stainless steel kitchen sink drain

Homemade Drain Cleaner: DIY Complete Guide

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/7/2021

15 min.Time
15 min.Time

Let's face it, drains can be pretty gross. Whether it's in your kitchen sink or in your shower, after a little while, that drain is going to get clogged.

Maybe you've noticed a dank smell coming out of your pipes, or maybe the months of food and *cough*... body hair build-up have finally managed to prevent water from passing through entirely. Either way, that drain is not living up to its namesake.

Thankfully, there's a simple way to turn back time and get your drain feeling as good as it did when it was a young pipe: DIY clogged drain cleaner!


Sure, you can buy drain cleaner at a store, but the amount of harmful chemicals and carcinogens found in most products is mind-boggling.

The great news is, it's super easy to unclog your sink using only natural ingredients!

I know, I know, being “natural” is all the rage nowadays. But even if you’re not on board with the “100% organic” or “gluten-free” trends going around, using all-natural cleaning products is so easy, and super affordable. 

Take for instance this homemade drain cleaner recipe from Rare Life.

Using ingredients you probably have on your shelves already, this natural solution works like magic.

Let's Make It


  • Kettle


  • 1 cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda
  • 1 gallon Boiling Water

Pour Baking Soda Into Drain

Rare Life

Do you remember back in grade school when you had to learn about chemical reactions by building a science experiment volcano? Combining vinegar and baking soda created a foaming frothy mess with a mind of its own.

As it turns out, that same experiment can actually work wonders as a natural DIY drain cleaner!

First thing's first, measure out 1/2 a cup of baking soda, then pour the whole thing down the clogged drain.

As the baking soda falls, it will rest on top of any buildup within the pipe, coating the gunk in a powdery layer.


Pour Vinegar Into Drain

Rare Life

Next, fill a measuring cup with 1 cup pure, white vinegar and pour it down the drain too.

The moment the vinegar makes contact with the baking soda an instant reaction will occur, so have a drain plug ready in your other hand.

If you're starting to experience grade school flashbacks, don't worry. The foaming 'lava' effect is only working to clean your clogged drain, not to flunk you out of the science fair!


Cover And Let Sit

Rare Life

When you finish pouring the vinegar down the drain, place the plug into the sink and make sure it's completely sealed.

After you've successfully closed off the opening, allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

The point of sealing off the opening is to force your homemade drain cleaner to redirect. Instead of spilling out into the sink, it's forced to retreat in the only other direction available to it; down your dirty pipe. (Right where we want it to be!)


Flush Drain With Boiling Water

Rare Life

Meanwhile, bring one gallon of water to a boil.

After waiting 15 minutes for your natural DIY drain cleaner to work its magic, remove the plug from the sink and pour the boiling water down the drain.

Once that's done, that's honestly all there is to it. Your drain is fixed! It seems so simple, yet that basic chemical reaction really does work!

If your drain is especially dirty, repeat the process one more time for extra measure. Otherwise, your sink should be all set to go!

Who knew science class would come in handy?