Baking Soda, Water and Vinegar Oh My

Don’t tell anyone, but we have a drain in our main bathroom sink that decides to run slow every couple of years. Homeownership is so exciting! Our entire house is chemical free, so drain cleaner is completely out of the question. Baking soda and vinegar, however, well, they are not.

If you ever find yourself with a slow running drain, follow these directions for a quick and environmentally friendly way to speed things back up. The first thing you will want to do is assemble your tools.

Team VP has these ridiculously large containers because baking soda and vinegar are on our lineup of cleaning tools, but if you only have the small containers, don’t panic because all you really need is:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar

Remove the water from the sink or tub as best you can and pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. You will not get the entire 1/2 cup down the drain. Instead, it will look something like this:This is not a huge deal. The next step solves this problem.

Next, pour about  2 cups of boiling water down the drain. The baking soda mixed with boiling water dissolves the gunk in the pipe, even if you don’t see it happening. Wait a few minutes. We watched a squirrel.

Now, pour another 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain.

Now, you need to add the vinegar to the baking soda, which causes a reaction. Unfortunately, there is no time to marvel at this reaction because you need to act quickly. Prepare yourself now for awesome science that you will not be allowed to gawk at, then add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and plug the drain immediately. If you’re unclogging a double sink, plug both drains.

You may have to fumble around the bubbles to maneuver the plug in, but it’s worth the tiny bit of effort.

When the bubbles have died down, remove the plugs and add the remaining boiling water down the drain.

Repeat this process if necessary. This can be used as a monthly treatment to help prevent future slowing by simply pouring a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drains followed by boiling water and you will be eternally proud of yourself for never polluting the Earth with drain cleaner again.

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