber Near Me has a team of professionals available in your area 24/7 who specialise in drain cleaning.

A Plumber Near Me technician will provide a thorough investigation of your pipes using CCTV technology before removing the blockage using either hydrojet technology or an electric drain cleaning machine. Whichever tools are in use, you can guarantee a drain that’s clean, smells fresh and is completely free of blockages.

If your drain shows a sign of clogs or slow water flow, baking soda and vinegar is the way to go. You can also call a Plumber Near Me plumber anytime or request a callback online.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.