Forget Drain Cleaner; Eliminate Clogs with Vinegar 01 Jun 12

Who doesn’t love a good household tip every now and then? And the folks at Chow.com, the culinary weblog, are sharing a nifty way to eliminate clogged pipes by using vinegar. 
But, why not just stick with good ole’ drain cleaner, you may ask? Well, it turns out, drain cleaner isn’t really all that great. In fact, many plumbers recommend not using it at all because of the harsh chemicals it contains. After repeated use, those chemicals can cause erosion in your pipes and lead to holes and leaks — major problems! Also, if the cleaner can’t penetrate through the clog, the chemicals may pool up in your pipes and wreak havoc even faster.

So, instead of risking pipe damage and costly repair bills, Chow is suggesting a different solution — vinegar. The acid in the vinegar helps break down any clogs that may be forming and, if used regularly, is an effective maintenance strategy. Their recommendation:

  • Pour half a bottle of vinegar down the drain (quart size)
  • Let it sit for ten minutes
  • Flush pipes with hot water
  • Repeat the process every three months for clog prevention

Besides being better for your plumbing, vinegar is much cheaper than drain cleaner (you can even buy it in bulk for a few dollars), it’s better for the environment, and poses no safety risk in your home (don’t have to worry about pets or children getting into it). Plus, there are literally hundreds of other ways to use vinegar around the house as it’s useful for everything from cleaning, to cooking, to getting rid of bugs. Needless to say, it’s handy stuff to keep on hand.

Have you used vinegar as a clog prevention method? If so, how has it worked for you?