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What Makes Vinegar and Baking Soda Such an Effective Cleaner?

Your fourth-grade science project was a hit, not only wowing classmates but earning a well-deserved A+! And how could it not? Your erupting volcano cleverly demonstrated what happens when vinegar and baking soda combine.

Now, as an adult, you’ve found another use for these ingredients. They’re your go-to clog buster and stubborn-stain remover. They even help clean the grout between tiles.

But have you ever wondered why vinegar and baking soda make such a dynamic cleaning solution? Let’s look at the science.

Why Vinegar and Baking Soda Clean So Well

As you may recall from your erupting volcano project, distilled white vinegar is acidic, and baking soda is mildly alkaline. When they collide, they produce a fizzy chemical reaction resulting from a rapid exchange of molecules, creating carbon dioxide. It’s this reaction that helps break up gunky buildup in pipes. Bubbles push through goop, loosening up a mild clog.

This reaction is also slightly abrasive, which helps scrub surfaces clean. It also off-gasses to neutralize odors. (Odors tend to be acidic.)

It’s also worth noting that bath bombs also include baking soda and citric acid to turn bathtime into a carbonated soak. Bath bombs, however, aren’t so great for your drains.

How to Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clear a Clogged Drain

Depending on the clog’s severity, vinegar and baking soda might do the trick. Here’s how to use these ingredients if you have a slow or stopped up drain.

  • Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to help loosen up the blockage
  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. You may need to mash it through the drain catcher
  • Follow with a cup of vinegar
  • Immediately cover the drain with a stopper to contain the fizz
  • Flush with another pot of boiling water
  • Repeat as necessary

Still Clogged? Turn to the Garland Drain Cleaning Pros

Vinegar and baking soda can be useful for mild stoppages located higher up in the drain. However, deep, stubborn blockages call for professional solutions. Whether it’s a clogged sink drain or bathtub drain, the pros at Sunrise Plumbing & Air can provide fast, effective results. To schedule your appointment, call (214) 997-6707.