DIY Tips for Cleaning Clogged Drains

Clogged kitchen sink? Using products you already have at home like vinegar, baking soda and coffee grounds, will clear your drain line in no time!

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Baking Soda and Vinegar Declogger

Most people know the old science fair project of mixing vinegar and baking soda to cause a chemical reaction worthy of a model volcano, but not many know that this powerful combination is also a great drain cleaner. Baking soda and vinegar break down fatty acids from grease, food, and soap build-up into simpler substances that can be more easily flushed down the drain. Here’s how to do it: Pour two ounces of baking soda and five ounces of vinegar into your drain. Cover with a towel or dishrag while the solution fizzes. Wait 5-10 minutes, then flush the drain with very hot water. Repeat until your drain is clear.

Dishwasher Detergent Declogger

Not only is drain cleaner expensive, it can weaken your pipes. Instead of using Drano to unclog a slow-moving drain, use a gel dishwasher detergent like Cascade. Pour the detergent into the drain and chase it with boiling water.

Coffee Grounds Declogger

To prevent a drain from getting clogged, periodically pour some used coffee grounds into it. The coffee’s acids will break-up grease and the grounds’ rough texture will help dislodge buildup so that the drain runs smoothly. This works even in drains that don’t have garbage disposals!

Alka-Seltzer Declogger

Kitchen sink clogged up? Skip the commercial drain cleaners, which contain harsh chemicals that can destroy your pipes. Instead, slip three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain and turn on the hot water for just a few seconds. The tablets will fizz up and get to work on the clog. After 15 minutes, run the water again and the drain should be clog-free.

Drain Maintenance

Don’t wait until your drain gets clogged before you flush out grime, grease, and hair. Perform monthly maintenance with the help of a little yeast. Pour two packets of dry yeast and a pinch of salt down the drain, then follow with very hot water. Wait half an hour, then flush again with hot water. The yeast reproduces and expands, which breaks up stubborn grime and hair clogs and saves you from calling the plumber.

Prevent Leaks with Floss

Instead of using expensive Teflon tape to prevent leaking between pipes and other parts that screw together, just use dental floss. Wrap the floss around the item’s threads, and you’ll have a tight connection.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.