5 Drain Cleaners You Can Make at Home

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

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.

Guest Bathroom With Brown Hex Tile

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

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

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

  1. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar down drain.
  2. Plug drain and let sit for one hour.
  3. 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.

  1. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup lemon juice down drain.
  2. Plug drain and let sit for one hour.
  3. 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

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

Baking Soda + Salt + Cream of Tartar

Baking Soda Uses

10 Kitchen Uses for Baking Soda

10 Useful Baking Soda Solutions

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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

Salt + Borax + Vinegar

Kitchen Sink and Running Faucet

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-

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

Next Up

Stop Buying Cleaning Sprays With These All-Natural Swaps You Can DIY

Ditch the chemicals with these easy-to-make, all-natural versions of cleaners you use on the reg.

Smelly Garbage Disposal? Freshen It Up With These All-Natural Cleaning Cubes

All it takes is two ingredients to make this DIY cleaner.

How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet

Before panic sets in, check out these tips that’ll save the day when someone (obviously not you) accidentally spills nail polish on the carpet.

7 Ways to Get Slime Out of Carpet and Clothes

Clean slime from your carpet and clothes with items you already have around the house.

How to Get Permanent Marker Off Wood

Learn how to remove unwanted markings from your floors or furniture without damaging the underlying finish.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Without a Machine

Try our easy tips for keeping your carpets and rugs looking clean without the use of vacuums or steam cleaners.

How to Make Hand Sanitizer

An easy, essential DIY disinfectant to keep on hand — pun intended.

How to Remove Rust From Garden Tools

Removing rust just got a whole lot easier. This simple method can be used on any rusted item such as garden tools, bicycles, auto parts, hand tools or outdoor decor. Find out how we gave new life to a couple of old, rusted garden tools.

How to Clean Your House in 45 Minutes or Less

Master the skill of speed cleaning, and make your home presentable in under an hour!

15+ Natural Cleaning Products We Love

Stock up on products that will help you get your house in tip-top shape — all eco-friendly and without harsh chemicals.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

Good Bones

6am | 5c

Good Bones

7am | 6c

Good Bones

8am | 7c

Good Bones

9am | 8c

Good Bones

10am | 9c

Good Bones

11am | 10c

Good Bones

12pm | 11c
1pm | 12c
2pm | 1c
3pm | 2c
4pm | 3c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Rico to the Rescue

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.