Home and Garden

Keep the plumber away- Natural Homemade Drain Cleaner


Did you know that some Feng Shui masters say that clogged drains deplete finances, health, aspirations, travel, clog sinuses, and simply, wreak havoc in general.  I don’t know about you……..but a clogged drain can be rather pesky and annoying, not to mention, rather costly if you have to call in a plumber.


So to keep my life running smoothly, both literally and metaphorically, I look in my kitchen pantry for all the ingredients I need to unclog my pipes and I can do it without causing damage to the environment or my pocket book!

Best Drain Cleaner

Unclog a drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Pour 3/4-1 cup of baking soda in the drain.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain and immediately cover the drain (I use a plug or set a plate over it – you want to keep everything inside the drain)
  3. Leave everything to sit and work for about 30 mins (don’t use the sink during this time)
  4. After 30 mins, remove the cover and let hot water run thru the pipes for about 2-3 mins.
  5. for really tough clogs you may need to repeat – but I find if I do this on a regular basis (about once a month) it keeps my drains clear and fresh with out any problems.

Likewise, I do something very similar to keep drains fresh.  Especially good for seldom used drains.

Freshen Drains with Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt and pour down drain
  2. Follow by pouring 1 cup of heated vinegar down the drain (it will foam and bubble)
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  4. After 15 minutes run hot tap water for 30-60 seconds.

Baking soda and vinegar are the foundation of DIY cleaning!  It’s really that simple.  For just pennies you can keep your drains and home fume free by using baking soda and vinegar instead of harsh chemicals or calling the plumber.

This is just one of many ways to save money by using baking soda around your house.  To save even more,  head over to Arm & Hammer’s Savings Center to print out a $0.50 off coupon on your next purchase of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda!

I’m participating in The Switch & Save Challenge, trying a variety of Arm & Hammer products and sharing my experiences with you!


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Save 50¢ off two 2lb or 4lb boxes of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. And be sure to visit The Switch & Save Challenge to tap into more resources and enter to win $25,000.

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

144 Responses to “Keep the plumber away- Natural Homemade Drain Cleaner”

  1. NILSA posted on November 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm (#

    After trying several store bought gels and liquids recommended by the “experts” the vinegar and baking powder solved my master shower problem. I can finally use the master bathtub again.Everything I needed was already in my pantry. THANK YOU,THANK YOU………!

  2. Cindy L. Fine posted on December 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm (#

    How c does this affect my septic system m

  3. Phyllis posted on December 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm (#

    I had a slow running drain for months tried many things and nothing worked until I tried the vinegar and baking soda. I really thank you! p.s. it was cheap!

  4. Jennifer Stewart posted on January 10, 2014 at 11:55 am (#

    Could you send me a copy of this page. My parents could use it so I would like to make a copy of this page for them.
    I couldn’t see on this page where I could Email it to myself.

  5. Astrid posted on February 22, 2014 at 5:11 am (#

    Do you have anything to keep spa bath pipes clean ?

  6. Tawny posted on March 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm (#

    Yes! This is exactly what I need. I just bought my first home and want to be ahead of the game in taking care of all of my pipes. This is great! I’m going to add it to my monthly routine for the home. :D

    Love + Live Luminous

  7. DEB posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm (#

    I have been looking for something to clean my drains for a while now. I purchased items from the store and they did not work as well as I would have liked. I have only tried this method once and can see a great improvement! Thank you for posting…

  8. Leah posted on August 11, 2014 at 10:08 pm (#

    How do you pour a powder down the drain? Do you mix it with the vinegar first?

    • TidyMom replied on August 12th, 2014 at 7:21 am

      you just sprinkle it down the drain, you can remove the stopper or push it in with something like a spoon

  9. Amanda Dulka posted on August 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm (#


  10. Loic Brun posted on October 1, 2014 at 9:46 am (#

    This is totally a helpful tip and tutorial for unclogging drains. Fixing a clogged drain is essential to avoid flood and mold growth. This is something that can’t be ignored. A piece of advice, always check if there are molds around the surface where water is stocked. It is always best to be sure.

  11. Rose Henderson posted on October 22, 2014 at 8:18 am (#

    Baking soda and vinegar? I’m very curious now and will have to try this on my slow draining sink downstairs. Now I know a lot of cleaners can actually permanently damage you pipes, but this shouldn’t, right?

