Clogged drains are a plumbing issue that is thought of to be a minor issue but it can lead to many big issues. It can cause problems for you as well as it can be very disturbing and irritating. Many people think that clogging is a simple problem and can be left unattended. However, the reality is the opposite. If you leave a clogged drain as it is, it can lead to slow water pressure; plumbing leaks, unpleasant odors, pests, structural damage, etc.
No one can think that a minor clogged drain can lead to such big issues. In the most extreme cases, a clogged drain can cause flooding on your house floors and can cause great damage. That is why it is suggested that you should always attend to a clogged drain immediately instead of leaving it unattended.
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It is a common element that is found in almost every kitchen. Most people know the baking soda tricks for clogged drains. Baking soda can be combined with other elements to form a mixture that can work wonders.
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Baking soda has a natural mineral content that has cleaning properties. It helps in different ways:
- Baking soda helps to clean grease and other mineral deposits.
- Baking soda has also got disinfectant properties that can help in killing the bacteria that cause smell and fungus etc.
- Baking soda can also help in preventing the formation of clogs in drains.
Unclogging Drain with Baking Soda
Baking soda is combined with some other elements to form effective mixtures for unclogging drains.
Unclogging Drains Using Baking Soda with Vinegar
1- Boil Water
The first step to form a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is to boil the water. You will need boiling water at a high temperature for this process. For boiling water take a pot or tea kettle. Pour water into the pot. Put it on the stove. After that, put the pot on the stove and let it boil on high flame to reach the boiling point.
2- Pour Down Dish Wash and Water
In the next step, pour some dishwashing liquid into the drain pipe. Dishwashing liquid has degreasing agents and chemical compounds that can help in dissolving greasy clogs. After pouring dish wash liquid, pour down boiling water into the drain. Take special care while pouring down the boiling water. The water will be very hot and can cause burns. That is why try to be cautious while pouring down boiling water into the drain.
3- Pour Down Baking Soda
After pouring down the dishwashing liquid and boiling water, now is the time to pour down baking soda into the clogged drain pipe. Pour at least 1 cup of baking soda into the drain pipe. You can pour baking soda directly into the drain. You can also use a funnel to pour baking soda if you have a small drain opening.
4- Pour White Vinegar
Now pour 1 cup of distilled white vinegar down into the drain. Baking soda is alkaline in nature while white vinegar has acetic acid. When these two elements combine inside the drain, a chemical reaction occurs. That is why you will hear some strange sounds coming from your drain. You will hear fizzing sounds which are proof that the clog has started to dissolve.
5- Pour Down More Hot Water
After doing the above steps, pour down some more boiling water. It will help to clean any residue in the drain and will unclog the drain completely.
Unclogging Drains Using Baking Soda with Salt
1- Pour Down Baking Soda
First, you have to pour baking soda down into your clogged drain. Take 1 cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain.
2- Pour Salt
In the next step, pour down ½ cup of salt into the drain over the baking soda that you have previously poured down into the clogged drain pipe. Let this mixture of salt and baking soda rest inside the drain for several hours. The recommended time to let the mixture sit inside the drain is overnight.
3- Pour Boiling Water
Now that you have allowed the mixture of salt and baking soda to sit inside the clogged drain for the whole night, you are required to pour boiling water into the drain the next morning. For this purpose, take a pot or tea kettle. Pour 2 cups of water and let it boil till it reaches the boiling point. After that, pour boiling water down the drain over the salt and baking soda mixture. Take care while pouring water as it can burn the skin.
4- Pour Tap Water
If you see that the drain has started to unclog, pour down more tap water to let the residue flush down from the drain. However if you feel that the clog is still not dissolved, then you can repeat the method or you can use the baking soda and vinegar method.
If neither of the above methods works, then it is most likely that you will need to disassemble the drain trap for the unclogging of the drain.
Recommended Safety Steps
If you want to open or unclog the drains without opening the drain traps, then baking soda is the best option. Chemical cleaners available in the market guarantee to open the clogged drains but they have many drawbacks. They contain harmful chemicals and cause burns when they come into contact with the skin.
Plumbers also prohibit the use of these caustic chemical cleaners. Some buildings even have restrictions against the use of these chemical cleaners. Therefore, it is recommended that if you are facing a clogged drain then you should try the baking soda method before going for chemical cleaners.
Tips for Keeping the Drains Cleaned
- Use strainer baskets above the drains.
- Never pour oil or grease down the drain pipes.
- Pour down boiling water and dishwashing liquid down the drain on a regular basis.
Baking soda with vinegar and baking soda with salt methods are very effective methods for unclogging drains as well as cleaning drains from grease and bacteria. You can try these methods and will find out the magic these methods can do for your drains.
Can baking soda and vinegar damage pipes?
Baking soda and vinegar are safe and effective ways to clean pipes in a safe and effective manner. If you use these products on PVC pipes, there is no harm in doing so, and they can actually help maintain the pipes by keeping them clean and free of clogs.
How long do you leave baking soda and vinegar in a drain?
1/2 cup baking soda should be poured down the drain. After pouring one cup of vinegar down the drain and covering it with a plug for ten minutes, you will hear it fizzing. Rinse with more hot water.
Does baking soda and vinegar work better than Drano?
Drano won’t unclog your drain better than baking soda and vinegar. The first thing you should do is clear your drain of any standing water. If it sinks down slowly, wait until it disappears. Using a cup or spoon will help you remove it if it isn’t moving.