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Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes

Updated on November 30, 2012
Plungers often don't work on drains as water is just forced back up into the drain's vent.
Plungers often don't work on drains as water is just forced back up into the drain's vent. | Source

Handy Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipes

Homemade drain cleaners can work very well. Using easy to find materials you can make a drain cleaner that is less caustic than traditional store-bought chemical drain cleaners. This article includes two homemade drain cleaner recipes that you can use to unclog a slow-moving drain or a completely clogged drain. These drain cleaner recipes include inexpensive ingredients like salt, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and sodium carbonate (washing soda). The great thing about these ingredients is that they are inexpensive, less caustic than traditional drain cleaners, can be used around the house for other purposes, and can be stored for long periods so that you are always prepared for a clogged drain emergency.

Salt And Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipe

This first homemade drain cleaner recipe is amazing! It is especially useful on kitchen drains or drains that may be clogged with grease. It has been a lifesaver in my kitchen. The sink was terribly blocked up and nothing was working. It couldn't be snaked easily because we have a garbage disposal. My sink was taking so long to drain that water was sitting in it for a few hours before the sink would empty completely. Talk about a slow-moving drain! I poured this concoction into my sink and waited overnight. In the morning, my homemade drain cleaner had worked and my slow-moving drain woes were gone. The sink was clear. It was a miracle! If for some reason this drain cleaner doesn't work for you, you can tell the plumber that it isn't filled with caustic, store-bought drain cleaners. This means that your drain repair will be much safer for the plumper (or your "honey-do" person). To make this homemade drain cleaner you will need the following:


  • 1 cup salt, table salt or rock salt
  • 1 cup sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda
  • 1 kettle or pot boiling water


  1. Remove any drain covers, stoppers, or screens that will make it difficult to pour in the salt and baking soda
  2. Fill a kettle or pot with water and set it on the stove to boil
  3. Pour 1 cup of salt down the drain
  4. Pour 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate down the drain
  5. Pour the boiling water down the drain
  6. Let the drain sit overnight (for several hours)
  7. Flush our your drain the next day

Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda) Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipe

If the first recipe didn't fix your slow-moving drain, you may need a different homemade drain cleaner recipe. Sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda, makes another great homemade drain cleaner. I use this homemade drain cleaner recipe whenever I have a slow-moving drain in my bathroom shower.


  • 2 tablespoons washing soda (available where laundry products are sold)
  • 1 quart of hot water


  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of washing soda in 1 quart of hot water
  2. Slowly pour this mixture down the drain
  3. Flush with hot water after 10 minutes

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    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Just had this problem and am grateful to find that there are other alternatives to fixing a blocked drain than a Plumber. This is a much cheaper option. Thanks for sharing.


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