Should you use a drain cleaner for your clogged drain?

Many persons tend to avoid drain cleaners because of the chemical makeup of the products. The possibility of bodily harm by the chemicals is not the only concern. Many sources like to say that these chemicals are also harmful to the pipes. Research has shown however, that most modern plumbing fixtures are quite durable and can withstand these chemicals if the products are used as directed.

Drain cleaners are a quick and cost-effective method for unclogging drains.

The drain cleaners can prove to be the best option to clear the drains for a few reasons:

  • It doesn’t require much energy. It’s not a complicated process; all you need to do is pour the contents into the drain.
  • It is more reliable than most home remedies. If you purchase the best product to fit your specific needs then it will more than likely get the job done.
  • It is a lot cheaper and more accessible than a plumber. The products can be found in a nearby store and is usually very inexpensive.

If you do decide to use the best drain cleaner for the job, it is very important to choose the suitable one that fits your needs. This ensures that the issue is resolved promptly and with little trouble.

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Drain cleaners work well because they are made up of the appropriate chemicals that can interact with materials in effective ways to free clogged drains. The two main types of drain cleaners have very different active ingredients. There are alkaline drain openers and there are acidic based drain openers.

Alkaline drain openers

These are sometimes known as caustic drain cleaners. These work well with clogs that are deeper because the substance is heavy enough to push through water to get further into the pipes. They are also ideal with drains clogged by grease because of the process which they use.

They are made up of bleach and sodium hydroxide. The chemicals work by releasing a gas that generates heat. The heat then turns the grease into a soapy substance. With the materials now more soluble, the water dissolves them and frees the drain.

Acidic drain openers

These are usually made up of sulphuric acid and are more difficult to source from stores. They are usually made available to certified plumbers because of the harshness of the chemicals. When these cleaners are poured into the drains it creates heat which can eat through materials and in turn cause them to dissolve. These work really well with materials like hair, and they can also parch substances like tissue paper.


Now that you have an idea of what fits a specific purpose, there are important points to note when using these products.

  • Before beginning ensure that you use the proper safety gear. Gloves are very important to protect your hands as they will be in contact with the product. A face mask and goggles are also recommended. The product can burn eyes and can be very dangerous when it is inhaled directly.
  • Ensure that you wear protective clothing as contact with the skin can cause burns. Furthermore, carefully note the first aid recommendations in case of any accidents.
  • Specific products come with their own clear instructions. It is very important to read these and stick closely to the recommendations in order to get the results that are desired from using the product.
  • The usual application process requires pouring the substance down the drain and having it sit for a while (sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes more). The time frame will of course be specified. After this time has passed water is poured down the drain to rinse.
  • It is best to avoid the area while the chemical is at work to prevent/ reduce excessive exposure to the chemicals.
  • After use, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe storage or disposal of the chemicals so that accidents are prevented.

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Additional tips

  • The drain cleaner does not work well when the drains are clogged with solid items. In that case it might be best to try other options first, like a plunger for example.
  • It is best not to pour the drain cleaner in a garbage disposal. This has the potential of causing spills and burns when the disposal is turned on.
  • Never mix different chemicals together; this can lead to very dangerous results.

Once all precautions are taken and careful instructions followed, your drain should be taken care of in no time.