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gailquilter2 08-21-2010 02:14 AM

I clog my bathtub drain with hair-solution works for me
I clog my bathtub drain with hair--Is there anything wrong with this solution?

For years now I have had to clear the drain of my hair every couple weeks. :censored: I have been using those white plastic things with the teeth that you force down the drain and when you pull it back up big gobs and gobs of hair come up on the teeth. :eek:What I pull up is fairly clean because what goes down there is only hair, soap, shampoo, conditioner and warm water. No problem.

A while back this method stopped working. :censored:So I went under the sink and found drain cleaners I had collected over the years. What was I thinking? I found a whole bunch of them, none were open, never used.

Then I got the bright idea to use Clorox, a milder solution to the problem so I got a jug up there and just before pouring I thought 'vinegar', hey that's even milder.:thumbup:
So I brought up a jug of vinegar. I poured about 3/4 cup down the drain, that's all it took to back up. :( A half hour later I repeated it--this time it took 1 1/2 cups. :no: Now this is the first time any drain cleaner of any sort has ever gone down the tub drain. Waited a while and poured more down and it didn't back up.
Then I ran the sink to get hot water(somewhere I heard use very hot) and poured a bowl of hot water down, and another bowl and another bowl. Then I turned on the tub spigot and let it run until I knew it was flushed beyond my property line and I haven't had a problem since then, been months now. No more bi-weekly snaking with the white plastic things.:thumbup:

Is there anything wrong with vinegar? It is about the mildest acid that I can think of. I was amazed it worked. Vinegar does not disolve hair. I used it once when young as a conditioner but I didn't like smelling like an Easter Egg. So I can only assume it washed out a clump of hair protected by soap scum which in turn was protected by a layer of hair conditioner.

Plastic drain pipes. Now I pour some vinegar down the drain occasionally BEFORE washing my hair.

Is there a problem with vinegar?


Mike Swearingen 08-21-2010 06:35 AM

If you want a better drain clearing solution, use an enzyme-based drain cleaner such as DrainCare made for the purpose.
It is non-caustic and will not harm you, your fixtures or drain pipes, but it WILL dissolve out any organic gunk such as hair, soap scum, etc.
All that you do is pour in DrainCare whever the drain starts to get sluggish, let it eat overnight, and then flush it all down with very hot water. I usually start that with a kettle of boiling water.
Good Luck!

nap 08-21-2010 07:12 AM

to the question itself;

no, vinegar will not harm PVC pipes and what it will do to metal pipes is so minimal it isn't worth getting concerned about, especially since you are rinsing it out shortly after application.

I'm surprised it worked but if it did, it is a very inexpensive solution to your problem.

gailquilter2 08-21-2010 06:42 PM

I was actually stunned that it worked
I was actually stunned that it worked, I was hoping for just a little path through the gunk so drain cleaner would have more surface area to attack and not back up onto the chrome drain, the visible part.
Before I did this fix it could take hours to drain a few inches of water from the tub.
I expected the 'fix' to last only a few days, but here we are months later and no slowing down.
I will keep putting a little vinegar down occasionally though. I use vinegar for cleaning other things like hard water sediment, we have alkanine water here, works wonders in the dishwasher especially on glasses and glass dishes.

bob22 08-22-2010 11:50 AM

Dangerous to go mixing chemicals like you did; alkalies and acids shouldn't mix otherwise poisonous fumes can be generated:

retired guy 60 08-22-2010 12:09 PM

Bob is correct about the dangers of mixing chemicals. However, when an alkali and an acid are mixed together the result is some type of salt and water. In this situation the acid and base neutralize each other and depending upon the quantities and concentrations the resultant substance may be neutral, neither acidi or alkali.
Did not mean to nitpik. I taught chemisry and used to mix hydroxides with acids to demonstate neutralization. The big no-no is bleach and ammonia and Bob's warning is right on.

nap 08-22-2010 12:11 PM


Originally Posted by bob22 (Post 489397)
Dangerous to go mixing chemicals like you did; alkalies and acids shouldn't mix otherwise poisonous fumes can be generated:

while the caution is a very good point, I do not see where the OP mixed anything. She says before she poured bleach into the drain, she realized that vinegar might be better. She didn't claim to have used any of the multiple drain cleaners she had obviously purchased for the problem from time to time either.

the only thing I read she actually used was the vinegar.

gailquilter2 08-22-2010 10:11 PM

The water in So Calif is alkalai, mild.
I used vinegar only in the tub then washed down with water.

Couldn't possibly be poisonous, my stomach is acid, and I drink the alkalai water every day, it is my beverage of choice, filtered of course.

Vinegar is better than clorox because less chemicals.

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