Does Vinegar and Baking Soda Clean Drains
If you listened intently during your science class, you might have picked up something about cleaning drains.
The baking soda and vinegar solution is an age-old classic. If you have ever had discoloration or corrosion, you have probably come across this homemade alternative at one time or another.
While a baking soda and vinegar mixture cleaning drain pipes sounds like an urban legend, your science experiment will surprise you.
Yes, the legends are true. Just add a little hot water!
Find out more about how baking soda and vinegar work against tough grime!
Are You Dealing with a Clogged Drain?
Are your bathroom drains surrounded by murky standing water? Do you hear gurgling? Is there a funky smell?
If the answer is yes to at least one of the questions above, you may be experiencing some side effects of a drain clog.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unusual sights, sounds, and smells often indicate dreadful clogs.
Sorry about that; we know bathroom clogs can be a real pain!
Unfortunately, bathroom drains are some of the most susceptible to clogging. You can thank the constant exposure to various elements for that!
You can expect clogging in your shower drain more often than in any other inlets around your home.
Soap scum, hair, and other drain gunk may lead to clog-causing build-up. You may notice the culprits seeping into your pipes from your drain covers.
On top of hair strands peaking from covers, your tub drains may also be draining slowly. If you want to avoid these nuisances, it’s time to unclog your drains.
Clean Drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Remember, there’s nothing like professional drain cleaning services. Expert cleaning can ensure lasting effectiveness.
Still, there are things you can do on your own with household items that you may already have in your kitchen.
Do you have access to hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda? Then you are golden! You have everything you need to make a potent drain cleaner.
The white vinegar and baking soda combination is an effective tool for cleaning drains. Mixing this chemical leavener with anything acidic produces a potent yet harmless chemical reaction.
Just Add Boiling Water
Today, you can witness the useful effects of baking soda and vinegar on clogged drains! Just remember to throw hot water into the mix.
If you want the full experience, pour boiling water into the drain to pave the way for the baking soda combination and again to top it off later.
However, like most things in life, timing is everything!
Don’t worry; you will find the relevant step-by-step procedure below.
What Do Baking Soda and Vinegar Do Together?
While timing matters, the true magic is in the mix!
Just like baking cupcakes, how much of which ingredients you use plays the most critical role. Luckily, it won’t take a mathematician to find the right ratio in this equation.
It’s a one-to-one ratio (1:1), which means equal parts vinegar and baking soda. That’s it! Typically, it’s one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar.
Do I Have to Use a Combination of White Vinegar and Baking Soda?
It’s best to use these two ingredients together. Baking soda and vinegar make the perfect one-two-punch against stubborn stains and hardened grease.
It takes a special blend to achieve the perfect balance of both ingredients to produce a more effective drain cleaner. Too much citric acid may kill the leavener’s mojo.
That’s where white vinegar comes in to save the day!
Who knew white vinegar provided just the right amount of acidity to pack a punch without being detrimental to the effects of baking soda?
Vinegar is typically derived from fermented fruits and grains. It is naturally acidic, edible, and generally harmless. Still, not all types of vinegar play well with baking soda.
Does it have to be white vinegar?
White vinegar is mostly made up of diluted acetic acid.
The fermentation of various grains produces the second simplest carboxylic acid, which may be used as a chemical reagent. The purification process helps soften acidity while holding on to vinegar’s signature kick.
In fact, white vinegar may be used as a cleaning agent on its own. However, mixing it with baking soda creates a powerful chemical reaction.
Does it have to be baking soda?
Yes! Baking soda is purely sodium bicarbonate.
Baking powder is not a viable alternative if you run low on baking soda. While baking powder creates an acid-based chemical reaction, it does not react well to acidic ingredients.
Baking powder produces carbon dioxide into a sweet or savory batter that is only useful in baking light and fluffy pastries.
Baking soda is a common household ingredient and is the only accessible alternative to medicinal sodium bicarbonate.
Is the Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution Better Than Store-Bought Solvents?
If you already have access to industrial solvents, why should you even bother with creating your own solution?
We are sometimes caught between choosing the easy way out and opting for more organic and tasking choices.
