You know how annoying dealing with a clogged sink is (we’ve all been there!). The store-bought chemical drain cleaners didn’t work, and you’re (understandably) afraid of damaging your pipes by using a plunger or snake.
Instead of spending even more money on expensive commercial products, why not make your own DIY drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar? Not only is this an affordable option, but it’s also non-toxic, eco-friendly and it will prevent future build ups in the pipes — plus watching the mix fizzle is incredibly satisfying!
One of the most common challenges that people face when making their own DIY drain cleaner is not knowing how to properly mix the ingredients and how to apply them. Without proper measurements, the mixture may be too weak — rendering it useless, or too strong — which can lead to damaged pipes. Therefore, it’s important to understand the necessary safety precautions when using baking soda and vinegar as a DIY drain cleaner.
Further, many people also don’t know how to maintain their drains in order to prevent future clogs, which can ultimately lead to more expensive repairs.
This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make your own DIY cleaner using baking soda and vinegar and how to apply it. Not only does this mixture work great for clearing clogs, but it also helps to prevent future build up in your pipes. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using a DIY drain cleaner, proper measurements, the application of ingredients, and future maintenance tips for a clog-free drain.
Benefits of Using a DIY Drain Cleaner
Using a DIY drain cleaner is one of the most affordable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly ways to unclog your drains. Homemade cleaning solutions are much cheaper than store-bought chemical cleaners, and this mixture is 100% biodegradable, meaning it won’t harm your pipes or your septic system.
In addition to being a cost effective option, the combination of baking soda and vinegar is a fantastic way to get rid of the toughest of drain blockages! Why? Mixing together these everyday household products creates a highly volatile chemical reaction that can break down stubborn blockages in your pipes. This mixture is especially effective at breaking down soap scum, grease, and other organic matter that commonly build up in kitchen and bathroom drains.
Overall, using a DIY drain cleaner is an excellent way to unclog your drains, as well as prevent future blockages. Not only does it save you money and protect the environment, but it’s also safe and effective for clearing tough clogs. So how do you make your own DIY drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar? And how do you use it effectively?
Types of Clogs and How to Identify Them
Clogs in your drains can come from a variety of sources, ranging from hair to soap scum to grease. It’s important to properly identify the type of clog you’re dealing with before attempting to unclog it. Here are few commonly seen drain-clogging-culprits:
- Soap scum: This type of clog is caused by a buildup of soap residue. It tends to form a thin layer on the inside of the pipe, which can be difficult to dislodge. To identify this type of clog, look for a white or grey-coloured film that’s coating the inside of the pipe
- Grease: This type of clog is caused by fats and oils that have been flushed down the drain. To identify this type of clog, look for a greasy or oily substance coating the inside of the pipe. Instead of pouring grease down your pipes, keep a can near your sink and pour leftover grease here.
- Hair: Hair can easily become trapped in the pipes and form a clog. To identify this type of clog, look for long strands of hair that are blocking the drain.
- Pipe buildup: This type of clog is caused by a congestion of minerals or other materials in the pipes. This is especially common in areas with hard water. To identify this type of clog, look for hard lumps that have formed on the inside of the pipes.
Now you’ve identified the type of clog, you can proceed with making your own DIY drain cleaner to unclog it.
Preparing the Ingredients
Things you will need: baking soda, vinegar, potable water
Making your own DIY drain cleaner is simple and straightforward. All you will need are a couple of common household ingredients – baking soda and vinegar – as well as some potable water.
Measurement Guide for Ingredients
When it comes to making your own DIY drain cleaner, as discussed, it’s important to use the right measurements. For best results, you should always use equal parts of baking soda and vinegar – 1/2 cup each – mixed with enough potable water to cover the clogged area. Using too much or too little of either ingredient will affect the effectiveness of the cleaner.
Applying the DIY Drain Cleaner
Now that you have prepared your DIY baking soda and vinegar mix, here’s how to apply it.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to do this:
- Begin by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar into your clogged drain.
- Allow the mixture to settle in the drain for a few minutes. You’ll see small bubbles popping, and you’ll hear a sizzling sound — don’t worry! This is absolutely normal and indicates that the mix is doing its job.
- After a few minutes, slowly pour in enough potable water to cover the clog.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes before flushing it out with hot water. Run the hot tap for 1 to 2 minutes to move the DIY solution along.
Safety precautions when using baking soda and vinegar
When using baking soda and vinegar to unclog your drains, it’s important to take certain safety precautions.
First, you should always ensure that the area is well-ventilated while the mixture is in use. The chemical reaction between these two ingredients can produce toxic fumes, so it’s best to avoid breathing them in. To keep your indoor air clean, open a window (or two!) and keep pets and kids out of the space.
