DIY Drain Cleaning: Is It Safe To Put Vinegar Down Your Drain?


When your sink drain clogs up, you might try several things to remove the blockage, including pouring vinegar down the drain. Although vinegar is a great tool to use for small clogs, you shouldn't rely on it for long-term use. Vinegar can be corrosive on metal plumbing fixtures over time, especially when you use it with baking soda or another caustic substance. Here are better solutions you can use for your clogged sinks.

Why Not Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

You might not see it, but your plumbing system is made of various materials that keep it functional in your home, including metal. Iron and other types of metal can be damaged if you expose it to caustic substances like acid for long periods of time. If you have iron-based plumbing pipes running through your home, it's a good that you avoid using any type of chemical that can potentially corrode it, including vinegar.

Although vinegar isn't as strong as bleach or ammonia, the substance still contains a high acid content. When combined with baking soda, vinegar creates a strong chemical reaction or foam. One of the problems with vinegar and baking soda is that it may not break down fats, oils, grease, and other solids as well. Once the foam dissipates, the solid substance remains inside the drain.

Instead, use dish detergent to clean out and unclog your sink drain. 

What to Use Instead

One of the best DIY alternatives to vinegar and baking soda is dish detergent. However, you want to use a strong detergent that contains surfactants. Surfactants remove fatty substances by dislodging them from surfaces. The substances stay suspended in the detergent until you wash them away.

You can use one or two teaspoons of dish detergent to do the job. The amount may vary, so use your best judgment. After you pour the detergent down the drain, turn on your hot water tap and allow it to run down the drain for about 5-10 minutes. Again, the time will vary during this step. The foaming reaction created by the hot water and dish detergent should clean out the drain.

If the steps above don't remove the clog completely, try unplugging the drain with a plunger. The plunger will push the debris further down the drainage pipes. Use hot water to flush out the drain. 

The tips above will only keep your drain unclogged temporarily. For a permanent solution or additional help, contact a plumber or company like Coastal Plumbing Inc. for services. 


5 November 2017

Understanding Plumbing Components

Hello, my name is Yvonne Michaels. Welcome to my website about plumbing components. Plumbing systems of all kinds use interconnected components to bring fresh water in and waste water out of the building. By clearly understanding the plumbing components used in your commercial or residential building, you can ensure your systems remain in great operational condition for years to come. On this site, I will help you learn all about plumbing components for every system imaginable. I hope to inspire you to learn about these components and understand how they operate to keep your plumbing system in great shape. Thanks for coming by.