Can you use vinegar to clear a blocked drain?

If you a have a blocked drain, you may already have tried some expensive shop-bought solutions; however, there is a powerful ingredient you are likely to already have in your kitchen cupboards that is an effective drain unblocker.

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Vinegar is seen as something of a wonder product. It is used for cooking, for cleaning, and is even hailed for its health benefits. White or apple cider vinegar can be used to clear blocked drains on its own, as it is highly acidic, or can be used in conjunction with one of a number of other common household ingredients to form a reaction that foams and unclogs.

Salt, borax and vinegar

Salt and borax can be paired with vinegar, as salt can eat away at the blockage and borax is a powerful multipurpose cleaner. Use one-quarter of a cup each and half a cup of vinegar.

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda is commonly used as a multipurpose cleaner and can be paired with vinegar to form a chemical reaction. Use half a cup of both ingredients.

Once the mixture has been poured down the drain, it should be covered with either the plug or a cloth and left to sit for around 30 minutes so that the foam can work on the blockage. You can then attempt to agitate the blockage to clear it. There are several utensils you can use to agitate the clog.

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Drain snake

A drain snake, which looks just like a metal rope, can be fed down the drain. Once it stops at the blockage, you can turn it to try to catch the blockage and then pull it to clear it.


This is a traditional method that works by creating a seal around the plughole. You can then push up and down to create pressure to force out the blockage.

If the blockage is particularly stubborn or in a hard to reach area, it may be necessary to call a professional; for example, if you are in Essex blocked drains can be cleared by a reputable company such as

Next time your plughole is blocked, try a vinegar remedy before purchasing an expensive shop-bought product and you may just be able to resolve the issue yourself.