Additionally, you should wear protective gear such as safety glasses and rubber gloves when handling the mixture. The combination of these two ingredients can be caustic and may cause irritation to your skin or eyes if contact is made.
Lastly, you should never mix baking soda and vinegar with any other chemicals as this could produce dangerous hazardous fumes and in extreme circumstances — explosions.
Common mistakes to avoid
When using baking soda and vinegar to unclog drains, it’s important to avoid making some common mistakes.
First, you should never mix the two ingredients in their dry forms as this could cause them to clump together and prevent the mixture from properly reaching the clog.
Additionally, you should never use too much of either ingredient as this could cause the mixture to be too weak or too strong, resulting in an ineffective cleaner.
Lastly, you should never flush hot water down the drain immediately after using the DIY cleaner as this could damage the pipes and make the clog even worse! Instead, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes first.
Maintenance Tips for a Clog-Free Drain
Regular cleaning of your drain
Much like other areas of your home which require a semi-regular once-over, like cleaning your kitchen grout or washing your windows, regular maintenance of your drain is crucial to keeping it clean and clog-free.
To do this, you should use a brush or pipe cleaner to gently scrape away any buildup on the inside of the pipes. Additionally, you can pour boiling water down your drains every few months to help remove any grease or oils that may have built up over time. Finally, make a point of regularly checking your drains for any blockages or obstructions during your weekly or bi-weekly cleaning routine, removing them as necessary.
Prevention tips to avoid clogs in the future
To prevent clogs in the future, it’s important to take certain preventive measures.
As discussed above, try to avoid pouring cooking oils and grease down the drain as these can accumulate over time and cause irritating blockages.
Similarly, you should never flush anything other than toilet paper down your toilets as this could lead to a backup of materials that could eventually cause a clog.
Finally, it’s a good idea to use strainers or screens in the sinks and tubs of your home. These handy catch-alls will prevent hair and soap residue that may otherwise go down the drain, causing a nasty buildup. Taking these steps will help ensure that your drains remain clear and free-flowing for years to come.
Proper disposal of solids and grease
It is really important to properly dispose of any solid or greasy materials in the trash, and not the drain. These materials can accumulate and may eventually cause clogs, resulting in an irritating leaky sink. If you’re battling a leak like this, check out our blog post for a step-by-step guide on fixing a leaky sink.
Any solids should be put into a garbage bag and disposed of rather than being washed down the drain. For incredibly stubborn grease blockages, you may want to use a grease-eating bacteria product to help break down the build up.
In conclusion, unclogging your drains can be done in a relatively simple and safe manner — just by using baking soda and vinegar! However, it’s important to take certain safety precautions when handling this mixture, such as wearing protective gear and ensuring the area is well-ventilated.
By following the tips that we have listed here, you can easily keep your drains clean and functioning as they should for many years to come — saving you lofty plumbing bills and giving you that DIY satisfaction.
Q: Is baking soda and vinegar safe to use for unclogging drains?
A: Yes, baking soda and vinegar are safe to use for unclogging drains when used correctly. It is important, however, to take certain safety precautions while using the mixture such as wearing protective gear and ensuring the area is properly ventilated. Additionally, never mix baking soda and vinegar with any other chemicals as this could produce hazardous fumes.
Q: What are some common mistakes I should avoid when using baking soda and vinegar to unclog drains?
A: When using baking soda and vinegar to unclog drains, it’s important to avoid making some common mistakes. First, you should never pour boiling water directly onto the baking soda and vinegar mixture as this could cause a violent reaction.
Additionally, you should never mix any other chemicals with the baking soda and vinegar as this could produce hazardous fumes, and at worst — explosions. Finally, it’s important to be cautious when handling the mixture so that it doesn’t splash or come into contact with your skin or eyes.
Q: What are some preventive measures I can take to avoid clogs in the future?
A: To prevent clogs in the future, there are a few simple measures you can take. Firstly, never, ever(!) pour cooking oils and grease down the drain as these can accumulate over time and eventually lead to blockages. Additionally, never (ever!), flush anything other than toilet paper down your toilets as this could lead to a backup of materials that could eventually cause a clog.
Finally, it’s a good idea to use strainers or screens in the sinks and tubs of your home to catch any hair or soap residue that may otherwise go down the drain and cause buildup. Taking these steps will help ensure that your drains remain clear and free-flowing for years to come!
Q: What is the proper way to dispose of solids and grease?
A: Any solids should be put into a garbage bag and disposed of in the trash rather than being washed down the drain. Grease and oils should also be disposed of in the trash instead of poured down the drain as this can cause buildup and clogs. Additionally, you may want to use a grease-eating bacteria product to help break down and alleviate any existing grease buildup in your drains. This will help ensure that your drains remain clear and free-flowing for years to come.