DIY Drain Cleaner

10 Minutes

I love this easy all natural drain cleaner recipe! All you need is baking soda, salt and cream of tartar!
I use baking soda, salt and cream of tartar to clean my drains.
Mix 1 cup soda with 1 cup salt.
Add 1/4 cup cream of tartar.
Combine dry ingredients.
I use 1/4 cup of the mixture in my sinks, 1/2 cup of the mix for larger drains like the bathtub.
Follow with 2 cups of boiling water. It will foam and bubble your cloggs away!

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Jessica C

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

15 questions
  • Christina Ghosoph Deinlein
    on Dec 18, 2015

    I have a bad nasty smell in my bathroom drain. not sure what it is or how the smell gets past the P trap... ??

    • Marilyn OylerY
      on Jul 14, 2016

      The problem may be IN the P-trap. Go to the hardware store and get a sink snake; this will help you remove hair or whatever may be caught in the P-trap and causing bacteria to form.

    • Jessica C
      on Jul 26, 2016

      The baking soda in this drain cleaner recipe will keep your drains smelling fresh. Using the drain regularly helps keep gases from coming up the pipes.

    • Karen D. Klinefelter
      on Aug 13, 2016

      all you need is the baking soda and vinegar

    • Joyce King
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Agree with Karen. Just baking soda and vinegar.

    • Joyce King
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Agree with Karen. Just baking soda and vinegar.

    • P
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Thanks so much for something that works without vinegar. There is so much I can't do naturally because I get so sick with smell of vinegar

      on Aug 13, 2016

      I like this idea because it's already to go. You can keep some in pretty jars next to each sink in the house.

  • Tierney
    on Jul 14, 2016

    Does it work if you suspect there is a lot of hair in the drain?

    • Jessica C
      on Jul 26, 2016

      Yes! I am guilty of shedding lots of hair, that is part of the reason I started using it. I would use it once a week to start, then scale back to once a month.

  • Richard
    on Aug 13, 2016

    Is this OK on a septic system?

    • Tami Martin
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Yes, it's totally organic and safe.

    • Carol Bauers
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Nothing in

    • Carol Bauers
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Nothing in here to harm the septic system. I would not use the store bought options full of caustic chemicals, which could kill the good bacteria in the septic tank.

    • Connie
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Don't buy those tiny cans of cream of tartar. Too expensive. Get a jar of Bakewell Cream (next to the baking soda on the grocery shelf). It's the same thing but much cheaper!

  • P
    on Aug 13, 2016

    Thanks so much for solution with out vinegar.I miss out on so many natural cleaning and crafts because I can't be anywhere near vinegar without getting sick.

    on Aug 13, 2016

    Do you have to use boiling water or could you just use hot tap water?

    • Pjs7569621
      on Aug 13, 2016

      Boiling water, to teally clean out the nasty stuff that builds up in the pipes.

    • Melody McLaughlin
      on Aug 14, 2016

      If there is a lot of build up in the drains (teenage girls with long hair) I might add a entire pot of boiling water and repeat a couple times.

  • Raewyn Andrews
    on Aug 17, 2016

    hi can you use it on a blocked toilet???

    • Jolosho
      on Aug 22, 2016


    • Maria
      on Dec 2, 2018

      I have put a box of soda and a bottle of vinegar down my toilet. Did the trick in a few minutes. I keep a box and bottle under sink in each bathroom. Get each at dollar store and save a lot of money instead of calling a plumber.

    • Stephanie Rountree
      on Dec 3, 2018

      Dish soap will work to help unclog a toilet. If it's severely plugged up, use about 1/2 cup, then flush.

    • Linda
      on May 20, 2019

      About 1/2 cup (I don't measure) of Dawn blue dishwashing soap dumped down the stool, let set at least a half hour...I usually leave it longer then follow with a pan full of hot, not boiling water. When it stops going down, flush. I've unclogged my toilet multiple times this way. Boiling water could crack the fixture so just use hot.

  • Fel33404644
    on Aug 14, 2018

    Where do you purchase cream of tartar from?

  • Dana Adams
    on Aug 31, 2018

    What are the amounts of each item?

  • Brenda
    on Jun 4, 2019

    How long do you leave mixture in drain before running water?

    • Flora
      on Oct 29, 2019

      I'm confused how does this work

    • Frank
      on Oct 29, 2019

      Pouring the hot water down the drain afterwards causes the powdered mixture to dissolve resulting into a foam. As the foam drains through the drain and pipes, it will unclog it. It breaks loose the build up and pushes out.

  • Barbara
    on Jun 8, 2019

    How long do you leave it in the drain before you can run the water?

    • Squirllysue
      on Oct 22, 2019

      It doesn’t say to wait it says follow with 2 cups hot water. So as soon as you put the mix in the drain add the Hot water.😊

  • Lori Sumner
    on Jul 14, 2019

    Does anyone know if this can be used on sinks with garbage disposals?

    • Angela
      on Oct 18, 2019

      Yes, you can, also afterwards cut a lemon In half, to let your garbage disposal get a fresh and pleasant scent. Grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal. A refreshing clean smell.

  • Doris
    on Oct 29, 2019

    Will the boiling water crack your sink?

  • Gloria
    on Nov 21, 2019

    What else can this mixture be used on (stained pots, baking pans, etc.)?

  • Angela
    on Dec 2, 2019

    Hi what about in the dishwasher working to

  • Karen Stutzman
    on Jan 5, 2020

    I want to do my upstairs drains. But I can't carry the boiling water up the stairs. Does hot water work? Is there an alternative?

    • Melissa Grethey
      on Jan 5, 2020

      An electric tea kettle will work.

    • Teresa Anger Jones
      on Jan 5, 2020

      White vinegar is what I have always used instead of boiling water

    • Linda Premo
      on Jan 6, 2020

      Vinegar is good too but it will help even if you can just carry a few cups of boiling water upstairs to your sink.

    • Dee Frost
      on Jan 21, 2020

      a tea kettle would have the water contained so it would be safe to carry up stairs, Or set it about 3 o 4 steps up from you, walk up the steps and set it 3 or 4 more steps up, that way you would not be walking with it,till you were upstairs.Now if you don't have a

      Tea-Kettle , that would blow that idea away.

    • Gabrielle Falk
      on Jan 25, 2020


    • Karen Stutzman
      on Jan 25, 2020

      Thank you Melissa, Teresa, Linda, and Dee❣

      I was thinking of the great big pans I normally use, but the teapot idea is perfect!!! Thank you!!! Your comments are appreciated and useful😊

Join the conversation

3 of 128 comments
  • Gabrielle Falk
    on Jan 6, 2020

    Cream of tartar is expensive. I've been using a cup +/- of baking soda (bi.-carb.) BUT I buy it in bulk from the swimming pool shop - we use it in the pool occasionally - then with a good glug of cleaning vinegar; then if you are really keen, a good rinse out with boiling water. Do this for the outside drains as well.

  • Ladyonyamind
    on Jan 28, 2020

    What kind of baking soda do you use? I apologize!

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