Unblock a Drain After Using Too Much Baking Soda

Unblock a drain after using too much baking soda

By now, you probably know how to clean clogged drains using the white vinegar and baking soda method, right?

But what happens when you use too much baking soda and your slow drain suddenly becomes blocked and you’ve made the problem worse?

Well, after teaching you the correct method for using baking soda and vinegar today to clear a clogged, smelly drain or slow drain, we’ll teach you how to fix the problem if baking soda has exacerbated the issue, rather than fixed it.

Ready to find out more? Then join us below.

How To Properly Clear A Clogged Drain Using Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Hot Water

If it’s a kitchen drain or your bathroom drains that are blocked, the method you’ll use is much the same. Here is a remedy picked up from Rider Drains Cleaning & Repairs in Darlington.

1. Boiling Water and Dish Soap

Start with mixing boiling water and dish soap together (dawn dish soap or another brand).

Dish soap or dish detergent is important here because it can help unclog a drain with fat, grease, or oil buildup since it’s designed to remove this from dishes when you’re washing up!

The boiling water helps clear a blocked drain because the heat will break down the drain clog and help move it on through the drainage system.

2. 1 Cup of Baking Soda

1 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), or one-half cup if you’re simply cleaning drains and not unblocking them, is what you’ll need next.

A small amount of baking soda will work wonders on your drains because the bubbling reaction (caused by the chemical reaction that takes place when sodium bicarbonate is mixed with vinegar) will help break down the drain clog and flush it out.

3. 1 Cup of Vinegar

Next, follow up with an equal amount of white vinegar: one cup. This will help cause the bubbling action we need to flush the clog out. Pour vinegar straight down the drain after the baking soda.

White vinegar is a more environmentally friendly solution to harsh chemicals found in most commercial drain cleaners, and it won’t cause issues with your pvc pipes either.

4. More Hot Water

What Happens When I Use Too Much Baking Soda

Finally, flush the sink or drain with more hot water to help push common clogs through the system.

Why Is This Method So Effective?

The baking soda-vinegar method works so well because of the bubbling action caused by the mixture of baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid).

This reaction releases carbon dioxide gas, which creates pressure in the drainage system.

Now, it’s true that drains aren’t a closed system, which means the pressure created isn’t as great as it would be if the chemical reaction took place in a closed system, but it will still help with unclogging drains that have been affected by household clogs.

The bubbling and pressure then break down the clog, allowing water to pass through normally again. Baking soda is also naturally great at breaking down mineral deposits and grease, the most common causes of household clogs.

It works similar to most drain cleaners, but instead uses a natural baking soda-vinegar solution. This should help get rid of that nasty sewer smell in your home.

But What Happens When I Use Too Much Baking Soda?

If you use too much baking soda, though, then you’ll have a new problem on your hands. The baking soda or baking powder you’ve used will form a new clog in your drain.

Many bathroom sinks or kitchen sinks have had their clogs made worse by an overzealous amount of baking soda.

If this has happened to you and you now need to know how to unclog drains which have been made worse by baking soda, then read on below.

Using Acid To Move It Along

What makes you bad will make you better is usually something you’ll hear after a few too many at your local pub (not that we’re endorsing that, of course) – but surprisingly it applies here.

Using Acid to Unblock a Drain

No, you shouldn’t add more baking soda.

But if the reason the baking soda is there to begin with is because you tried the baking soda and vinegar method, then the solution is right in front of you: more vinegar.

Baking soda and vinegar work together so well because of the acid in vinegar helping bubble up the baking soda, which moves clogs on their way.

Well, if the clogged drain is caused by baking soda, then vinegar is going to be needed to clean drains of all the baking soda.

The acid in vinegar is known as acetic acid, and this works well when poured down the drain with baking soda blocking it because of the reaction that takes place after it. It’s the reason baking soda and vinegar unclogs drains to begin with.

Pour more vinegar down the drain, followed by hot tap water, and you should eventually get the blockage moving.

But did you know you can use other acids too?

Acid Alternative

If you’ve run out of vinegar for the vinegar solution above, don’t worry – almost any acid will do.

One we’d recommend is citric acid, which is very easy to get and is safe to put down any garbage disposal or kitchen or bathroom drain.

Another alternative is hydrogen peroxide, which is a weak acid, but effective. Hydrogen peroxide is found in bleach, a common bathroom or kitchen staple, so you’re almost guaranteed to have it around the house.

Again, just carefully pour this down the drain followed by boiling hot water, and eventually the baking soda should be sent on its way.

The Snake Method

If the method above doesn’t work, then you’ll need to purchase a plumber’s snake. These are designed to go down drains and unclog them by snagging the clog and removing it from the clogged drain as you pull it back up.

When This Method Works Best

You’ll need to use this if the baking soda amount used was well over one cup and if the acid solution above hasn’t worked.

Some argue a wire coat hanger bent straight (but with the hook left on) will work just as well, but a plumber’s snake is a safer bet.

Just follow the curves of the drain after removing the drain cover until you reach the clog and then pull it out once it has become attached to the snake.

Eventually, after a few tries, the clog should break down fully and the drain should flow again.

Final Considerations

Before you pour anything besides hot water or warm water down your drain: STOP!

Think about what you’ve tried to use in the past on the drain before pouring anything else down it.

If, for example, you’ve tried commercial drain cleaners, and it hasn’t worked, then don’t try the baking soda and vinegar method just yet.

You’ll need to wait a while or else a dangerous reaction may be triggered which could cause injury or damage your drains.

And if you’re unsure about any of today’s post, then it’s best to contact a plumber who will have almost certainly dealt with a baking soda blocked drain in the past, and will know exactly how to fix the issue safely.

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