You can buy an industrial drain cleaner at your local hardware store. However, it would help to remember that industrial solvents sometimes do more harm than good.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution VS. Industrial Solvents
Store-bought drain cleaners may be too harsh and pricey. Using too many harsh chemicals too frequently may also cause corrosion and leaks, leading to costly repairs.
While commercial brands are reliable, it is best to consider organic material. White vinegar and baking soda can be just as effective as branded drain cleaning solutions.
Organic material is also more gentle on PVC pipes and other fixtures, posing fewer risks of corrosion and disintegration. It also leaves behind little to no residue that may compound into a clog.
Unclogging drains don’t take aggressive chemical reactions. Baking soda and vinegar can remove drain gunk or dissolve biodegradable components in your clogged kitchen sink or garbage disposal.
Reach for some baking soda and vinegar instead of another bottle of Roto-Rooter. You can test them on your drain cover or your bathroom sink to test this worldwide conventional wisdom.
Baking soda and vinegar aren’t only useful against bathroom clogs. It is a versatile and potent mixture that you can use to prevent clogs and remove drain gunk.
The white vinegar and baking soda combination help rid your kitchen and bathroom sink of any lingering soap scum. It can clean drains, faucets, covers, and tiles.
Using the white vinegar and baking soda combination, you can also achieve a spotless finish against residual mineral deposits.
If you notice white spots around drain pipes and other fixtures, creating a paste of baking soda and vinegar works to counteract cloudy whitening.
Here’s how you can make baking soda and vinegar work for you!
How to Clean Drains With a Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution
If you are worried about grease in your pipes, deploying the baking soda vinegar trick is easier than you think.
Here’s how you can clean your drains using baking soda and vinegar:
Step-by-Step DIY Solution to Clogged Drains
- Take the drain cover off the opening.
- Inspect your drain pipes for standing water and foreign objects.
- If you don’t notice any standing water in your drain pipes, pour boiling water into the pipes. (If there is standing water, jump to number 10* on this list.)
- If you’re lucky, the boiling water is sometimes enough to flush clogs.
- Wait until your pipes stop steaming.
- Pour baking soda down the drain.
- Add equal parts of white vinegar.
- Wait at least ten minutes or until the foam subsides.
- Add more hot water to dissolve the remnants and flush them down the pipes.
- Inspect your drain pipes for any visible clogs and foreign objects you can fish out of the drain.*
- Use a drain snake or a homemade drain hook to fish for hair clumps, tissue clusters, and other foreign objects.
- Repeat steps 6, 7, & 8.
If you want to use white vinegar and baking soda combination to polish tiles and fixtures, reduce the amount of vinegar to only half the amount of baking soda.
If you use one cup of baking soda, you only need a half cup of vinegar to create a paste.
- Simply pour baking soda into the fixture.
- Pour white vinegar into a separate bowl. You can also spritz some vinegar directly onto the grease.
- Take a 3-Ply paper towel or dish rag and dip it into the vinegar.
- Gently rub the vinegar-soaked rag or paper towel on the tile or fixture.
- Start scrubbing off any build-up.
- You can follow it up with diluted dish soap and hot water to remove any residue.
These are just some helpful cleaning techniques we can use with white vinegar and baking soda. However, some plumbing issues can’t be resolved with a drain cleaner.
When should you call a professional?
You should consider calling in experts if Roto-Rooter or white vinegar and baking soda combination no longer works.
If your home faces chronic clogging, backflow, and leaking, it may be time for an expert inspection.
You can clean drains and fish out a drain clog, but damaged or corroded pipes require repair and replacement.
Need Professional Plumbing Services in Seattle, Washington?
If you don’t keep up with regular maintenance, you might experience more side effects from clogged drains.
It’s important to reach out to professional plumbers if you suspect there are more than just food particles and hair to blame for your clogs.
Fox Plumbing & Heating
If you don’t have any white vinegar and baking soda lying around and don’t want to go out of your way to get a drain cleaner, why don’t you just leave it to the pros?
Do you have clogged drains and murky faucets? Want to avoid taking a science class just to clean drains? Leave grime, grease, and the magic of sodium bicarbonate paired with acetic acid to us!