How to unclog a sink or a bathtub naturally

unclog drain naturally with ecokarenMy bathtub was semi-clogged last week. I hate having sloshing water at my feet when I am in the shower. (Who does?)

So, I tried the only natural method I know, since commercial drain cleaner has Sodium Hydroxide, which is a very caustic substance, bleach and other chemicals that I wouldn’t want in the house.

There are various methods of using baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain. But this method seems to work the best for me.

How to unclog a sink or a bathtub

1. Pour 1/2 C of baking soda into the drain followed by hot boiling water. Sodium Bicarbonate – baking soda – and hot water reacts with any kind of grime and loosens up the gunk.

2. Then, add 1 C of vinegar and quickly cover the drain, sealing the bubbling gas – remember the erupting volcano experiment for Middle School science project? When you add vinegar (acid) to baking soda (basic), which is sitting on top of the gunk in the clogged drain, the combination creates gas and it bubbles up like a volcano, loosening up the gunk some more. If you have a hole on the side of the sink or tub, you can close that off too for better result but I never had to.

3. Add more hot water to push the loosened up gunk down the drain further, until it’s all clear. You may have to repeat this procedure a few times before you start seeing all the black gunk come up.

Normally, a few times, if not less, should do it.

But if this doesn’t work, you may need some help. You may need to physically remove the gunk, the old fashion way.

For Stubborn Clogs

1. If the drain is still clogged, run the faucet with hot water until the water pools about 3 inches on the bottom of the tub.

plunger 2. Take a small plunger, made for sinks and NOT for the toilet (like the cute little one pictured below), and push down and seal around the rubber ring completely against the bottom of the tub or the sink. And then, with one swift motion, lift the plunge quickly.

3. Repeat if necessary, until the water drains. Since I used the baking soda and vinegar method to loosen up the gunk in steps 1. through 3., I only had to use the plunger once and all the black gunk came up and then drained completely, unclogging the tub.And don’t be shocked at all the black, nasty gunk that the drain throws up. Not pretty.

Also, to prevent drains from clogging, pour about 1/2 Cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by hot boiling water. I occasionally to this…if I remember….and if I’m motivated.

OK, I’m going to do that from now on and not wait until it clogs.

And buy a smaller holed strainer for the drain to catch all my hair.


  1. Jen Eyers-McLaughlin says

    I use gravity to help clear mine
    . Plug the sink while washing your face, washing hands etc etc throughout the day. When it is full I let it sit for a few hours. Then I release it and the weight of the water clears everything out.

  2. ecokaren says

    I put a bathtub plug to seal it. But you also should seal the vent holes so gas doesn’t escape.

  3. ecokaren says

    I tried one of those gadgets and it got stuck. In fact, originally, I wrote about it, saying how it didn’t work and it only made my life miserable because I had to figure out a way to get it unstuck. I have one of those drains that have cross bars about an inch down from the surface. So it didn’t work for me.

  4. Adrienne Frederick Kirschner says

    Yes! I’ve unclogged two of my sinks using this method. It works great!

  5. Julianna Holden Mohler says

    I was also worried about chemicals, thanks for the tip! I used this device and it worked so well, I didn’t have to use anything at all! If it had still been a slow drain, I would’ve needed a natural remedy like this. Thanks for sharing. This stick really, really worked for me. Gross, but it worked! Just push it down the drain & pull up all the lovely stuff that was clogging it.

Leave a comment!