Does Eco Punch Unclog a Drain? I Tested It.
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I am on a quest for a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly way to unclog our constantly-clogging bathtub drain. A while back I tried the vinegar and baking soda drain clearing trick. Then I tested the Dawn dish soap drain hack. Neither one was effective for me and my tub. This time I am trying a commercial drain opener I found at my local Lowes called Eco Punch.
A couple readers of the blog have recommended that I try an enzymatic/bacterial drain cleaner. Apparently these have microorganisms that actually eat the nasty stuff in your pipes. It sounded pretty interesting, and this Eco Punch brand makes an enzyme cleaner, but I ended up just buying the regular Eco Punch Drain Clog Dissolver to try first. Why did I choose this brand? Really just because it was in stock at the store and also it was the only brand I could find locally that claims to be environmentally friendly.
I have to first note that I am not sure what makes this drain opener “eco-friendly” as claimed on Lowe’s website. The term “eco-friendly” is not regulated, so what does it even mean? The product is listed as non-corrosive, but I was unable to find a Material Safety Data Sheet for it, which all chemical products need to have to comply with OSHA in the United States. That sheet would at least tell me if there are any hazardous ingredients in this. Some companies make these data sheets public on their website, but this one doesn’t seem to.
I might have spent more time trying to track that information down if this drain opener worked really well for me and I wanted to recommend it to you, but spoiler alert, it did not, so I’m not going to bother. Read on for the details.
Testing the Eco Punch Drain Clog Dissolver
I like to do things scientifically, so I ran this experiment the same way as the last two times with the vinegar/baking soda and then with the Dawn dish soap.
The Control Test
I created a mark on the side of the tub with some masking tape.
I plugged the drain and filled the tub with water until it was level with the bottom of the tape marker.
Then I used the stopwatch on my phone and started it as soon as I pulled out the plug and timed how long it took to completely drain. It took 4 minutes and 31 seconds to drain.
Pretty slow. Let’s see if we can improve that.
The Eco Punch Drain Test
The instructions said to shake up the bottle well, pour about a cup of the clog dissolver into the drain and let it sit for an hour. So I did that. After an hour, I flushed the drain with a bunch of hot water as directed. I put the plug back in the drain, refilled the tub to the same line, and timed how long it took to drain out this time.
Final result: 4 minutes and 27 seconds. An improvement of four seconds. Not too impressed.
Since the directions also said you might need to use more on a tough clog, I decided to give it another try. So the following night, I did the test again. Here are the results:
Control time: 2 minutes and 53 seconds (I set the tape line lower this time to waste less water)
After Eco Punch: 2 minutes and 48 seconds
So another improvement of 5 seconds.
I guess if I wanted to use this over and over, eventually I could unclog the drain with it, but I wasn’t too impressed. Are my expectations too high? I can’t ever seem to find any drain opener that really makes a significant difference in clearing out this drain. Maybe it’s just the curse of living in a house that was built in 1922.
I think I might try one of those bacterial/enzyme cleaners next. If anyone has a recommendation for a brand that you like, feel free to let me know in the comments.