Will Vinegar Unclog a Washing Machine Drain?

A clogged drain can cause your washing machine to overflow and create a huge mess. With lint, dust, dirt, and detergent buildup, your drain is subject to clogs over time. So what can you do if your appliance gets clogged?

Vinegar can help unclog a washing machine drain. Because vinegar is highly acidic, it will help break down debris, dirt, and other substances that might be clogging your drain. To unclog a drain, you can mix vinegar with other household substances.

Commercial chemical drain cleaners can damage your drain in the long run, and paying a plumber can be expensive. There are several at-home vinegar mix remedies to help you unclog a washing machine drain without having to pay a plumber.

Keep reading to see how to use vinegar to unclog a stubborn drain clog.

Can You Pour Vinegar Down Your Washing Machine Drain?

It’s perfectly safe to pour vinegar by itself directly into your washing machine drain to get rid of minor clogs. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are the best options for unclogging the drain.

Vinegar is often mixed with water, lemon juice, baking soda, salt, or borax to help unclog drains. But if you don’t have any of those additional products, you can use vinegar by itself to unclog your washing machine drain.

To use vinegar by itself to unclog your drain, pour the vinegar directly into the drain. Let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes, then rinse with hot water to remove any dirt or debris buildup. Using vinegar by itself will help unclog minor build-up in your washing machine drain.

Will Vinegar (Plus Baking Soda) Unclog a Washer Drain?

Vinegar and baking soda will unclog a washer drain. Pairing these two ingredients creates a powerful chemical reaction and a mixture more effective in unclogging a washer drain than vinegar. This stronger mixture can help unclog mild to moderate clogs in a washing machine drain.

vinegar, baking soda and gloves

A mixture of vinegar and baking soda is often just as powerful as commercial cleaners without the additional harsh chemicals. You can also add hot water to the mix to aid in unclogging the drain.

When using the vinegar and baking soda mix, don’t pour them all together simultaneously. The best way to use vinegar and baking soda to unclog a washer drain is to pour the baking soda in first, then follow it with the vinegar.

There are multiple ways to use the vinegar and baking soda mixture to unclog your washing machine drain. In the first method, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Put the vinegar or baking soda into the washer drum of your washing machine. (Use a box of baking soda and about 3 cups of vinegar.)
  2. Next, put the other ingredient in the laundry detergent compartment of your machine. (You can mix and match which ingredients go into each area.)
  3. Run a short cycle of your washing machine using hot water.

With this method, you’ll clean the draining system of your washing machine without having to unplug anything or identify the exact location of the clog.

The vinegar and baking soda will inevitably unclog the drain and clean your washing machine. (Source: Xion Lab: How to Clean a Clogged Washing Machine Drain)

The second method you can use to unclog your drain with vinegar and baking soda involves the following steps:

  1. Grab an entire box of baking soda and empty it into the drain pipe of your washing machine.
  2. After adding the baking soda, pour 2 to 3 cups of vinegar directly into the drain pipe.
  3. Plug your drain pipe while the mixture reacts with each other. You’ll hear a fizzing sound while this takes place.
  4. When you can’t hear the mixture reacting anymore, unplug the drain pipe and rinse the drain of any remaining residue by pouring about half a gallon of boiling water down the pipe.

This method works well to unclog your drain because you’ll be putting the mixture directly into the drain pipe to attack the clog. (Source: Plumbers 911: How to Keep a Washing Machine Drain Clog-Free)

Water boiling into saucepan on the gas stove

The third method involves baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. If you don’t want to run vinegar and baking soda directly through your washer, try this method to unclog your drain:

  1. Boil 2 cups of water.
  2. Pour a cupful of baking soda into the drain and add the boiling water.
  3. Wait for about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour 2 cups of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. Plug the drain pipe and let it sit for another 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the drain with half a gallon or more of boiling water to remove any dirt or residue in the drain.

This method involves using hot water, vinegar, and baking soda directly in the drain and is effective in unclogging mild to severe clogs. (Source: Xion Lab: How to Clean a Clogged Washing Machine Drain)

Using vinegar is an excellent way to unclog your washing machine drain without having to call a plumber. Use it alone or with other household cleaners to remove buildup and keep your drain in tip-top shape.