Our bathroom sink drain has been acting sluggish. Now that I’ve used vinegar to remove the mold and soap scum on my shower curtain liner, I’m a wee bit excited about the many uses of this inexpensive, non-toxic substance. While staring at our bathroom sink drain, it occurred to me that maybe vinegar could be used to clear it. Sure enough, a quick Internet search revealed that vinegar in combination with baking soda can unclog a drain. Though I found no general consensus as to how much baking soda and vinegar to use, the general idea seems to be roughly equal parts baking soda to vinegar. So based on the instructions I found here, I thought I’d give this unclogging method a try.
First, I poured 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain. Then I added 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar. The mixture immediately began to bubble delightedly. I plugged the drain with a washcloth to keep as much of the bubbly brew in the drain.
Half an hour later, I poured about six cups of near boiling water slowly down the drain.
The result: although the sink drained, it was more sluggish than before! I consulted the instructions again; they advised that the process could be repeated if the drain hadn’t cleared. And so I diligently repeated the whole process. But this time, when I poured the hot water down the drain, big bits of black yuck came up out of the drain. Then the sink stopped draining completely. I had half a basin full of very hot water mixed with black yucky bits. I walked away.
Ten minutes later, the sink still hadn’t drained. I grabbed our plunger and had at it. After just a few plunges, more disgusting (yet strangely satisfying) black gunk came up from the drain. A few more plunges and it all whisked back down. I plunged several more times with the faucet running; I plunged until the drain had spit the last of the black bits into the sink and then swallowed them again.
And now the drain works perfectly. I can’t say whether the plunger alone would have done just as good a job or if the vinegar and baking soda loosened everything up so that the plunger was really effective. All I know is that the next time we have a sluggish drain, I’m definitely using this method again — with the plunger, of course!