How to Unblock a Drain with Soda Crystals and Vinegar

Soda crystals are an affordable and highly effective cleaning product that are chemically similar to bicarbonate of soda but are more alkaline and thus work more efficiently to eradicate grease and stubborn stains.

Vinegar is a classic household cleaning ingredient that can be counted on in many tough cleaning situations. It contains acetic acid, which can aggressively dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime. In addition, it can even kill bacteria.

When we mix these two cleaning solutions together, we have a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to unblock a drain!

How to Unblock a Drain with Soda Crystals and Vinegar

How to Unblock a Drain with Soda Crystals and Vinegar

1. Use boiling water

Fill a jug or a bucket with about a litre of boiling water from your kettle and mix in a cup of soda crystals and a cup of vinegar.

2. Pour the mixture into your drain

Stir the mixture until the soda crystals are fully dissolved before slowly pouring the solution down your plughole. It should quickly get to work at clearing any irksome blockages keeping your pipes from functioning at full capacity. 


Alternative Methods

If you don’t have a jug or bucket at hand, you can also pour the litre of water into the drain first, before adding the cup of soda crystals and chasing the whole lot down with another cup full of boiling water.

If either technique doesn’t work on the first attempt, try it again and repeat until you start to see results.

If you are still not noticing a difference in the blockage, you can try to add citric acid to the mix. This will react with the soda crystals and hopefully, get through the persistent obstruction.

It is also not recommended to use either of the methods if you have any aluminium in your sink. If you have tried the method a number of times and you’re still not noticing any results, you may want to look towards products containing harsher chemicals, or even calling in a professional. 


Soda Crystals vs. Caustic Soda

soda crystals vs caustic soda

Soda crystals should not be confused with caustic soda, which is a more aggressive product that is made up of sodium hydroxide rather than the sodium carbonate decahydrate that makes up soda crystals.

Caustic soda is much harsher and more toxic, so should not be used without the appropriate personal protective equipment. This gives even more of a reason to try soda crystals instead as they are an excellent multi-purpose cleaner and water softener. 



If you have a particularly difficult sink that gets blocked regularly, you could try putting a handful of soda crystals and a splash of vinegar down your drain along with some boiling water every week as a precautionary measure.

This will keep any blockages from getting too severe and causing more permanent or expensive issues. This handy trick can be highly useful in any household!