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How to Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar

How to Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar

If you’ve noticed standing water in your tub or your kitchen sink draining slowly, you probably have a clogged drain. Fortunately, if caught early you can clear a clogged drain using common household items. Vinegar, baking soda, borax, and lots of hot water are simple, yet effective tools in clearing slow-draining sinks.

Part 1 of 3: Preparing the Drain Mixture

  1. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 1.jpg
    Drain any water from the sink or tub. If it’s really slow-draining, this may take a while, but if you remove the water, you drain-clearing mixture will be able to work on the clog much faster.
  2. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 2.jpg
    Gather household cleaning/kitchen items. You have several options for creating a non-commercial drain opener. Most involve vinegar and another substance that create a chemical reaction when combined. See if you have any of these drain-opening agents on hand:

    • Vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar work) is the acidic base for creating the foaming reaction.
    • Lemon juice is acidic like vinegar, but smells refreshing. This makes lemon juice a good option for clearing out clogged kitchen sinks.
    • Baking soda is frequently used as a multipurpose cleanser.
    • Salt will help eat away at the clog.
    • Borax is frequently used as a multipurpose cleanser.
  3. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 3.jpg
    Pour vinegar and another drain-opening agent down the drain. No mixing is needed before pouring down the drain. The mixture will foam up on its own as the chemical reaction occurs.[1]

    • For a vinegar and baking soda combination: use 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
    • For a lemon juice and baking soda combination: use 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of lemon juice.
    • For a salt, borax, and vinegar combination: use 1/4 cup of borax, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup of vinegar.

Part 2 of 3: Agitating the Clog

  1. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 4.jpg
    Cover and let the mixture sit. Either use the tub stopper to close the drain or cover it with a steaming hot cloth. Keep the drain closed for 30 minutes. During this time, the foam will be working on wearing down the clog.[2]
  2. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 5.jpg
    Plunge the drain. Use a small, sink size plunger to agitate the clogged-up material. Create a seal and push up and down on the rubber base of the plunger.

    • Plunging works best if you fill the tub or sink with water. The added pressure from the water will help force open the clog.
  3. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 6.jpg
    Use a hanger to pull out the clog. If the drain is clogged with hair, take a metal hanger and twist it till you have a long piece of metal with a small hook at one end. Carefully feed the hook end of the wire down the drain. Twist the wire around and try to snag the clog. Gently pull the wire back out once you’ve caught the clog.

    • Take care not to scratch your sink or tub with the exposed metal. Also, use caution when untwisting the hanger. The metal may be sharp.
  4. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 7.jpg
    Use a drain snake. A drain snake looks like a long metal rope. You’ll need to carefully feed the snake into the drain. When the snake gets stuck, you’ll want to turn the cable. This will make it catch onto the clog. When you slowly pull the snake back out, the clog should clear. Flush with water and repeat.[3]

    • Wear work gloves since the metal snake can be sharp. You should also have an old towel and bucket handy to set the clogged material.

    Part 3 of 3: Flushing the Drain

  1. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 8.jpg
    Flush the drain with hot water. Boil at least 6 cups of hot water or several kettles full of water. Uncover the drain and slowly pour the hot water down.

    • If you have plastic piping, just use very hot water. Avoid pouring boiling water in the drain.[4]
  2. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 9.jpg
    Repeat. If the water is still draining slowly, repeat the process again until the drain becomes clear.

    • If the clog still stubbornly resists draining, you may have a hairball stuck. This may require manually removing the clog. Consider calling a plumber, especially if the drain completely stops up.
  3. Clear a Clogged Drain with Vinegar Step 10.jpg
    Use gravity and pressure to flush the drain. This works best on a clogged tub, since you can fill the tub with gallons of water. Fill the tub with hot water. Then, open the drain and let the pressure of all that water help break up the clog.[5]



  • Concentrated vinegar (acetic acid) and caustic soda are sometimes used for clearing drains, but both are irritants.They can cause irritation to skin, eyes, nose and throat. Avoid direct contact with skin, eyes and clothing.
  • Avoid using these methods if you’ve already poured commercial drain cleaning down the drain. The vinegar and chemicals in the commercial cleaner can create dangerous fumes.

