Get Your Drains Clean With Homemade Cleaner

Baking soda and white vinegar are all you need

Draining Sink
Adam Lister/Moment Open/Getty Images

Store-bought drain cleaners are expensive and caustic. Learn how to make your own homemade drain cleaner using this simple recipe. It takes just about five minutes, and you likely have all you need in your pantry: baking soda and white vinegar. After you're finished, your drain will be running smoothly and will smell fresh and clean.

How to Do It

Just pour half a box of baking soda down the drain, and then pour vinegar over the top to create a foaming action. Allow the foam to settle and then repeat until all the baking soda is gone. 

Unlike store-bought drain cleaners, you don't have to worry about this one damaging your pipes. It's tough on clogs, not your plumbing. Use it to clean your kitchen drain or your bathtub drain. You can even use it to fix a clogged toilet. Baking soda and vinegar are a powerful and versatile combo that you'll definitely want to add to your arsenal.


  • For maximum effect, allow the drain to sit unused for a while after cleaning.
  • Run hot water down the drain the first time you use it. This should help to remove any dirt or debris that was loosened by your drain cleaner.
  • Get in the habit of pouring baking soda down your kitchen drain before you go on vacation so you won't come home to a stinky drain. Follow up with the vinegar when you get home.

Keep Your Disposal Smelling Sweet

Stick some orange or lemon peels (grapefruit will work, too) down the drain and run the disposal. Be sure to break up the peels into small pieces. The citrus oils neutralize odors and sanitize the blades. Get in the habit of grinding all of your citrus peels. They'll do your disposal better than your trash can.

To keep your disposal smelling fresh, it's also a good idea to run ice through your disposal periodically. It'll help to dislodge stuck-on food and sharpen the blades at the same time.

Cut Down on Odors and Waste

Avoid putting foods down the drain, and you'll deal with far fewer drain odors, plus you'll enjoy a smaller water bill. Many food scraps can be composted, and the few that can't be thrown in the trash. If you're worried about a stinky trash can, just toss meat scraps in a grocery bag and take them directly to your outdoor trash can.

Don't Forget About Your Dishwasher

If your dishes aren't coming out as clean as they used to, the cause could be a clogged drain. Follow these tips to clean and maintain your dishwasher properly.