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2

The exothermic reaction of the acetic acid on $\ce{NaHCO3}$ provides heat and I do agree that the vigorous nature of the reaction forming $\ce{CO2}$ is likely instrumental in clearing the drain. Also, I suspect employing an excess of NaHCO3 is probably beneficial as on warming it releases CO2 and creating more alkaline Na2CO3, which will also attack grease. ...

12

Quoting text from this source under the section "Why could baking soda and vinegar clean clogged drains?" : Bicarb soda and vinegar react because of the acid-base reaction. Bicarb soda is bicarbonate $(\ce{NaHCO3})$ and vinegar is acetic acid $(\ce{CH3COOH})$. When bicarb soda and vinegar react, they fizzle and sizzle and they expand. This is why ...

7

$$\ce{NaHCO3(s) + CH3COOH(aq) -> CO2(g) + H2O(l) + CH3COONa (aq)}$$ From what I can see in the reaction, an amount of water and carbon dioxide is produced which has the potential to move around blockages in the drain similar to using club soda to remove stains from a shirt or table cloth. The resulting sodium acetate is a weak conjugate base and water ...

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