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!



How to Keep Your Bathroom Clean in Just 5 Minutes a Day

How to Keep Clean Bathroom at TidyMom.net


The ONLY stain remover you'll ever need! This miracle cleaner has worked on every stain from set in grease, to yellow arm pits, to chocolate and more! details at TidyMom.net


How to Clean Upholstered Furniture

How to Clean Upholstered Furniture


How to clean a dishwasher


No more stinky towels! Learn how to remove mildew smell from towels




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.  I have used baking soda and vinegar to clean my drains for years!

@TidyMom or scan my HR code with your camera

@TidyMom or scan my QR code with your camera

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+

112 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. 😀

    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! 

  26. Sandra Grimm posted on April 30, 2015 at 8:12 am (#)

    I use similar cleaning solution, but I use lemons instead of vinegar. I know that vinegar is a miracle cleaner, but I can’t stand the smell..

  27. Timothy Beavers posted on May 11, 2015 at 4:25 am (#)

     will this hurt my plastic pipes under my sink?

  28. Maria posted on May 26, 2015 at 5:37 pm (#)

    An all natural green cleaning product that takes care of the drain. Good stuff! 

  29. Alex Jennings posted on May 28, 2015 at 11:40 am (#)

    Hey, Cheryl! I’m very glad that I stumbled on your site! I’ve been struggling with water draining slowly out of my shower drain. It’s been very frustrating, because it’s difficult to take baths. When I get off work, I’m going to try this method—it looks promising! 

    Alex Jennings | 

  30. Audrey Blakeney posted on June 3, 2015 at 10:14 am (#)

    Thank you, Cheryl, for these wonderful DIY solutions to dirty drains! My kitchen sink has become quite filthy over years of cooking and cleaning dishes, and it needs some well-deserved TLC. I’m worried, however, about the effect that some of the acidic cleaners you recommended might have on the disposal. Do you know what might happen? Plumbing isn’t my strong suit, so I want to make sure I don’t end up with a clean drain but broken disposal. 

  31. Stephanie Smith posted on June 5, 2015 at 10:34 am (#)

    I never would have thought to try baking soda and vinegar, but I’m not surprised. I swear baking soda has more uses than any other household product. I’ll have to give this a shot, thanks so much for the advice!

  32. Marianne posted on June 17, 2015 at 6:57 am (#)

    I’m tired of buying expensive drain cleaners and calling the plumber! I had the kitchen pipes unclogged two weeks ago and now I’m using your recipe for freshen drains, just to be sure there will be no new clogging. How often do you use this recipe, is once or twice a week too much? Thank you for the recipes!

  33. Stephie Smith posted on July 30, 2015 at 7:33 am (#)

    Wow! I’ve used baking soda and vinegar to scrub persistent stains off my cookware, but it’s really cool to know it works on drains too. I don’t like having to call a plumber unless I’ve exhausted all other options, so I’ll be sure to give this a try next time :) 

  34. Mary posted on August 3, 2015 at 8:03 am (#)

    Hi! Thanks for the great tips on eliminating clogged drain. Hot water + vinegar did the trick!

  35. Stephanie Smith posted on August 11, 2015 at 7:53 am (#)

    I can say that this works! Granted, I got a little mesh stopper for the tub now that it’s cleared out to avoid hair building up, but before that, I tried using baking soda and vinegar. You definitely want to cover the drain after pouring the vinegar in, to force the reaction through the pipes and clear it out. It was a fantastic solution for an issue some people might call a plumber out for. 

  36. Addie Ross posted on August 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm (#)

    Wow, I knew that baking soda had a lot of uses around the house, but I didn’t know that it could help unclog drains! My daughters all share a bathroom, and their shower drain gets clogged all the time. Next time it happens, I’m going to give this a try! It sounds like it really works, and it’s all natural! 

  37. April posted on August 13, 2015 at 8:11 am (#)

    I love DIY cleaning solutions and I definitely hate clogged drains! We are three women at home and our long hairs really block the drain no matter if we immediately clean it or not. I use soda and vinegar for cleaning around the house so why not try it for cleaning the drains! Thanks so much for sharing!

  38. Alexis Webber posted on August 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm (#)

    I can confirm that this works! It’s almost like magic. The plumbing in my shower drain was getting backed up, so after I poured in the vinegar I blocked the entrance of the drain. This forced the reaction through the pipes and cleared it right out. I made sure to get a mesh cover for it after, tough!

  39. Suzanna posted on August 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm (#)

    Followed your directions to the T. It is now worse. Hard to believe huh? There is now standing water in my shower when there was none before I began.

  40. maria doehler posted on August 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm (#)

    Isn’t it great how some green cleaning solutions are so simple! 

  41. Steve Holt posted on September 2, 2015 at 5:49 pm (#)

    Knowing that there’s a natural drain cleaner will help solve all of my drain clogging problems. My wife started oil pulling and she’s been spitting coconut oil into the sink. It’s starting to clog my pipes, so I need to clean it out really soon. I like that your solution to a clean drain is as simple as pouring baking soda and distilled white vinegar down the drain. Letting it work its magic for thirty minutes without using the sink seems like a great tip to know. Hopefully, that will unclog all of the coconut oil that’s accumulated in my pipes. Thanks for the tips!

  42. Jack Moore posted on September 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm (#)

    Wow, this is pretty clever! I hadn’t ever done any real research into alternatives. But this could save me a lot of time and money working with plumbers. Thanks for writing!


  1. Pingback: 10 Handy Dusting Tips | TidyMom

  2. Pingback: 10 Best Kept Secrets to Simplify Your Life and Home | TidyMom

Leave a Comment