Is this online remedy safe to use for a clogged drain on my Kenmore garbage disposal?

I have a very slow-running, partially clogged kitchen drain and read that a combination of 1/3 cup baking soda & 1/3 cup white vinegar followed by boiling water will unclog the drain. The website I am following says to check with the garbage disposal manufacturer before pouring this mixture down the drain. Since I have a Kenmore disposal (I don't know the model #), I want to check to make sure this is ok. The article also says applying the mixture from time to time helps keep the disposal smelling fresh. I am afraid to try Draino because of the disposal. ps... I tried plunging the drain and that did nothing. Can't afford a plumber. Need to do it myself. Thank you for your response.

Alina F. is always a great resource to find the answers to just about anything. Your expert will research your question and respond within two business days but usually sooner.


I have done the following in the past and it worked for me: 1) Put a handful of ice cubes into the disposer side, turn on cold water and run disposer for about 5 seconds to clear any debris on the blades. The ice will not hurt the blades and is actually good to do about once a month just to keep them clean to have avoid blockage. 2) Put 3/4 cup of baking soda and 3/4 cup of vinegar down each drain, if possible put stopper or even a dry rag over the openings to allow formula to bubble and loosen material. This formula is extremely non-toxic, will not damage your disposer, hurt the pipes or cause skin irritation. 3) After about 5 minutes, with stoppers still in place, fill both sides of sink half-full with HOT WATER. Then, using tongs or other such type of item, remove the stopper on the disposer side, run the disposer and let the hot water continue for approximately 30 seconds. You can then let the water drain out of the non-disposer side of the sink and let the hot water flow with the disposer running. 4) If the water still drains slowing from just one drain, then the problem is with just with that side of the sink. If both sinks drain slowly then the clog is beyond the pipes directly below the sink. 5) At that point, you can use the baking soda/vinegar solution on the non-garbage disposer side. Wait 5 minutes then plug the disposal side and slowly and deliberately use a plunger 6 times. (NOTE - There are several types of plunger designs. One is FLAT on the bottom and works fine on a sink drain, the other has a more “pointed” end that is designed for a toilet bowl opening. Some of the newer plungers have the capability of being either one by have a “LIP or FLAP” that can be pulled out from inside the flat opening to make one with the “pointed” opening. If you end up using that type of plunger, I highly recommend wearing rubber gloves and after using the plunger on a sink drain to spray or wipe the sink openings, as well as the plunger with bleach.

Joey S expert

Thank you for your question and I understand your concern.

I must assume the garbage disposal will operate and the blockage is not inside the disposal.

If you have double sink; the blockage is likely in the drain pipe where the sink drain pipe and the disposal drain pipe merges together. See image below. I drew a red circle around the fitting that can become restricted with food debris from the disposal. Remove the fitting and you will likely find your obstruction. You could use the 1/3 cup banking soda and 1/3 cup white vinegar followed by boiling water but it will not likely unclog the drain. If you do try this, be sure to pour enough water through the disposal to rinse all the vinegar down.

I hope this is helpful. If I may be of further assistance as more details become available, please reply to this post.