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Everyday Cheapskate: Well, That's One Way To Clear a Clogged Drain!

Mary Hunt on

By now, it was getting late. What a sight to see dozens of people in the hall in every kind of robe and nightwear imaginable -- gasping for air while covering their faces with anything available.

The hotel engineer was summoned to assess the problem, and all he could do was laugh as he concluded that, finally, whatever it was that had been clogging the hotel drains had let loose.

Thankfully, there was no lingering damage. In fact, I like to think I did the Drake a huge (I cannot tell you how huge) favor.

Oh, what a night it was when I single-handedly did what so many professionals before me had not been able to accomplish -- all with just 10 pounds of baking soda and a gallon of white vinegar.

Never underestimate the power of a really great household tip:

To clear a sluggish drain and keep it running well, you'll need:

-- Baking soda.

-- Vinegar.

-- Boiling water.


Step 1: Pour 1 cup baking soda into the drain, and push it down into the drain as best you can.

Step 2: Follow by pouring 1 cup white vinegar into the drain. It will bubble, fizz and gurgle, but it is not harmful.

Step 3: Allow to sit for a couple of hours, or overnight, which is better.

Step 4: In the morning, pour a quart of boiling water directly into the drain.

Caution: Pouring boiling water into an older porcelain sink can harm the porcelain, so make sure you are pouring the water into the drain, not onto the porcelain. If dealing with very old pipes and plumbing, cut the quantities of baking soda and vinegar in half just to be on the safe side.


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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