Cheap Homemade Drain Cleaner

lucky_12October 29, 2009

I had a slow kitchen drain and wanted something already on hand and non toxic to clean it. I went on line and found a drain cleaning recipe that calls for vinegar and baking soda. I let it sit overnight and was shocked to find it worked every bit as well as the $8 dollar a bottle name brand drain cleaner I was buying.

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vwtx

Isn't it AWESOME?! I use it as a monthly maintenance on drains. If you can find the book 'Clean House, Clean Planet' by Karen Logan, it's loaded with great recipes for environmentally friendly (and cheap) cleaners. I found it years ago when my son was diagnosed with asthma. I also stopped getting headaches and losing my sense of smell every time I cleaned the bathroom.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Cynic

A way to make it even more effective is to mix some salt in with the baking soda. It works as an abrasive and helps pull the gunk away.

I discovered this a long long time ago when I had a problem with a slow kitchen sink drain. I would dump a lot of grease down there and of course it would slow down and plug up. As long as I had a little bit of drainage, I'd start the hot water flowing at whatever pace it could handle, then I'd start pouring in salt and wait a bit, add a little more and quite quickly it would start running faster so I'd turn up the water and more salt in there. Cleaned that drain out amazingly well. A friend was over and saw me doing this and couldn't believe it. Then I heard about the baking soda and vinegar and tried adding the salt into the formula. Haven't had to use drain cleaners in the kitchen since.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 2:40PM
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jannie

My bsthroom sink kept clogging. Afdter the third tine he fixed it, my plumber suggested running hot water down the drain for a few minutes once a week. It works well as a "preventative". But next time, if it cllogs, I will try salt, vinegar and baking soda.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:54PM
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oilpainter

I have used baking soda and Vinegar to clean drains for years. While you have it out clean your porcelin sink and tub with the baking soda.

Both Vinegar and baking soda have many other uses.

To clean thermoses--pour some soda in the bottle. Add hot water and a dish cloth--leave room for the cloth to move around. Put on the lid and shake, then pour it out,remove the cloth and rinse well. It will be clean as a whistle.

Baking soda works well to get the stains out of coffee and tea pots too.

Vinegar works to get the salt stains off of boots, especially suede boots. Mix 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a container dip in a brush--a nail brush works good--and brush the stain. It will simply disappear and the brush lifts the nap on suede boots. Let dry and wear. By the way this works well on car carpets too.

There are simply dozens and dosens of things you can do with baking soda and vinegar.

Heloise has many such tips. Check out the site below.

http://www.heloise.com/hints_vinegar.html

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 8:55AM
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sherrmann

What is the ratio of salt to vinegar to baking soda? And the method, too. Does this concoction work on hair in the tub?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 10:52AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I have had some some luck with it in the tub. I don't measure amounts, just dump some baking soda in and then add vinegar. (Baking soda is cheap). To be extra thrifty, when I run vinegar through the coffee maker every 6 months or so, I use the hot vinegar on the farthest drain in the house to keep things moviNG.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 6:54PM
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maime

I think we have gone over board cleaning with chemical cleaners because of the commercials that tell us about
e coli and salmonella. I really don't think we need all of the power cleaners we see in ads. When I moved into this new home I had one heck of a time cleaning the bathroom mirrors, there was no way I could get them streak free and I tried the vinegar and newspaper. One day I picked up a hand towel I had just dried my hands on and took a swipe at the mirror wonder of wonders, no streaks when it dried. Now I just use a soft dry towel unless I have something dried on it that needs moisture to clean, then I only use the damp towel. The same with the inside of the car windshield. After I broke my arm and could not clean, I hired a cleaner to come in. I had a slight allergy for 3 weeks as a result of the cleaner and when I was able I started cleaning with with soap and water. Soap and warm water kills the harmful things on our hands, why not on the counter tops and sinks. I never lay raw meat on my counters. I use dish washing liquid in the toilet bowls or old shampoo. I think we have been brain washed by commercials over the years.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:31PM
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oilpainter

Sherrman:

The ratio is not important. What is important is the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar. If you have too much soda that's Ok. Just pour a bit of soda in the drain and if you don't get a good foaming action when you add vinegar pour a bit more in.

When you were a kid did you ever do the volcano in a bottle science experiment where you put in baking soda and add vinegar. It bubbles up to the top of the bottle. The same thing happens in the drain and it forces minor things--like hair-- down the drain pipe.

It won't remove major clogs--so don't let it build up-- or flush a solid object down the drain, but if used as a preventative once a month or so it will keep the drains running free.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 5:56AM
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Cynic

If you're getting a hair clog you probably have to dig it out as usual. And another tip to make it more effective is to plug the top of the drain once it starts foaming. That way, the pressure will go DOWN the pipe rather than a back pressure letting some of it come out the top.

I always try to get some soda down the drain. Poke it down there as best you can. Once the vinegar hits it, the foaming, and thus the pressure, starts. If it foams up into the sink, it's essentially wasted pressure which is why it's helpful to cap it off. If you have a double sink, plug both sides.

I agree that the amount isn't critical. I found that the baking soda is good for a lot of vinegar. But soda and vinegar are both relatively cheap, and so is salt.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 4:04PM
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