A slow drain can leave rings of damp debris around the edges of the sink or piling up around the shower drain. Using tiny snakes built for narrow drain openings and expensive drain cleaners can help, but they can also be a pain to use and not always easily on hand.
A simple swish of soda can refresh a slightly clogged drain and solve the issue in a matter of minutes. Not all sodas are built for this plumbing problem, so make sure you have the correct one before filling the drain with bubbling refreshments.
Why Soda Pop Plumbs
You can use soda to unclog a drain, a toilet or any other plumbing problem that plagues your home or RV. The phosphoric acid in the soda's formula is what gives the beverage its pop of flavor. It is placed in the recipe not for its tang, but also for its properties to prevent mold and bacteria from sprouting in the sugary drink.
Mr. Rooter recommends looking for sodas that have phosphoric acid as one of the first four ingredients. This means there will be enough of the natural phosphorous to work on the natural substances that are clogging your drains and toilets.
It needs to be a minimum of 20 ounces to cut through the muck in the bowl. A 2-liter jug of soda works just as well, but make sure it's more than a single serving 12-ounce bottle to get the full effect of the soda's acidic properties.
Unclog a Drain with Soda
The soda should sit on the counter to reach room temperature before being poured down the drain. Cold soda doesn't have the same effect. Gently pour the entire bubbly beverage down the drain slowly.
If you splash the soda onto countertops or flooring, clean it up with a damp towel quickly. The sugary drink can leave behind a sticky mess and attract ants or other critters.
Allow the soda to sit in the drain for at least an hour, if not overnight, to allow it to do its work on the stubborn clog. Use boiling – not just hot – water to flush the drain thoroughly. This process can be repeated until the clog gives way and the water flows freely down the drain.
Coke to Unclog Toilets
It may seem odd, but using coke to unclog toilets that won't empty their contents down the drain works quite well. For simple clogs, open a 12-ounce can and drain the coke into the toilet bowl slowly. Start at the edges and let it flow down the sides of the bowl.
Business Insider recommends that the acidic soda sit in the bowl for a few hours before attempting to flush the mess down the drain.
Coke and Baking Soda Cleaner
For more stubborn clogs, use a mix of coke and baking soda cleaner to remove stains and odors. Apply baking soda to the interior of the bowl. Sprinkle around the edges of the bowl, letting the baking soda fall into the bottom of the bowl.
Gently pour the coke over the baking soda. It will bubble and fizz, working to eat away at surface dirt around the bowl as it makes its way down to the base of the toilet. Allow this to sit for a few hours before flushing, then repeat as necessary.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.