Home Life & Style Vinegar and baking soda ‘does nothing’ for blocked drains – use plumber’s...

Vinegar and baking soda ‘does nothing’ for blocked drains – use plumber’s ‘better’ method


Drains are expected to deal with a lot over the average day. A kitchen sink, for instance, has to process huge amounts of grease and food.

When it comes to a bathroom drain, it has to cope with soap suds, grime and hair on a regular basis.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that they can get blocked regularly. To help unclog drains properly, experienced plumber and CEO at Ace Plumbing Justin Cornforth has shared his go-to method exclusively with Express.co.uk.

He explained that the method for unblocking drains depends on where exactly you have clogged drains: in your bathroom or kitchen.

If you’re dealing with a clog in a bathroom, Justin said: “Don’t spend your time on methods like mixing baking soda and vinegar or other homemade solutions.”

While the mixture of baking soda and white vinegar can be effective at dissolving some kitchen clogs, it “does nothing with hair and bathroom clogs”. 

To remove a clog caused by hair, it’s “better to use mechanical methods rather than the ones” that work on a chemical level.

Justin claimed that a drain snake is an “excellent tool for removing clogs” in bathroom drains as they “effectively catch hair, freeing up the drain”.

He added: “A drain snake can clear a clog that is deep in the drain without harming the pipes.”

When it comes to drain snakes, Justin recommends choosing one that is made of flexible durable materials” instead of one made of cheap plastic that can break inside of the pipe, becoming “a big problem rather than a solution”.

He said: “A drain snake made of stainless steel would be a great long-lasting choice.”

Households can pick up a stainless steel flexible drain snake from B&Q for £12.99 or from Wickes for £13.50.

If you don’t have a drain snake and you need to unclog the drain immediately, the plumber recommends using a wire coat hanger. 

To use it, just straighten it leaving a small hook on one end. Carefully insert it into the drain and try to fish out any hair, soap or grease buildup.

When it comes to kitchen drain blockages, something that is “better” than white vinegar, baking soda and harsh chemicals are enzymatic drain cleaners.

Such cleaners are made of natural enzymes and sometimes bacteria that break down organic matter. These enzymes are formulated to target specific substances like fats, proteins, and starches, which are often found in kitchen clogs.

However, enzymatic cleaners can struggle to remove mineral deposits and take longer to break down clogs.

Households can purchase a pack of 12 enzyme drain cleaning sticks from Lakeland for £7.99. You can also buy the drain unblocker in liquid form from Wickes for £16.80.

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