A jar of white baking soda next to a bottle of vinegar, a halved lemon, and a jar.

Does Vinegar and Baking Soda Actually Clean Clogs?

Here’s a Vague Answer: It Depends

If you go to almost any home in America and open the pantry, you’ll likely find these two ingredients: baking soda and vinegar. One usually helps cakes rise, and the other dresses up many a salad.

But together, these ingredients pack a punch, almost literally. Thanks to the compounds that interact with one another, putting baking soda and vinegar together create an overwhelming reaction. You probably remember seeing a volcano experiment at the science fair (maybe you did one yourself). Now it’s time to put those science skills to work on your drain!

When this Concoction Works

The baking soda and vinegar trick is a harmless way to clear a clog on your own. It’s also a much better option than chemical drain cleaners, which are notorious for corroding pipes and causing damage (not to mention they’re often ineffective).

The baking soda and vinegar solution may be successful for soft or partial clogs, but it is likely not a long-term solution. The best way to keep a clear drain is to watch what you dump down there. But if you’re noticing a slow drain, you can use this technique to try and get some of the clog out of the way.


  1. Start with ½ cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain.
  2. Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain next.
  3. Plug up the drain with a stopper and wait 15 minutes.
  4. Run some hot water down the drain to flush it out. You’ll notice instantly if there was any relief.
  5. Feel free to repeat this process a couple more times to see if anything catches.

When it Likely Won’t Work

If you have a completely stuck drain, where water is pooling in the sink, the baking soda and vinegar combo will probably fail. Clogs of this level, especially if they are further down the pipeline, won’t respond to the reaction, as the blockage has become too strong.

5-Star Drain Cleaning

When you’ve tried everything and can’t get the clog to budge, call the Rainforest Plumbing and Air team at (602) 755-2995 to save the day.