The Vinegar Hack That Makes Unclogging Your Kitchen Sink Way Easier

Sink drains can get clogged with dirt, grease, and food scraps, causing a host of problems down the road. Mineral buildup only makes things worse, and the aftermath can be costly. Over time, calcium and other minerals in hard water can ruin your pipes and fixtures, leave stains, and reduce water pressure. Luckily, it's possible to prevent these issues without using harsh chemicals. All you need is a bottle of vinegar and a plastic bag.

Vinegar is rich in acetic acid, a byproduct of fermentation. This compound can dissolve scale, fats, and other minerals while reducing metal corrosion. Most types of vinegar contain around 5% acetic acid, so they're safe for cooking. Although they're not as strong as pure acetic acid, they can still dissolve grease buildup and other debris. You can also use vinegar to clean cloudy drinking glasses, greasy stovetops, dirty floors, sheet pans, tea kettles, and everything in between.

This versatile ingredient isn't as harsh as chemical cleaners and doesn't pose health risks. Plus, it's better for the environment. With that in mind, here's how to use vinegar to clean your sink faucets and unclog the drain. 

Try this vinegar hack to clean and maintain your faucets

The minerals in hard water can build up on your kitchen faucets and inside the pipes underneath them. In the long run, they can clog the faucet head and affect water pressure, resulting in costly repairs. You may also notice unsightly stains, or limescale, which can be difficult to remove by hand.

One solution is to fill a plastic bag with vinegar, wrap it around the faucet, and secure it with a rubber band. Leave it on for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how much limescale you're dealing with. After that, wipe the faucet and use a toothbrush to remove any remaining debris. This hack will work for shower heads, too. If the taps are dirty or stained, wrap them with two tea towels soaked in white vinegar. Wipe them clean after a few hours, and use a plastic scourer to scrub off the remaining scale buildup (if any).

Note that there are different types of vinegar, with varying concentrations of acetic acid. Your best bet is to use either white vinegar or cleaning vinegar, with the latter being the most acidic. As a general rule, apply a few drops of vinegar to the faucet before wrapping it in a plastic bag. Some faucets have fancy finishes that could get damaged by acetic acid, so you should first test the vinegar on a small area.

Use white vinegar to unclog your kitchen sink

There's a reason you should never pour grease and cooking oil down the drain, but accidents can happen. Once again, vinegar comes to the rescue. All you need to do is slowly pour 2 or 3 cups of boiling water down the drain, followed by 1 cup of baking soda and another cup of vinegar. Cover the drain for at least half an hour, and then flush it with boiling water. Repeat up to three times.

Mixing baking soda and vinegar creates carbon dioxide, pushing the debris through the drain and pipes. Additionally, baking soda has a mild abrasive effect due to its high sodium content. Vinegar can dissolve limescale and other debris, whereas boiling water will loosen whatever is stuck in there. But if you try this combo and your drain is still clogged, consider using a drain snake or commercial cleaning solutions. 

The best thing you can do is keep your drains clean in the first place. Avoid peeling potatoes, eggs, or vegetables over the sink, use a drain strainer, and remove any food scraps from plates before washing. Go one step further and run hot water down the drain for a few seconds after doing the dishes. Another option is to use enzyme drainers once a month or so to prevent clogs. If you're dealing with a slow-draining sink, use a plunger to dislodge minor debris before it gets worse.