The Popular Beverage That Can Unclog Your Sink Drain In A Pinch

Not only can drain clogs be frustrating, but since they don't let up on their own, they can become worse as time goes on and lead to bacteria and foul odors. While you may be considering a trip to the store to buy a brand-name drain cleaner, there are better options — chances are that what you need to unclog your drain is already in your fridge.

There are some surprising ways that you can use Coca-Cola around the house and unclogging a drain is one of them. Coca-Cola and other sodas contain quite a bit of phosphoric acid, which eats away at the grime that causes clogs. At the same time, Coca-Cola isn't as damaging to your pipes as store-bought cleaners tend to be.

Be aware that darker sodas — Coke and Pepsi, for instance — tend to do the best job of unclogging pipes since they have more phosphoric acid. Lighter-colored sodas such as Sprite and Mountain Dew tend to have more citric acid instead and may not be as effective.

How to use soda to unclog your drain

Using Coke or Pepsi to unclog your drain is pretty straightforward. To start, get a full 2-liter bottle of Coke or Pepsi. Instead of refrigerating it, ensure that it's at room temperature before you use it. Once you're ready, open the bottle and pour the full 2 liters down your clogged drain. 

You may only need to let the soda sit for an hour or two to fix the clog, but longer is usually better. Letting it sit for 24 hours is more likely to do the trick and may be necessary for particularly difficult clogs. After you've let the soda sit for a sufficient amount of time, boil some water and pour it down the drain as well. 

Keep in mind that you may not get the results you're hoping for with this method on the first try. You might need to go through the entire process again to fix the clog. In some cases, soda won't be strong enough and you'll need to try a more powerful method instead.

Other options for unclogging your drain

Although cola can be useful for certain clogs, it has its limitations. It's easier on your pipes than commercial drain cleaners, but store-bought cleaners are stronger. Despite this, store-bought cleaners contain chemicals that can be particularly damaging to your pipes.

A popular alternative to using Coke or Pepsi to unclog your drain is another homemade solution you can make with common household ingredients: A mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. This mixture doesn't contain lye, a harmful chemical often found in store-bought drain cleaners. However, when it comes to unclogging sinks specifically, your results with the baking soda-vinegar combination may vary. Another unclogging alternative that might be worth a shot is a mixture of hot water and salt or hot water and dishwashing liquid.

If these DIY solutions don't work for you or you don't want to risk damaging your pipes, it may be best to call a plumber. These homemade solutions can be effective, but sometimes they're simply not enough. A plumber should be able to get to the bottom of the issue and fix your pipes, although it will cost you.