Is it possible to clear a clogged drainpipe without using a drain snake, a drain auger, a plunger, a liquid drain solution, or a coat hanger? Can you combat a clog without spending hundreds of dollars hiring a plumber? You can. These common household products can all be effective in unclogging drains.
While liquid drain cleaners erode pipes with chemicals, a home remedy solution removes the clog without weakening a pipe's structure. Drain cleaners also produce toxic fumes you won’t find with a home remedy. Plus, these solutions are much easier than a drain auger or plunger.
There is more than one quality home remedy for clogged drains — we’ll explore each solution in this article.
Before applying any home remedy, remove any standing water in the clogged sink, shower, or tub. The standing water reduces home remedies’ effectiveness before they hit the drain, making it harder to reach the clog and do their job.
Baking Soda, Vinegar, Salt, and Boiling Water
All online articles mention some of these four ingredients as part of a home remedy for clogged drains. These household powerhouses are safe for pipes in both the kitchen and bathroom. Consider these items the liquid drain cleaner without the harsh chemicals, and use the home remedy to prevent drain clogs once a week.
This process is simple: Boil 3 quarts of water, and slowly pour the hot water down the drain. Pouring it too fast will eat away at the pipe structure. The hot water will loosen, break, and dissolve clogs, including clogs caused by oil, grease, and animal fat.
Be careful with this method. Unless you know what type of pipes you have, it's best to skip this drain cleaning method. It is not good for PVC, PEX, and CPVC pipes because it will melt the joints. It will also crack porcelain sinks.
Salt and Boiling Water
This solution is excellent for minor clogs, although it can also work for large clogs if the solution stays in the drain longer.
Pour 1 cup of salt down the drain, and immediately follow it with boiling water. After 15 minutes, pour another round of boiling water to clear drains. For large clogs, pour salt and leave it overnight. Pour boiling water in the drain the next day.
Follow the notes above on using boiling water on clogs, and skip this method if your pipes cannot handle boiling hot water.
Baking Soda and Boiling Water
A third home remedy for clogged drains is baking soda and boiling water. The baking soda removes odors and loosens tough clogs.
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain first. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Next, slowly pour the hot water down the drain to clear the baking soda and the broken clogs.
Again, skip this method if boiling water is not suitable for your pipes.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Vinegar mixed with baking soda creates a chemical reaction that loosens stubborn clogs, making it easier for hot water to flush it down the drain. The best types of vinegar to use are cleaning vinegar and white vinegar because they both have the most acidity. Use this solution for large and tough clogs.
Here’s how to use this DIY remedy:
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain.
- Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. If the fizz rises into the sink drain, which is normal, use a sink stopper like StopShroom or StopShroom Plug to cover the drain and keep the fizz inside the pipe.
- Let it sit for one hour or overnight.
- Remove the sink stopper and wash away the mixture with hot tap water or boiling water.
Baking Soda and Salt
Combine baking soda with salt inside drain pipes, and the mixture will soften hard clogs and loosen stubborn ones. This makes it easier to flush down the clog with hot water.
Mix 1 cup of baking soda and ½ cup of salt in a bowl, then pour the mixture down the sink pipe. Wait an hour before washing it away with boiling water or the faucet's hot water.
Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Salt
It is possible to mix all three ingredients and get excellent results. Mix 1 cup each of baking soda and salt, and pour the mixed result down the drain. Follow up by pouring 1 cup of cleaning vinegar or white vinegar down the drain. Let the mixture sit overnight. Flush the mixture out in the morning with the faucet's hot water or boiling water.
Vinegar and Salt
When a clog interacts with vinegar and salt, the clog will break apart into smaller pieces, making it easier to flush hot water down the pipe.
Bonus: The mixture also eliminates foul odors in the drain.
Mix ½ cup of salt and one cup of vinegar in a bowl before pouring it slowly down the drain. After letting it settle inside the pipes for 30 minutes, clean the pipe with boiling water or hot water from the tap.
Dish Soap and Hot Water
The same dishwashing liquid used to clean dishes is effective in cleaning the kitchen and bathroom sink drain. A fantastic home remedy for clogged drains, dish soap with hot water is at its best at fighting kitchen sink clogs caused by grease, fat, and oil. The liquid substance breaks down grease that’s built up on the drain’s sides so water can move faster. For bathrooms, it fights soap scum around hair clogs so the clog becomes loose enough to flush down the drain with hot water.
There are two ways to use dish soap for clogs:
- Pour 3 tablespoons of dish liquid down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, rinse the drain with the faucet's hot water or boiling water.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of dish liquid into a pot of boiling water. Next, slowly pour the mixture down the drain. Then, rinse the drain with hot water from the faucet.
Cream of Tartar, Salt, and Baking Soda
Cream of tartar, a dry, powdery ingredient used in baked goods, is an unusual, yet effective home remedy for a drain blockage. It can't clean clogs alone, however. One-eighth of it should be mixed with ½ cup each of salt and baking soda. The salt and baking soda loosen up clog buildup and eliminate smells in drains while the cream of tartar cleans the metal pipe structure.
- Pour salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar into a sealed container and shake to mix the ingredients.
- Pour the solution down the drain.
- Let it settle for an hour.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
Lemon juice does double duty in removing scum from the pipe walls and removing unpleasant odors due to the lemony smell. You can pour lemon juice squeezed from four lemons into the drain by itself, let it sit for 30 minutes, and clear the drain with boiling water or hot tap water. Combined with baking soda, however, lemon juice operates similar to vinegar, yet it smells good and doesn't fizz.
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain.
- Pour ½ cup of lemon juice down the drain.
- Let it sit for an hour, then flush the mixture away with hot tap water.
Soda Soft Drinks and Hot Water
An unusual and effective clog-clearing method is pouring soda soft drinks down the drain. Name-brand soft drinks contain carbonated and acidic ingredients such as phosphorus acid that can corrode clogs in the drain.
Pour a room-temperature 2-liter soft drink down the drain slowly and let it sit for two hours. Then, run the hot water from the tap.
Avoid diet or light versions of soft drinks as they don't have enough ingredients to fight clogs.
Shroom: Your Clog-Prevention Ally
To clear a clog without using equipment or spending money, look to home remedies such as baking soda, salt, vinegar, dish soap, lemon, cream of tartar, soda, and boiling water. These products are safe to use and environmentally friendly.You don’t need to use a DIY home remedy for clogged drains if you can effectively prevent clogs. Shroom’s SinkShroom sink strainer stops unwanted food, hair, and foreign objects from falling into the drainpipe. It prevents clog buildup in the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, shower drain, and bathtub drain. For bathroom clog prevention, look to the TubShroom and ShowerShroom.