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Hand holding a spoon of baking soda on top of sink with a clogged drain.

5 Best DIY Drain Cleaning Methods

Slow drains, foul sink odors, and gurgling sounds indicate a clogged drain. When you hear the phrase “clogged drain,” your first instinct is likely to run to the store to purchase chemical drain cleaners. However, most store-bought cleaners contain sodium hydroxide and other chemicals that damage your pipes.

Fortunately, there are several DIY drain cleaning methods you can try. Keep in mind that these DIY solutions shouldn’t replace a professional drain cleaning—especially if your sink is severely clogged and overflowing. But using these methods is a great way to maintain your drains between cleanings. 

Let’s discuss some of the best homemade drain cleaners that will be kind to your drains and your wallet.

DIY Drain Cleaning Recipes Infographic

Baking Soda & Vinegar

When combined, baking soda and vinegar work to loosen up sink and shower drain clogs. First things first, remember to remove the drain stopper or screen to have full access to the drain.

Start by flushing out the drain with hot water. Once you have done this, pour ½ cup baking soda followed by ½ cup vinegar into the clogged drain and let it sit for about ten minutes. You will hear fizzing as the chemical reaction takes place. Afterward, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain and repeat the process as necessary. 

If the clog persists, contact a professional Aberle plumber for help.

Baking Soda & Salt

There are many effective DIY drain cleaning methods that involve baking soda. If you don’t have vinegar at the ready, one homemade drain cleaning mixture you might want to try is baking soda and salt.

Combine ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup table salt, then pour it down the drain. You’ll want to let the mixture for at least 30 minutes; you can even let it sit overnight if you have a more substantial clog. Afterward, pour boiling water down the drain.

Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Another DIY drain cleaning method worth trying is baking soda and lemon juice. If you have a pesky blockage in your kitchen sink, this may be the best homemade drain cleaner if you don’t like the smell of vinegar.

You’ll need ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup lemon juice. Pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by the lemon juice. Once the mixture has sat for one hour, pour boiling water down the drain. It’s essential to flush the drains with hot water.

Dishwashing Detergent & Boiling Water

If you want one of the best homemade drain cleaners but don’t have baking soda, try this combination of hot water and dishwashing detergent. This quick and easy mixture is ideal for clearing grease, oils, and fats found in your drains.

Add two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent into a bowl of boiling water. Once combined, pour the mixture down the drain.

Baking Soda, Salt, & Cream of Tartar

What if you could clean your metal pipes while also breaking down drain clogs? Turn your attention to the DIY drain cleaning combination of baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. This is one of the best homemade drain cleaners for clogs involving hair and soap scum.

Combine ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup salt, and two tablespoons of cream of tartar in a sealed jar or container; shake or mix to combine. You will only need to pour half of this mixture down the drain; you can use the rest at a later time. Then, flush the drain with boiling water and let it sit for one hour. Afterward, run the tap to flush away the remaining cleaner.

Contact the Drain Cleaning Pros

There are many DIY drain cleaning methods you can use that are safe and effective. However, while these drain cleaners can be great in a pinch, you may still need to call a local drain repair specialist for help. Some clogs can be too complex for at-home drain cleaners.

If you need assistance with a clogged drain, Aberle Plumbing is only a call away. We offer professional drain and sewer cleanings in Houston, TX. Contact us to schedule a drain cleaning service today!