Nontoxic Drain Cleaner

Cure stubborn drain problems with washing soda and white vinegar.

Kitchen Sink Drain

Cure drain problems by using washing soda and vinegar.

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Washing soda and vinegar make a great nontoxic solution to clean out slow drains. If applied regularly, this treatment can keep slow-drain problems from developing into a huge mess.

First, run scalding hot water into the sink and allow it to drain fully. Pour approximately a half-cup of washing soda directly down the drain. Next, slowly pour about 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain, allowing the washing soda to bubble up. Add a little more vinegar until the washing soda has completely dissolved and you don’t hear any more fizzing coming from the pipes. Flush the drain again with hot water, and plunge as needed to disperse any gunk dislodged by the treatment.

Repeat this procedure once a month and you’ll never need toxic drain cleaners again.

Theresa Sinclair
Johnson, Vermont

6/30/2015 2:48:02 PM

I've been looking for a drain cleaner that I can use around my growing family. I'll have to try using washing soap and a vinegar mixture to clear up my drains. That sounds like it might just work, and it isn't toxic which is a big plus for me. Thanks for the great idea.

donna brown
6/6/2014 7:24:35 AM

I've used this method of cleaning drains since the late 1970s. I have never bought a caustic drain cleaner as this always works! One thing I might add, is that I put the plug over the drain while the baking soda and vinegar are doing their thing. The fizzing releases carbon dioxide and with the plug on the drain, the pressure from the chemical reaction pushes debris past the drain trap.