  12. Kitty kalra posted on November 23, 2014 at 11:15 am (#

    I am wondering if this will work on pipes which supply water to the entire household??? the water pressure in the taps has reduced considerably and am not in favour of using chemicals/acid in the pipes that supply water to the bathrooms and kitchen. do let me know. we use overhead tanks which store water to supply to the household. tkns

  13. Linda Gilbert posted on December 11, 2014 at 8:04 am (#

    I had big problems with the drain t home and I couldn’t find the right detergent for it and one day I read this article and try your advice. Thanks a lot for she help. Now everything is clean!

  14. Tina Bone posted on December 11, 2014 at 9:23 am (#

    I love homemade cleaners!!! I’m so happy that I found your post, because I didn’t have a recipe for the drain!

  15. Julia Carlson posted on December 15, 2014 at 10:22 am (#

    I have had a lot of problems with my drains over the years. Even with all those problems I have never tried making my own drain cleaner. I didn’t know that cleaning your own drain is as easy as vinegar and baking soda! Thank you for giving the exact measurements. That will really help me out when I try it later this week. My drains are clogging up, so now is the perfect time to test it out.

  16. maria smith posted on January 17, 2015 at 7:10 pm (#

    Helpful stuff! We’re always learning new green cleaning tips and tricks. I’ve learned to always have vinegar on hand. 

  17. Nell posted on January 21, 2015 at 9:05 am (#

    Wow! I had no idea that I can clean the drain with so simple products! I will try this trick! Thanks a lot for sharing!

  18. Emily posted on January 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm (#

    Hello! I’m just a tidy mom in training and I have a question regarding the vinegar used in this homemade drain cleaner. Will Apple cider vinegar do the trick or should I run to the store to get some regular vinegar (after cleaning the play room w/ my homemade vacuume cleaner of course lol!)

    • TidyMom replied on January 22nd, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      I’m pretty sure you can use the apple cider vinegar as well – let me know if you try it!

  19. Aiden posted on January 26, 2015 at 4:45 pm (#

    It may not be a very new idea, in fact, this combination is well-known to clean many fixtures, but it sure is a rock-solid solution. Basic chemistry, people; and you don’t need to dish out big bucks for a routine drain cleaning. But it is important to note that some plumbing problems or clogs may not be easily dissolved. If you try the vinegar and baking soda but the problem persists, there may be something bigger clogging your pipes.

  20. Deanna R. Jones posted on January 30, 2015 at 6:01 pm (#

    My drains have a way of clogging up every now and then. Buying drain cleaner from the store has been getting pretty expensive, so I need a cheaper alternative. I didn’t know that vinegar and baking soda can unclog my drain. That seems a lot more affordable than the cleaners I’ve been buying. It also seems like it would be more delicate with my septic system. I’ll try that out to find out how effective using vinegar and baking soda is for unclogging my drain. 

  21. Joan posted on February 5, 2015 at 6:52 am (#

    I usually buy expensive drain cleaners which do not work very well, sot his cleaning recipe sounds easy and effective. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Peggy Hoffman posted on February 25, 2015 at 10:33 pm (#

    Does it make any difference if you use apple cider vinegar? Or does it have to be white vinegar?

  23. Ashley Reed posted on March 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm (#

    I’ll have to try the backing soda and vinegar rinse, hopefully that will help with the smell. The sinks in my house have smelled like eggs since I moved in, and I think if this doesn’t work I’m getting them all cleaned out. I’ll have my kids watch the sinks bubble, I think they would have fun with that, like it’s magic.

  24. Devani Horr posted on March 20, 2015 at 7:24 am (#

    I must say that most of the drain cleaners which I use smell like real hell! They also do not do good job. I will definitely try your natural cleaning recipe here with the vinegar and the baking soda! Thank you for sharing it!

  25. Kelsey Higgins posted on April 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm (#

    Thank you for the great tip! I had no idea that cleaning my drains was a simple as baking soda and vinegar. The best part about that is that those are both things that I consistently have in my kitchen cupboard! I won’t have to spend any extra money, and I can clean my drains at my convenience! 


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