homemade drain cleaner recipes

The Only 2 Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes You Need to Know

A partially blocked drain is all well and good until your showers become mini baths with the water rising up to your ankles. Slow draining water is annoying in itself, but a clogged drain comes with a range of other plumbing problems if left for too long.

Most of us would reach for a chemical drain cleaner bought from the shops to remove the hair, oil, or grease that’s causing the blockage. If used incorrectly, however, these harsh chemicals can damage your pipes and leave you with a bigger problem than you already had.

Before you call a plumber, you can try your hand at these two homemade drain cleaner recipes. Gentle, yet effective, you can whip these recipes up in your kitchen in no time to freshen drains.

Bicarb Soda and Vinegar

bicarb soda and vinegar homemade drain cleaner recipe

If you’re on TikTok at all, you would have seen the viral bicarb soda and vinegar drain hack. This homemade drain cleaner trick went viral for a reason – it really works!

Whether you’re facing a nasty blockage or you simply want to freshen your drains, you can use this homemade drain cleaner regularly without the risk of damaging your plumbing.

What you need:

  • 1 cup bicarb soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • a pot of boiling/hot water
  • drain plug/duct tape

Time required: 15-30 minutes.

Safety note: Mixing bicarb soda and vinegar creates carbon dioxide gas, so ensure the room you are in is well ventilated or you wear a mask to prevent breathing this in.

Step 1: Turn the hot water tap on and run it for a few minutes. At room temperature, fats, oils, and greases are in a solid-state and are the cause of many clogged drains. Running hot tap water down will melt them, making it easier to remove the blockage.

Step 2: Pour approximately 1 cup of bicarb soda down the drain.

pouring 1 cup of bicarb soda down sink drain

Step 3: Follow up the bicarb soda with 1 cup of vinegar. This will cause a bubbling and fizzing reaction.

pouring 1 cup of vinegar down sink drain

Step 4: Lock this chemical reaction in your drain with a plug, some duct tape, or any makeshift drain cover you can come up with.

Step 5: Let this reaction sit for 10-30 minutes depending on the drain clog severity.

Step 6: Slowly pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to flush any remaining blockage out.

pouring boiling water down sink drain

Step 7: Repeat this process if necessary.

Not only will this natural drain cleaner clear tough clogs, but it will also leave your drains smelling much more fresh and clean.

Hot Water and Detergent

hot water and detergent homemade drain cleaner recipe

No bicarb soda and vinegar? No problem. You can make a homemade drain unclogger using hot water and dishwashing detergent to fix a slow-moving drain.

Detergents contain surfactants that are specifically designed to latch onto fat, oils, and grease and whisk them away, making this the perfect homemade Drano. Here’s how you can make it yourself.

What you need:

  • a pot of hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of detergent

Time required: 5-10 minutes

Step 1: Mix approximately two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent in at least one cup of hot water.

mixing hot water and detergent together

Step 2: Pour this solution of hot water and detergent down your drain.

pouring hot water and detergent down sink drain

Step 3: Run your hot water tap until no more bubbles come out from the drain.

running hot water down sink drain

Step 4: Repeat if necessary.

If you like to use a good amount of oil in your cooking or like to use an oil cleanser at your bathroom sink when you wash your face at night, then this DIY drain cleaner is just what you need. Because you’re only using hot water and detergent, you can use it on a regular basis, even once a week as a preventative for grease clogs.

When homemade drain cleaners just aren’t cutting it, you need a plumber to resolve your blocked drain woes. Metropolitan has licensed and highly experienced plumbers with access to the latest and greatest tools and know-how in the industry.

Whether it’s a blocked kitchen sink or shower, we have local plumbers available in your area 24/7. We can thoroughly inspect your drain with a CCTV drain camera to identify the cause of your blockage and outline the next best step.

metropolitan plumber using cctv drain camera

With an electric drain snake, hydro jet drain cleaner, or even a full-on pipe dig up, we’re prepared to clear any blockage and get your water flowing right again. You’ll be left with fresher and cleaner drains than what you had before the blockage.

If your drains are showing signs of being clogged and your natural drain unblocker hasn’t done the trick, call us today for a same day blocked drain service.


Published: 25 Oct, 2021

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