5 Drain Cleaners You Can Make at Home

Clean your drain for a fraction of the cost using pantry staples.

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There’s nothing quite like realizing the water level has crept up to your ankles halfway through your shower. Ew! Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us. Next time you’re a victim of the drain (sink or shower), use household ingredients you have on hand to solve the problem in a snap. I’m sharing five drain cleaners you can make at home, using everyday staples.

Hex Tile in Guest Bathroom

Hex Tile in Guest Bathroom

Hex tile in varying shades of brown is used for the shower floor in the guest bath.

From: Fixer Upper

Before trying any of these, be sure to first remove your drain screen or stopper and wipe out any visible blockages with a paper towel.

Baking Soda + Vinegar

Unclog Slow Drains

Unclog Slow Drains

Before you go the chemical route to clear a slow drain, try baking soda and vinegar! Shake a cup of baking soda into the drain, then heat up a cup of vinegar and pour it into the drain. After several minutes, flush with lots of hot water. Repeat as needed. *do not use on a clogged drain

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar down drain. Plug drain, and let sit for one hour. Then, pour a pot of boiling water down drain. Repeat if necessary.

Baking Soda + Lemon Juice

Lemon Slices

Lemon Slices

Lemons are a natural disinfectant, stain remover and are wonderful for polishing metal. Also, lemons are inexpensive and eco-friendly.

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup lemon juice down drain. Plug drain, and let sit for one hour. Finish with a pot of boiling water. 

*If you’re working with a clogged kitchen sink and prefer the smell of lemon to vinegar, consider this method instead of the first method. Do know that lemon juice costs a bit more than vinegar, though.

Baking Soda + Salt

CI_Brittni-Mehloff_ombre-shower-curtain-add-salt-to-dye-step5_h

CI_Brittni-Mehloff_ombre-shower-curtain-add-salt-to-dye-step5_h

Mix 1/2 cup table salt and 1/2 cup baking soda together, and pour down drain. Let sit for about 30 minutes (or overnight if it’s a tough clog), and follow with a pot of boiling water.

Baking Soda + Salt + Cream of Tartar

10 Kitchen Uses for Baking Soda

10 Kitchen Uses for Baking Soda

10 Useful Baking Soda Solutions

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup salt and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar in a jar that seals. Close jar, and shake to combine ingredients. Pour half the jar’s contents down drain, and save the other half for later. Follow the solution with a pot of boiling water. Let drain sit for one hour. Then, run tap water to rinse any remaining solution down.

Salt + Borax + Vinegar

Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

If you’ve cleaned your sink and it still smells like something died in there, your garbage disposal is the most likely culprit. While your disposal is off, dump a cup or two of ice into it. Then turn on the water and run the disposal. This should dislodge gunk that has stuck to the blades. After the ice has disintegrated, turn the disposal back off and turn off the water. Then dump half a cup of baking soda into the disposal and follow with a cup of vinegar. You should absolutely get the “science project effect,” but that pop and fizz will help clear out any remaining particulates in the disposal. Finally, after the science project has been washed down the drain by some nice hot water, grind a cut-up citrus fruit down the disposal (if you want to eat the fruit, even just the rind will do). The citrus acidity will chew away anything that dared remain, but the real upside is how nice a smell-turnaround your disposal will have made!

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/-Oxford-

©iStockphoto.com/-Oxford-

Pour 1/4 cup salt, followed 1/4 cup Borax down drain. Then, pour 1/2 cup vinegar down. Finish with a pot of boiling water. Let sit for one hour or until it clears; then, run hot tap water to rinse any remaining solution down.

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