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Sick of that foul odor that keeps rising up from your kitchen sink? Tired of trying to pull hair clogs out of your tub drain with a wire hanger? 

It’s common for drains to smell and get clogged with hair, soap scum and grease. And luckily, there are a few common household products that, when used the right way, can clean that drain in a matter of a few minutes. 

Ready to learn how? Here are five natural drain cleaners you can make at home right now.

Why Use a Natural Drain Cleaner?

Bowl of lemons and cleaning tools.

A lot of people are in the habit of buying products like Drano and Liquid Plumbr when they have a clogged drain. Sure, those products are effective, but they can also be expensive. Plus, they’re full of chemicals that a lot of people don’t want to breathe in. 

Fortunately, there’s no need to. Common household products like vinegar, baking soda and salt can do the job just as well! 

Natural DIY drain cleaners are perfect for anyone looking to maintain a clean, green home free of chemicals, dye and toxic substances.  

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda is a component in several of the drain cleaners on our list. And that’s because it’s super effective. When combined with vinegar, this mixture will clear drain clogs better faster and better than you can imagine. 

Pour one cup of baking soda through the drain. Pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain on top of the baking soda. In a few seconds, you’ll see it start to foam and bubble up. Cover your drain with a drain plug so the mixture doesn’t bubble out and over. 

Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then run hot tap water to rinse it down. If you’re trying to clear a stubborn hair clog, repeat the process if need be. 

So how exactly does this work? Science. 

Carbon dioxide bubbles are created when you combine vinegar and baking soda. These bubbles have the power to flush your drain of grease, fat, soap scum and hair. 

If you don’t already have these products on hand, be sure to add them to your next shopping list. 

Baking soda and vinegar aren’t just good drain cleaners. 

They can also be used to clean the inside of appliances, remove tarnish from silver jewelry and remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables!

Dishwashing Detergent and Hot Water

Dealing with a grease clog in your kitchen sink? 

A little dishwashing detergent and hot water are all you need. It seems like a really simple idea, but it makes sense if you think about it; after all, dishwashing detergent is designed to cut grease on pots and pans.

Get a pan of boiling water and add two tablespoons of dish detergent, preferably something that you know is tough on grease, like Dawn. Pour the mixture down the drain slowly. Run your tap and see if your clog is gone. If not, repeat the process.

Related: How to Clean a Dirty Coffee Maker (Safe & Natural)

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Does your kitchen drain have a foul smell? You can clear away clogs and make your drain smell super fresh with baking soda and lemon juice. 

Pour a  ½ cup baking soda down the drain, then pour a  ½ cup of lemon juice on top of it. Seal the drain and let it sit for about an hour. Rinse it down with a pot of boiling water. 

Don’t have lemon juice on hand? Baking soda and salt work just as well (though it won’t provide that lemony-fresh scent). 

For this method, mix ½ cup of table salt and ½ cup of baking soda together. Pour that mixture down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with a pot of boiling water. 

If you have a really bullheaded clog, you can let the baking soda and salt sit in your drain overnight before rinsing it down with water. 

Cream of Tartar and Baking Soda

Sick of your bathroom drain being clogged with hair and soap scum? A mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar might just do the trick!

Check your spice rack – you may have cream of tartar in there and not even know it. If you do, combine two tablespoons of cream of tartar with ½ cup of salt and 2 cups of baking soda. Shake it up. Pour two cups of boiling water down the drain, then add the dry mixture. Let it sit for one hour, then rinse with hot water. 

Vinegar, Salt and Borax

While most of us think of borax as a chemical found in harsh cleaning products, it actually is a naturally occurring mineral. But it does have some amount of toxicity in it, so if you really want to be eco-friendly and green, this method might not be for you.

To use this method, combine ¼ cup of salt, ¼ cup of borax, and ½ cup of vinegar. Pour it down the drain, then follow it with a pot of boiling water. Let it sit for one hour then rinse it down with hot water. 

Your clogged drain should be free and clear! 

When NOT To Use a Homemade Drain Cleaner

Homemade drain cleaners are safe and effective, but you should never use one after you’ve already used a chemical cleaner. The combination of chemicals and homemade cleaners can sometimes cause dangerous chemical reactions.

Two people work under the sink.

If you try a homemade cleaner first and it doesn’t work, make sure your pipes are clear of the mixture before attempting to add a chemical cleaner on top of it. 

How Do You Make a Drain Cleaner at Home?

The next time you have a drain clogged with hair, soap scum or grease, try a little DIY with an at-home mixture before you rush out and buy a harsh cleaning product full of chemicals. 

It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to get that water running freely down your drain again! 

You might also be interested in: How to Remove Wallpaper [5 Easy Ways]

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Posted 
Apr 3, 2020
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