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Unclogging and Freshening Drains with Baking Soda

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Dry baking ingredients Lisa Hubbard/Photolibrary/Getty Images
If you are having trouble with smells or slow flowing in your drain, it's tempting to automatically turn to a chemical drain cleaner. Personally I've had some issues with drain cleaners that didn't remove the clog. All of that chemical had to be removed from the stopped up sink before the plumber could figure out what was really wrong. Many apartment complexes and management companies don't want you to use a chemical drain cleaner. Luckily there is an easier and less caustic solution in baking soda. I use these methods as regular maintenance for the drains in my home. It keeps them fresh and free flowing. Unclogging the Drain

Option #1
Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of hot vinegar. Try heating the vinegar in the microwave before adding it to the drain. Wait 5 minutes before flushing the drain with 2 quarts of hot water. You can repeat this process a few times if it is necessary. If this is the first time you have cleaned your drain in a long time it may be necessary to repeat the baking soda flush a couple of times. You can also use this a regular maintenance method for your drains.

Option #2
Try pouring 1 Cup of baking soda and 1/2 Cup of salt down the drain. Let this mixture sit in the drain for several hours, overnight is best, before flushing the drain with 2 cups of boiling water. This works best if you do it right before bed since the drain won't be used until morning.

Tips For Baking Soda and Drains

Use baking soda that has been used in the refrigerator or freezer to soak up orders to help clean the drains and you'll extend the use of something you otherwise would have just thrown away.

Use the same ideas to clean and freshen your garbage disposal. You may be able to cut the required amounts of baking soda, water, vinegar, and salt in 1/2 for use in your disposal.

Try putting baking soda down the drain without rinsing when you are going on vacation or even just a weekend trip. It will help reduce odors that may develop while you are gone. There's not much worse than coming home to a smelly drain. Just flush the baking soda out of the drain with hot water or hot vinegar followed by hot water when you return.

Benefits of Baking Soda and Drains

Using Baking Soda to clean your drains and garbage disposal eliminates harsh chemicals that may leave odors and residue in your sinks.

All of the listed combinations are environmentally friendly, which will help concerns about chemical contamination, or even the risk associated with having chemicals in a home with children. If there are household members who are sensitive to odors, they won't be affected by baking soda.

Using baking soda for these jobs can be friendly to your wallet too, especially if you recycle the boxes you use in the freezer or fridge when they are no longer as fresh. I like to buy baking soda boxes in bulk since it can be used in so many different ways. This inexpensive ingredient works well on many surfaces in your home.

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