Uh-oh, all of your meal prepping successes have come back to haunt you. Those vegetable peels and eggs shells from your mason jar salads and quiche cups have gotten lodged in your drain and it's now clogged. Lucky for you, it's easy to learn how to unclog a kitchen drain without any special equipment. Just as your middle school science fair volcano bubbled and fizzed when you added vinegar into the basking soda crater, the same reaction will help clear debris out of your clogged drain. 

Step 1: Get as much water and gunk out of the sink

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In order for the baking soda and vinegar to have any effect, it needs to be able to get into the drain. Although it's gross, getting as much "gunk" out of the way will make the rest of the process easier. Make sure not to reach into the drain, just remove objects that are in the sink. And remember to never turn on the disposal when your hands are in the sink.

Step 2: Put baking soda in the drain 

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Once you've cleared the sink, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the drain. The exact amount you'll need depends on the size of the sink and how badly it's clogged. 

Step 3: Pour in vinegar 

Arielle Gordon

This is where the fun begins. Once the baking soda is in, pour 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar into the drain. Start with small amounts and add more as necessary. The vinegar should react with the baking soda and create a white fizz that you might see start to fill up the sink. 

Step 4: Let it sit

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Even though adding the vinegar leads to instant gratification in that you see the reaction immediately, you will have to wait a few minutes for it to work. The combination will help break down anything that is stuck in the drain. 

Step 5: Rinse  

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After about five minutes, the mixture will no longer fizz and the air bubbles will start to recede. The chemical reaction has ended and you can now wash it down the drain.

If there was any water left in the sink, it should have started to drain. Once that happens, turn on the faucet slowly and allow water to run down the drain, washing away any remaining baking powder. If you had a small clog, this might be all you need and you can return to your daily life, if not:

Step 6: Repeat

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If your drain has begun to unclog but isn't fully fixed, you may need to repeat steps 2-5 once or twice more. Be careful not to overflow the sink if the clog isn't getting any better. If the drain still isn't unclogged after three or four attempts, it might be time to call a plumber, but trying it yourself first is always a good place to start.

To avoid having a clogged drain in the future, make sure to only put things down the drain that you're sure don't need to go into the garbage. If you have a garbage disposal, run it often with running water to keep it clear. If you don't have a disposal, make sure to keep as much waste out of the sink as possible. You may have to clear it out more frequently otherwise.