3 Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes That Really Unclog

You can take care of your own clogged drains with these 3 easy-to-make and effective homemade drain cleaner recipes. Instead of grabbing the commercial cleaner or calling a plumber, you can unblock your pipes using natural ingredients now.

Gloved hand holding debris from clogged sink

Do you have a clogged drain that’s causing problems in your home? Are you tired of using harsh chemical drain cleaners that damage your pipes and harm the environment?

When slow or clogged drains happen, most of us turn to store-bought chemical cleaners as a quick fix. However, these products can be expensive and harmful to both your health and the environment.

The good news is, you don’t have to rely on chemical drain cleaners to keep your pipes flowing smoothly. With just a few simple ingredients from your pantry, you can create effective cleaners that are safe for both you and the planet.

Why Make Homemade Drain Cleaners?

When it comes to unclogging a sink or shower drain, most people reach for the nearest chemical drain cleaner. However, these store-bought cleaners can be harmful to both your health and the environment.

Making your own homemade cleaner not only saves you money but also provides a safer and more eco-friendly solution. One of the biggest advantages of these recipes is that they are made with low chemical ingredients.

Unlike commercial cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, homemade alternatives use ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. These substances break down clogs effectively while being gentle on pipes and septic systems. 

The Downside of Commercial Drain Cleaners

While chemical drain cleaners may seem like a quick and easy solution to a clogged drain, they can have serious repercussions for both your health and the environment. These harsh chemicals can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even blindness if they come into contact with your eyes.

If that’s not enough, these chemicals can pollute our waterways when they are washed down the drain. In fact, many chemical decloggers contain ingredients such as sulfuric acid and lye that are so hazardous they require special handling procedures by waste management professionals.

And lastly, when these products are used repeatedly over time, they can actually corrode your pipes and cause costly damage to your plumbing system.

Eco-Friendly Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes

Now that we’ve discussed the harmful effects of chemical decloggers and why homemade alternatives are better, let’s dive into the three most effective natural drain cleaner recipes.

Recipe 1: Baking Soda and Vinegar

The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a fizzing reaction that helps to break down the buildup in your drains. It’s great for breaking down grease clogs. This solution is natural, non-toxic, and safe to use on all types of pipes.

To use this drain cleaner recipe, start by pouring a pot of boiling water down your drain. Next, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar.

Cover the drain with a plug or cloth to contain the fizzing reaction, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Finally, flush the mixture down with boiling water (teakettles are great for this) to clear out any remaining debris. Pour the water into the drain directly – don’t just pour it into the sink.

The beauty of this homemade solution is that it not only clears your drains but also eliminates unpleasant odors caused by food particles, soap scum, skin debris and bacteria lurking in your pipes. It’s an affordable, eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical cleaners that can damage your plumbing system over time.

Recipe 2: Salt and Baking Soda

This recipe is a powerful combination of two household staples that are widely used for cleaning: baking soda and salt. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has abrasive properties that gently scrub away grime and debris.

Salt is an excellent natural disinfectant. When combined with baking soda, this team can break down even the toughest clogs – and get rid of odors caused by bacteria collecting in pipies.

To make this drain cleaner, start by pouring half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Follow it up with half a cup of salt and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes.

Next, pour boiling water down the drain to flush out any remaining debris. If you still notice a clog or slow drainage, you can add some vinegar to the mixture to create a chemical reaction that will help dissolve the blockage.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can use it not just in your sink or bathtub drains but also in your toilet bowl to keep it clean and fresh-smelling.

Just sprinkle some of the mixture into your toilet bowl and wait for at least 30 minutes before flushing with water.

Recipe 3: Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

Another powerful and effective cleaner with a citrus twist is the lemon juice and baking soda drain cleaner. This recipe is not only easy to make but also eco-friendly, safe for your pipes and effective in removing any clogs or blockages in your drains.

To make this drain cleaner, you will need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of lemon juice

Mix the two ingredients well and pour the mixture down the clogged or slow-draining sink. Leave it to settle for at least 10 minutes before flushing with hot water.

The chemical reaction between the baking soda and lemon juice creates a fizzing effect that helps to break up any debris or buildup that may be causing the clog.

This recipe is especially useful if you want to get rid of stinky odors in your drains caused by food waste or grease. The fresh scent of lemon will leave your kitchen smelling clean and fresh while also keeping your pipes clear.

How to Use These Recipes Effectively

Using these cleaners correctly can help you effectively clear out clogs and prevent future blockages. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best results:

1. Always follow the recipe carefully: these cleaners are generally safe, but using them incorrectly can cause damage to your pipes or even injury. Be sure to carefully measure out ingredients and follow the recipe instructions exactly.

2. Use the right amount of cleaner: The amount of cleaner you need depends on the severity of the clog and the size of your pipes. Generally, using a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar is enough for minor clogs, while larger clogs may require more significant amounts.

3. Let it sit for a while: After pouring in your homemade cleaner, give it some time to work its magic. Give it at least half an hour before flushing with hot water.

4. Repeat as necessary: If your first attempt doesn’t work, don’t give up! Try again with more significant amounts or let it sit longer until you see results. You can also repeat this process regularly as a preventive measure to keep your drains clear.

5. Maintain regular drainage cleaning:If you experience frequent blockages or have old pipes that are prone to clogging, be sure to use homemade cleaners regularly as part of your maintenance routine.

More Tips for Keeping Your Drains Clean

The best way to keep your drains clean is to prevent them from becoming clogged in the first place. There are a number of simple things you can do to reduce the likelihood of blockages and ensure that your pipes flow smoothly.

First, always be mindful of what you put down your drains. Avoid pouring grease or oil down the sink, as these substances solidify and can quickly accumulate in your pipes. Instead, dispose of them in a sealed container or recycle if possible. Also, throw food scraps into the garbage can rather than putting them down the disposal.

Another tip is to use a drain cover or strainer to catch hair and other debris before it enters your pipes. Regularly cleaning out these covers will help prevent build-up and keep water flowing freely through your drains.

Safety Precautions

While homemade drain cleaners are generally safe to use, it’s important to take some precautions to protect yourself and your plumbing.

First, always wear gloves and eye protection when using any cleaner. Even the gentlest cleaners can cause irritation or burns if they come into contact with your skin or eyes. Additionally, make sure to keep the area well ventilated by opening windows or turning on a fan.

Secondly, never mix the different recipes together as this can cause dangerous chemical reactions that may result in toxic fumes or explosive reactions. Always stick to one recipe only and follow the instructions carefully.

Lastly, if a clog persists despite your best efforts with homemade remedies, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. Attempting aggressive methods such as snaking or hydro jetting can cause more harm than good and end up costing you a lot more money in the long run.

You should always prioritize safety when dealing with plumbing issues. By following these simple precautions for homemade drain cleaning solutions, you can ensure that you address your clogs effectively without compromising your health or damaging your pipes.

No Need for the Plumber

Making your own drain decloggers at home is a safe, effective, and affordable way to tackle clogs and keep your drains running smoothly. By using simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice, you can avoid the harmful chemicals found in store-bought cleaners while still achieving the same results.

Plus, these recipes are incredibly easy to make and use, so you can feel confident tackling any clog that comes your way.