How To Unclog a Drain With Coke - No Hassle featured image showing a dirty sink that is away to get cleaned with coca-cola

How To Unclog a Drain With Coke: Is it an Effective Drain Cleaner?

It may surprise some, but Coca-Cola can be a good drain cleaner for a partially clogged drain. However, its effectiveness is limited and it will struggle with more severe blockages.

We’ll explain how effective cleaning drains with coke is, how to use coke as drain cleaner, what drawbacks there are to using a fizzy beverage for drain cleaning, and give you some suitable (and often) better DIY alternatives to help get your plumbing moving again.

Will Coke Unclog A Clogged Drain?

Maybe. Pepsi or other carbonated sodas can in some situations be used to clear a minor blockage. The carbonation can help break up minor blockages, and the (small) phosphoric acid content is mildly corrosive and may help dislodge clogs.

While coke can be helpful for minor clogs, it is not recommended as a drain cleaner for FOG (Fatty Oils Grease) or more stubborn clogs.

LowLess than $51 – 2 hours

How To Use Coca-Cola to Unclog Drains?

To unclog a drain using Coke, first get a room temperature 2-liter bottle of Cola, then follow the steps below.

  1. Pour the entire bottle of coke directly into the blocked drain.
  2. Let the soda sit in the drain for at least an hour or two.
  3. Flush away any residual sugary residue by pouring water down the drain.

Is It Bad To Pour Soda Down The Drain

Pouring soda down the drain can have a couple of negative consequences. 

Firstly, it has the potential to clog pipes. The sticky nature of soda, combined with any other debris or buildup present in the pipes, can create blockages that restrict or completely obstruct the flow of water. This can result in a slow drain or standing water.

Another concern is that the high sugar content can attract pests such as ants and cockroaches. These insects are drawn to sugary substances and may be enticed by any residue left behind in the pipes.

What Other Than Coke Can You Use As For Drain Cleaner?

When it comes to unclogging drains, there are several alternatives to using coke that you can try. Below are some commonly used DIY methods or commercial products that have proven efficacy in clearing clogs:

  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Pour a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar down your sink drain and let it sit for 15 minutes then pour boiling water to flush away debris. This combination helps break down debris and clear minor clogs.
  • Salt and Boiling Water: Another option is pouring a generous amount of salt down the drain followed by hot water. The salt helps break-up greasy substances, while the hot water flushes them away.
  • Enzyme-Based Cleaners: These products contain live enzymes found naturally that work on breaking down organic matter in drains. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results. Enzyme-based cleaners are handy for regular maintenance to prevent build-up.
  • Commercial Drain Cleaners: Hardware stores offer various chemical-based drain cleaners; however, caution must be exercised when using them. These cleaners contain harsh chemicals such as sulfuric acid, which can harm pipes or be hazardous if misused. Follow the instructions carefully and consider wearing protective gear like gloves or goggles.
  • Plumber’s Snake or Plunger: For more stubborn or deep-seated blockages that regular cleaners struggle with, a plumbing snake, plunger, or even a bent coat hanger can help clear a blocked drain. These mechanical devices are used to physically break up clogs and clear the way for proper drainage.

If your bath, kitchen, or shower drain refuses to play nice, then it’s probably time to find a good local plumber to take a look at your plumbing system.

Can You Use Coke and Baking Soda to Unclog a Drain?

Combining Coca-Cola with baking soda can enhance its effectiveness as a drain cleaner. The carbonation in coke helps to break down clogs while the alkaline nature of baking soda acts as an effective cleaner. It works similarly to using baking soda and vinegar to clear a clogged drain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Coca-Cola Unclog a Toilet?

Probably not. While the fizzing action of Coke can help dislodge mild obstructions in the toilet drain, it will have no meaningful effect on toilet paper or organic matter.

Does Cola Dissolve Toilet Paper?

No, Coca-Cola or Pepsi will not break-down toilet paper. Toilet paper is designed to be durable and resistant to moisture, so it does not readily dissolve in liquids like water or cola.

Will Coke Dissolve Hair in a Drain?

No. Coke will not dissolve hair in the drain. While Coca-Cola does contain phosphoric acid and hair is alkaline, the amount of phosphoric acid will be insufficient to have a noticeable effect on any hair clogging your bath or shower drains.

About the author

An accomplished plumber with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, David "Fitz" Fitzgerald began as an apprentice and steadily worked his way up to become a fully licensed and certified master plumber.

With extensive training in all aspects of plumbing. David is well-versed in the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems, including pipes, fixtures, and appliances, and is able to troubleshoot and solve even the most complex plumbing issues.

He loves to share his wealth of knowledge and looks forward to engaging with the community here on No Hassle Plumbing.

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