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Forget the Liquid Plumber – Granny’s Formula Rocks!


I recently tried to unclog a drain with an enzyme-based natural drain cleaner. Although the formula was nontoxic and one could feel wonderfully guilt-free using it, unfortunately it didn’t have any effect at all 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 baking soda down the drain, followed by 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 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!

Make your own all-natural drain cleaner | #cleaning #cleaninghacks #naturalcleaner #naturalcleanersDIY

Here’s the exact recipe:

Homemade All-Natural Drain Cleaner

1 gallon water

1/4 cup baking soda

1/2 cup white vinegar

You will also need: oven mitts and a saucepan lid

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil; reserve and keep hot.

Pour the baking soda down the sluggish drain. Carefully pour the vinegar down the drain, taking care as the mixture will foam up.

Cover the drain with a saucepan lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and carefully, slowly pour the boiling water down the drain.

Replace the saucepan lid and allow to sit for 5 more minutes. Rinse with tepid water. You may repeat if needed.

You might also enjoy “The Best Way to Clean Windows Without Streaks,” which includes our recipe for homemade vinegar glass cleaner.

May all your sinks flow freely and clearly!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

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14 thoughts on “Forget the Liquid Plumber – Granny’s Formula Rocks!”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!!!!


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