If everything fails… Call us and we will schedule a Service Call today!

A Crash Course in Bathroom Faucet Finishes

A Crash Course in Bathroom Faucet Finishes
Choosing a bathroom faucet finish often stumps people. What’s the difference between brushed and polished nickel? What are the benefits of satin brass versus satin bronze? Fear not. Here’s a crash course in faucet finishes that will elevate your knowledge in less time than it takes you to brush your teeth.

Things you must know about Tankless Water Heaters.

Things you must know about Tankless Water Heaters.

Click here to visit the Rinnia website for more information.

How often do you run out of hot water or manage showering and other activities around hot water availability?

Probably often. You need endless hot water. A Rinnai can actually deliver gallons of hot water per hour! It would take six 40 gallon water heaters or 10 electric water heaters to provide the same output.

Did you know your conventional water heater is the largest energy user in your home next to the HVAC unit?

Based on the national average of four people consuming 64 gallons per day, the annual median operating cost for a Rinnai Tankless is $190. Compare that to $515 for an electric tank and $304 for an average gas tank annually. Converting to Rinnai saves up to 40% on your water heating bill. Prospects can use the Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Energy Savings Calculator to see the difference.

Are you familiar with the increasing prominence of tankless technology?

Many other countries have embraced tankless water heating solutions for decades. It’s a green benefit that’s growing in the U.S. in fact, one of every two tankless water heaters installed in the U.S. is a Rinnai, thanks to their products’ unsurpassed quality, five year parts and labor warranty, and 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger.

How long have you had your current water heater?

A standard water heater will last 10 years before giving out, and it’s easier to replace before it fails. A Rinnai Tankless Water Heater has about twice the life expectancy of a typical heater. Plus, it adds value to your home’s resale value as a prospective buyers analyze expected utility expenses.

Did you know you’ll save about 16 square feet of space by installing a Rinnai?

That’s another closet. Rinnai also offers outdoor models, allowing greater space savings indoors. Whether indoor or outdoor, the compact size provides flexibility to strategically locate the unit for maximum performance.

Call Craig Blessing today for a FREE Consultation at 757.425.7790.



Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters: Article on Energy.gov

Click here to read article!


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a SERVICE CALL. Please contact Craig Blessing at 757.439.5500

Blessings Plumbing recieves 2013 Super Service Award from Angies List

Blessings Plumbing recieves 2013 Super Service Award from Angies List


Linda’s comments on bathtub repair




Downstairs bath tub enclosure had mold around calking around tub, at my rental home. Rick Atkinson came out and looked at the problem. He gave me a quote referencing what it would cost to repair, stating that there could be major problems behind the tub enclosure and would know once he removed the tub surround. He said he would be the one to take out the surround and remove the walls behind and replace whatever studs needed to be replaced. Then the plumbers would be out to replace plumbing, and finally the tile man would be out to replace walls and tile the walls. Would be started on Monday, the 11th and finished by Friday, the 15th. I kept in touch with my renters as the project went along. Everyone was there at their appointed time. They were SO VERY PLEASANT, PROFESSIONAL AND EFFICIENT! The bill was exactly what they had estimated. Blessing Plumbing is a first class plumbing company.

If you need any service on bathroom remodeling please call us for more info.

New Tankless Install

Old gas water heater

Before picture of a gas water heater located in attic of the Starkey residence located in Virginia Beach.

Rinnai tankless water heater

After picture of tankless heater installed in attic of the Starkey residence located in Virginia Beach. Now! Thats peace of mind! No more worries coming home to a flooded home from a ruptured tank in your attic space!

Call today for more information. 757-425-7790

Click the Rinnai logo below to visit the web site for more info.

Click here to visit the Rinnia website for more information.

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