Forget the Liquid Plumber – Granny’s Formula Rocks!


I recently tried to unclog a drain with a natural, enzyme-based drain cleaner. Unfortunately, although the formula was all-natural and one could feel wonderfully guilt-free using it, it didn’t have any effect on the slow sink.

The following day I tried a new tactic on the stubborn drain, one that you often see in old housekeeping books and “Hints from Heloise.” I poured 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of plain white vinegar. The mixture foamed up spectacularly for a couple of seconds and then settled down, at which point I covered the drain with a small saucepan lid. After a few minutes I removed the lid and poured a gallon of boiling water down the drain. Within the next 90 seconds there were some wonderful gurgling noises followed by a “whoosh” and the drain was clear.

This method was natural and inexpensive, and it had the added thrill of feeling like a high school science experiment!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Forget the Liquid Plumber – Granny’s Formula Rocks!

  • Docs4Drivers

    Hey, thanks! I have drains that clog up on a regular basis. I tried this trick and within 30 mins, it was running thru again! Thank you!!!!!

  • Rodnet

    Thank you for this. I’ve used baking soda and vinegar on many things before, but never tried it for unclogging sinks. It worked like a charm.

  • This could work. Thanks for sharing.

    We could all use these tips.

  • waylon

    FYI baking soda is a corrosive salt that is not good for your pipes. Plumbers recommend straight hot water, not boiling…

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  • LB

    I live in an old apt building in NYC, and we have to be gentle with our old pipes. I buy gallon jugs of white vinegar and pour a cup down the drains every few weeks just to keep things moving. The boiling water following the vinegar works wonders too!

  • Jenny

    Off to try this in my tub.

    Its not draining as well as it should be.

  • Bernie

    Having bathtub clug problem; after spending so much $$$$ on chemicals to solve the problem, I decided to search the net to find some simple solution to fix the clug and came acrossed your home remedy technique…I’ll give it a try and pray that it will solve my problem. I’ll keep you posted.

  • Awesome – thanks for the tip!!

  • Brenda

    I can vouch for this formula. We’ve used it many times on our bathroom sinks. Especially the one my husband uses to shave. It really works.

  • Herb Ben Ohmsteader

    Granny Rocks! I am thrilled to read of this break through. I have a sink that perpetually slows down. In about the time it takes to rinse off a toohbrush, a small puddle forms in my sink (Lake Colgate). Although I am sure there is no tartar down the pipe (Tartar Control Colgate), still, it is bothersome. Tomorrow, off to the store with glee for the Arm and Hammer. I think I still have the vinegar left over from a son’s science experiment (the ol’e dependable paper mache volcano! Sorry the natural earth enzymes did not work. It was such a long product name. for that it should have worked. – Herb

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