Instead of purchasing a commercial drain cleaner like Liquid-Plumr the next time your drain or toilet is clogged, try a homemade version instead. Clogs can be a nuisance, but you don't always need to deal with harsh chemicals. The two ingredients that can unclog your drain are most likely hidden in your kitchen cabinets.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Benefits
Although liquid drain cleaners do a great job at unclogging drains, frequent use can sometimes mess up your pipes. If you want to regularly clean your drain or often deal with clogged drains, you should try baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a base and vinegar is made of water and acetic acid. When you combine the two ingredients, a reaction occurs, molecules exchange and carbon dioxide and water are created.
To get this mixture really working, though, you need to add boiling water. Since drainage pipes aren't pressurized, boiling water adds pressure. Once that pressure is added, the clog should clear out. Most importantly, never use a homemade version of Liquid-Plumr before or after handling chemicals because the different components can react and cause toxic fumes.
Unclog Your Drain
First, pour boiling water down the drain. Next, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar. Then, pour the water and vinegar solution into the drain followed by a cup of baking soda. Cover your drain and wait about five to 10 minutes for the mixture to work its magic.
After the five to 10 minutes are up, pour boiling water down the drain one more time. When doing this, be careful not to spill the boiling water on yourself.
Unclog Your Toilet
If you have a clogged toilet, you can still use the baking soda, vinegar and boiling water combo, but a couple more steps are needed to unclog your toilet. Before you start pouring ingredients into the toilet bowl, you need to check the water level.
If the water is low, you can pour the boiling water in the bowl, but if the water is high, you need to either wait until some of the water dissipates or scoop some out. After you pour the boiling water into the toilet bowl, pour in a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar.
You must pour the vinegar slowly into your toilet bowl. You'll notice if a cup of vinegar is too much for your clog and how slow you need to pour the vinegar based on how much fizzing is occurring. Once you pour the vinegar in, let the fizz work its magic. After 20 minutes, the mixture should have unclogged your drain.
You'll know if the clog is broken up because the water level will go down, but if you see bubbles, don't worry, that's a good sign; it means you can flush the toilet. If your toilet is still clogged, you can repeat the steps until it's cleared. In crucial clog situations, you can leave the mixture to fizz overnight and see if that helps move things a bit. If your clog isn't dissipating, you can try a two-prong approach of letting the fizz sit overnight and then plunging your toilet.