Effective Home Remedies for a Clogged Drain 

 June 19, 2017

By  Xion Lab

Imagine the scenario; you wake up one morning and while you are still stretching, gathering the energy to get out of bed, you see the clock and oops! You are late for work. Thinking how come you didn’t wake up by the alarm, you check the alarm clock and find out that it is not working anymore.

Cursing the alarm clock, you jump out of bed, grab your clothes and run into the bathroom only to find that your toilet overflowed sometime during the night and now, your bathroom looks like a filthy and stinking swimming pool.

No”, you scream.

With head in your hands, you try to comprehend what happened to your bathroom overnight. Feeling disgusted and sick with the horrible situation, you run for your cell phone because you know the only option now is to make two calls; one to the plumber and the other to your office to tell that you can’t come to work because of an emergency at your home.

Home Remedies for a Clogged Drain

Can you relate to the situation?

It is highly likely that you have been through this or a similar situation at least once in your lifetime.

Clogged drains are highly common, all over the world and in every type of plumbing system. They do not just happen in your bathroom, but in shower and kitchen as well.

A clogged drain can get you in difficulty if you do not know the right way to deal with it. This is why people, particularly those who are faced with the situation for the first time, often make it worse in attempting to resolve it and then end up calling a plumber.

On the other hand, there are people who simply do not know what should be done in case of a clogged drain and simply, calls a plumber every time it happens.

But, have you ever thought how much money you end up wasting on such issues every now and then? We call it wasting money because unclogging a drain neither has to be expensive nor requires calling a plumber every time.

Ever thought of trying home remedies for a clogged drain?

Yes! Like many other household tasks, there are many simple, inexpensive and highly useful tips, tricks and home remedies for a clogged drain. The problem of a clogged drain, whether it is of your kitchen sink, toilet bathroom sink, bathtub or your shower area, can easily be resolved. Majority of home remedies for a clogged drain requires only few natural ingredients that are highly likely to be already lying in your kitchen cabinet.

Why Should You Use Home Remedies For A Clogged Drain?

You might think why you should try home remedies for a clogged drain and not use the over-the-counter cleaners that are specifically meant for the purpose?

The answer is really simple; they are harmful. Store bought cleaners are usually made of powerful chemicals that are known to be hazardous for human health. Using such chemical based cleaners become all the more dangerous if you have children and/ or elderly members in the family because they are highly sensitive.

Take a look at the list of chemicals on the back side of the cleaner and run a quick search on the internet about their effects on human health.

Not convinced to give up on chemical cleaners?

They are harmful for animals and plants as well.

How, you may ask.

Do you know where does the water from your sewerage system eventually go to?

To the waterways, right?

The polluted water damages the natural habitats of animals and plants and is considered as a major reason for genetic mutations. Also, it causes death of many species.

According to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, a large number of commercial cleaners for unclogging drains contain sulfuric acid and lye that releases hazardous fumes into the environment and thus, contribute to air pollution.

Last, but not the least, the harsh chemicals could damage the drain pipes.

After taking into account all the risk factors associated with the use of commercial cleaners for unclogging drains, it can be said that their cons outweigh the pros. Large numbers of people, all over the world, have started using home remedies for a clogged drain only because they know the harmful effects of chemicals generally used in drain cleaners and they do not want to risk their own and their family’s health and the lives of other living beings

Home remedies for a clogged drain may take a little more time and effort (not always though), but they are completely safe to use; not to say they cost you very low.

Essential Ingredients Used In Home Remedies for a Clogged Drain

Now, when you are convinced to ditch all those commercial cleaners that claim to be highly effective for removing all types of blockages in the drain, make sure you always have two ingredients in your kitchen cabinet:

  1. White vinegar
  2. Baking soda (also called sodium bicarbonate)

These two ingredients are powerful natural cleaners and hence are used in almost all home remedies for a clogged drain.

If you run a search for home remedies for a clogged drain or for any other home cleaning task, it is highly likely that more than 90% of the tips and methods include white vinegar and baking soda.

The main compound in vinegar i.e. ‘acetic acid’ is what gives it the acidity and makes it a wonderful cleaner. Acids can easily loosen up and dissolve some of the tough buildups, including but not limited to dust, dirt, gunk, soap scum, grease, fat, mold, grout and all kinds of residues. Also, it can help to get rid of almost all kinds of bad odors. Some claim that vinegar is also a disinfectant and thus, helps removing bacteria as well however, this is yet to be proved scientifically.

A major factor that makes vinegar a part of almost all home remedies for a clogged drain or home cleaning is that it is safe to use. Vinegar is biodegradable and thus, environment friendly.

Vinegar itself has a strong smell though that some people may not like, but it usually goes away after some time.

Baking soda is another natural ingredient that is used not only in home remedies for a clogged drain, but for cleaning stove tops, counters, tile grout, wood floors, carpets and mattresses as well. This is why many people call it the miraculous ingredient. In addition to cooking and baking, sodium bicarbonate is widely used for cleaning and deodorizing of literally everything.

Do you know baking soda is also a natural fire extinguisher for small scale electrical and grease fires?

Baking soda is slightly abrasive due to which it is highly effective for removing various types of stains. It also loosens up grease and fat buildups making them easily dissolve in water. Baking soda is great for maintaining pH balance and thus, it neutralizes both bases and acids and removes all kinds of odors.

