How To Unclog A Sink Using Just 2 Natural Ingredients

How to Unclog a Sink

The garbage disposal and drain in my kitchen sink is temperamental, to say the least. (A more accurate description would be to say that my drain is a diva of the first rank!) Over the years I’ve had several unpleasant experiences with backed up pipes, so these days I am extremely careful about what I put down it. No rice, no eggshells, no vegetable peels, etc.

But a few years ago, before I had learned my lesson about our finicky drain, I made the not-so-smart decision to put a bunch of discarded cilantro stems down into the disposal. (I know – what was I thinking?!) And sure enough, the garbage disposal was running but no water was going down the drain. It just sat there mocking me!

I was grateful that my husband happened to be out of the house at the time, because I could already hear the lecture that he would give me if he found out about this incident! So in a desperate attempt to avoid receiving that lecture, I decided to try a method I had read about online to unclog a sink.

And guess what? It worked like a charm! Both the crisis and the lecture were successfully averted that day. The secret of the method I used is the bubbling, de-clogging reaction that takes place between vinegar and baking soda. The bubbling reaction helps to dissolve whatever may be clogging your pipes, then a flush with hot water whisks the clog away. The result is clear pipes, and a clear conscience! ;-)

How to Unclog Your Sink

A Simple Way To Unclog A Sink

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Drain plug
  • Boiling water


How to Unclog Your Sink

Step 1 – Add Vinegar & Baking Soda

Pour the vinegar down the drain of your sink. Then sprinkle the baking soda into the drain, then quickly put the drain plug into the drain. Hold it in place until the fizzing has subsided.

How to Unclog Your Sink

Step 2 – Wait

After the fizzing has stopped, let the sink sit undisturbed for about 30 minutes.

How to Unclog Your Sink

Step 3 – Flush With Hot Water

After 30 minutes, bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil. Remove the drain plug from the sink and pour the boiling water into the drain. The hot water will help flush out any clogs, as well as the remaining baking soda and vinegar.

Your drain should be flowing freely! And for more ways to clear a clogged sink, be sure to check out the link below!

Related: Simple Remedies For Clogged Drains

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • In one set of instructions it calls for the baking soda to be applied first then the vinegar, in another the vinegar first then the baking soda; which is it or doesn’t it matter?

  • Two other options. Hardware and some grocery stores sell plastic snakey things with edges about 2-3 feet long that are labeled as hair catchers and are for cleaning out drains. They won’t work on the garbage disposal side but may work on the other side depending on how many crazy bends your sink drain takes. They work on some bathroom and bathtub drains, and may work on a toilet clog too. The other option is a toilet plunger that is kept only for the kitchen sink. Home Depot and others sell sink plungers that are hand held for less than $10. Just securely cover one side of a double sink and use the sink plunger on the other.

  • I’ve been using this recipe for years with baking soda and white vinegar, but I add salt to mine. In fact, just last week I did all my drains; I try doing this on a monthly basis which really helps since I live in an older home where the drains are connected so strangely, and I seem to have problems with my kitchen sink drain which is connected to my laundry room drain; and I never use a garbage disposal, hate them. But I have a special drain stopper that catches all my food debris, so there is nothing foreign going down my drain to be concern about. But what I do is, I mix 1 cup of cheap table salt to 1 cup of vinegar. I then put 1/2 cup of baking soda in the drain, pour the vinegar/salt solution down, it will fizzle and there may be a little bit of salt residue leftover where I just add a little bit more of vinegar (1/2 cup). I let this sit for 1 hour. Just before the hour is up, I boil 1 gallon water, getting it boiling hot. Then down the drain it goes. Sometimes it makes sounds like a gargling, and zap, all done. Works like a charm, and so much better than those horrid toxic chemicals that drain products are loaded with that harms our environment and are costly, plus most of the time they never work. Great stuff! And it does work!!!!

  • This is what I always use! The building maintenance man can attest to the fact that he hardly ever comes to my apartment if I have drain problems. I never do! But you have told many times that to use coffee grounds and that may work if you have a septic system, however if you live in the city, this will be a serious pipe blockages! This will require a plumber to come in and seriously snake your drains! And one can only hope that the snake is long enough to get to the blockage. Not a good idea, and a very expensive repair causing!

  • June is right on. I got rid of my trouble ridden builder model and I have had zero problems in the several years since and I am not picky about what I put down it!!

  • I’ve tried this with my bathroom vanity drain, and while it works moderately well, I think it would work better if I could get more baking soda in the drain. However, with a pull-stop drain plug, the opening is just very small to accept much of the soda. Any ideas?

  • It doesn’t matter which goes in first the vinegar or the baking soda, IF you have a ‘P’ trap. A ‘P’ trap is that ‘U’ shape in the drain pipe that stays full of water to prevent sewer gases from seeping into your home. Sewer gases are poisonous and can make you very sick not to mention how bad they smell. A simple solution to this health hazard is the ‘P’ trap.

    Which reminds me of another ‘P’ trap the floor drain in your basement. It also has a ‘P’ trap for this very reason. However, if not used, the water will evaporate over time. To ensure there is water in this trap pour about a gallon of water down this drain maybe once a month to ensure the water trap is full and doing its job to keep sewer gases from making their way into your home.

  • We have a small shower that is always running slow and backing up (poor design and fitting but we are renting and it works so have to live with it) would this work on that as there is no way to cover the plug? Or is there something else I could try? The shower is a little strange as you stand on a grate and the drain in under that with a cap.

  • This treatment is also terrific for freshening any smelly drain – even bathtubs and showers. I like to add a bit of salt to help with the scrubbing action: The little jagged edges of the salt help keep the surface of the pipe free from stuck-on debris.

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