Is Bleach or Vinegar Better for Cleaning AC Drain Line?

Cleaning AC Drain Line

Air Conditioning is an excellent way to keep your room cool and hot based on the type of season it’s running. This is one of my favorites, which can keep my mind, body and even soul relax with its super auto functioning. As the days go on, all of a sudden, I found that something wrong is happening with my AC. I worried a lot that cleaning AC drain line is the problem.

When I pick up the phone to call a serviceman, one of my neighbors said that it might be a problem with the drain line by clogging as he also faced the same problem days before. Then he suggested cleaning the drain line with the Bleach or vinegar is better…

But I am not sure about what he said, like in a confusion of “Is Bleaching or Vinegar better for cleaning AC Drain Line?” and started browsing.

As per my research, “Using Vinegar for cleaning AC Drain Line is best. Because the vinegar is less reactive yet effective enough to unclog/clean the Drain line when compared to the Bleaching. Moreover, bleaching is more reactive and damages the drain pan and drain line when there is any bleach residue.”

Simply, Vinegar is the best to clean the drain line than bleach. 

Till then my confusion was cleared in choosing the best for cleaning ac drain line. But, then I released that only 30% of the problem was cleared and I need to find the remaining 70 % like drain line location, how to clean it, are there any alternatives…etc

Today, I am here to tell you about the questions of what haunted me while cleaning it along with the solutions. So, let’s get down to the article if you are also in the same point of search…

During my walk to the supermarket to buy a vinegar bottle, I started thinking about drain line use like, do ac really need a Drain line, what is its role…etc.So, let’s start with this point as this will allow us to understand things furthermore clearly.

cleaning ac drain line

What is the Role of Drain Line in AC?

While using an air conditioner in a room, it’s quite common to have moisture inside the ac due to the cooling process. So, the moisture is converted to the water drops by the process of condensation. The role of Drain lines to drain out all the condensed dripped water from the AC unit to the outside of the room through a pipe. 


Where is the AC Drain line Located?

As we have many types of AC’s, the drain line is always located outside of the room/hall or the area back of it, near the condenser unit. It has a pipeline structure pointed outside which is made out of different materials like PVC, Cast iron, galvanized iron, Copper…etc. Most of the household AC’s use of PVC material for drain lines.


This is why we cannot use bleach for cleaning the drain line as it eats away PVC and joining materials.

After having enough knowledge lets us start the process of cleaning with vinegar.

How to Clean AC Drain Line with Vinegar?

Start the process by switching off the AC mains supply.

Locate the driveline with the help of the instructions mentioned above.

Then open the AC drain line by the cap fixed to it.

Take the white vinegar solution in a cup and pour it in the hole of the drain line.

Leave the drain line for about 20-30 minutes

Now, flush out the vinegar in the drain line with water.

Make sure that water flow is free which indicates the pipe is clear from all the dirty stuff.

For more clarification, check out the video for a better understanding

Now you can use the AC without any problem. And you need to know the answer to the question I mentioned below to avoid this problem further.

How often should you clean your AC drain line and why?

Well, the main motto of cleaning this drain line is due to the clogging. Yes, this clogging can lead to the formation of molds and milds.

And also leads to physical damage of AC like, 

Water Leakage:

The clogging in the drain line will push back the dripped water back into the drain pan and then causes water leakage.

Shuts off Automatically:

Clogged Drain line encompasses many dog hair, dirt, insects..etc. which will make the drain water to stock at the condenser unit and then makes the functioning of AC shut suddenly.

So, we need to clean the drain line every 6 or 3 months in a year i.e yearly twice or thrice.


I hope that you have found a DIY solution to clean the drain line instead of calling the serviceman and spending money on such simple issues. From then on, I started maintaining my AC with proper maintenance. And You can also eliminate such problems if you maintain your AC with proper maintenance. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q) How much vinegar do I need to clean my AC drain line? To clean the drain line, you just need ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar. Or else you can even add a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar for your required amount i.e One cup of water requires one of vinegar.

Q) Does vinegar kill mold? Yes, Vinegar can kill 82% of the mold spices. For better reaction, you can even add baking soda, lemon for the foaming chemical reaction.

Q) What is the drainpipe in AC? The drainpipe is the other name for the drain line which is present outside of an AC, and nearer to the condenser unit. This pipe helps to drain out the dripped water inside the AC caused by the condensation.

Q) What size is the AC drainpipe? The normal size of a drainpipe has ¾ inches diameter. But the drainpipe with ⅝ inches is better to choose while purchasing as this will reduce the leakage problem. 

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