This is why baking soda is used not only in home remedies for a clogged drain, but also in remedies for cleaning, removing stains and eliminating odors.

drain cleaner

Home Remedies for a Clogged Drain

Here we are discussing some tried and tested home remedies for a clogged drain so that you won’t have to call the plumber or use harsh and hazardous chemicals ever again.

1.    Water and Vinegar

This is the simplest of all home remedies for a clogged drain. All you have to do is to boil water in a medium sized kettle. While it’s boiling, take out about half a cup of white vinegar.

Remove all visible debris and waste and pour the boiling water down the drain. Now, immediately pour vinegar into the drain. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes and then, flush the drain with regular water.

This remedy works for removing many types of clogs.

2.    Dish Detergent

Many people stay away from using home remedies for a clogged drain because they think DIY tasks and remedies are time consuming and requires a lot of effort. Not necessarily though!

Many home remedies for a clogged drain are not only simple, but also quick and effective. Drains can be unclogged as easily as by using a regular dish detergent and hot water.

Take about half to one cup of any dish detergent and pour it down the drain. Now, boil water in a medium sized pot and as soon as it boils, pour it immediately into the drain. Do not pour all at once, rather slowly but continuously. Wait for about five minutes and then check the drain by running the water into the drain.

3.    Baking Soda and Vinegar

If the above mentioned home remedies for a clogged drain does not work, try this method.

This home remedy for a clogged drain requires:

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Plunger
  • Petroleum Jelly / Beeswax

Remove any visible obstructions off the drain including the strainer, if there is any. Now pour generous amount (about half a cup) of baking soda into the drain and immediately pour about one cup of vinegar over it. Allow the magic ingredients to loosen up and remove the gunk, grease, fat or oil that has buildup inside the pipe for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Now, slowly pour boiling hot water down the drain and leave again for another 15 to 20 minutes. Now take the plunger (make sure it is the size of the drain) and apply petroleum jelly or beeswax on its corners. This will enhance the effectiveness of the trick by creating a seal between the drain and the plunger. You may need to plunge a few times to remove all the clogs.

Run water to check if it is flowing freely (which it should) as this is one of the most effective home remedies for a clogged drain.

4.   Boric Acid

Boric acid is another powerful cleaner that is also used in many commercial cleaning products. It can safely be used to break and remove tough clogs in all types of drain systems. For this powerful home remedy for a clogged drain, you will need:

  • Boric Acid : 1 teaspoon
  • Liquid Soap : 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon Juice : 1 teaspoon
  • Hot water : One quart

Combine all the ingredients and pour the mixture down the drain. Leave for about 10 minutes and then flush the drain with hot water.

Boric acid breaks down the gunk, dirt and grease buildup inside the drains and the lemon juice will remove the unpleasant smell leaving the drains with a fresh, zesty smell.

5.   Table Salt

Not many people know that the regular table salt can also be used in home remedies for a clogged drain, but it helps removing many blockages.

First remove all water from the sink, bath tub or wherever the blockage has occurred. Now take about half a cup of table salt and pour it into the clogged drain. Leave it for about five minutes and then flush the drain with generous amount of hot water.

6.   Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda when used together makes one of the best home remedies for a clogged drain, no matter how tough it is.

To ensure protection, wear rubber gloves before handling the chemical.

Take about one tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate and mix it in a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Simply, pour this mixture into the clogged drain and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not get worried to see the mixture foaming.

Flush the drain with generous amount of hot water. This home remedy for a clogged drain removes almost every kind of blockage from the pipes.

7.     Baking Soda and Table Salt

Combine one cup of baking soda and half a cup of table salt and pour this mixture down the drain at night. Make sure you do not use the drain after this. Let them work overnight and flush the drain with boiling water, the next morning. Try flowing water down the drain.

For tough and stubborn clogs, you may need to repeat this method for few days to completely remove all blockages.

drain cleaner


No one wants to deal with a clogged drain every now and then. While we cannot rule out the possibility of clogged drains, we can definitely reduce their occurrence. All you need is to be little careful and follow some simple home remedies for a clogged drain on regular basis to make sure the mess does not take place.

In kitchen, make sure to never throw any fruits and vegetable peels and food particles down the drain no matter how small they are. They often get trapped in the curved area of the pipe and create blockage.

In bathrooms, do not deliberately throw hair into the drain. Hair accumulates inside the pipe, creating the most stubborn of all clogs. You may have to use plunger or a drain snake (also called auger) in addition to home remedies for a clogged drain to completely remove a hair clog.

In addition to preventive measures, include one of the above mentioned home remedies for a clogged drain in your weekly or fortnightly cleaning ritual so that any small blockages can be removed before they get worse and create a big trouble.

While using the home remedies for a clogged drain, always take protective measures to ensure you do not cause any harm to yourself. Always use pot holders or wear oven mitts while handling hot water to avoid burns from splashes and steam. Also, wear protective rubber gloves whenever you have to use a chemical, no matter how light or safe it is; better to be safe than sorry.

Additionally, make sure to keep children and pets away whenever you are trying home remedies for a clogged drain as they can get harmed.

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