What is Drain Cleaner?
A drain cleaner is a chemical product used to clear clogs in plumbing. This plumbing item involves sink drains, bathtub drains, shower drains, and garbage disposals. Over time, these plumbing fixtures become clogged. Mostly they get clogged with organic matter like grease, hair, and food scraps. Organic matter can clog pipes and prevent water from draining correctly if it accumulates in one area.
The Different Physical States of Drain Clogs
A drain-unclogged solution is available in liquid, gel, powder, and granular forms. You should select the appropriate formula according to your clog type. Powdered drain clog removers are excellent for slow-running drains. It would aid if you did not use them in fast-moving drains. However, they require time to work. On the other hand, liquid drain clog removers are the most popular and may operate quickly on any drain. Similarly, gel and granular drain cleaners are effective for all drain types.
Different Types of Drain Clog Formulas
Various sorts of drain cleaners are available on the market. However, their effects on a clogged drain vary between types. Using the following formula, drain clog removers can be split into two categories:
An enzymatic drain unclog incorporates enzymes as its primary element. If safety is your top priority, you should use this cleaner. It is harmless to you and your pipes as they gradually dissolve the blockage.
Enzymes are slow at dissolving blockages. Hence, the enzymatic formula takes a long time to produce results. In addition, the enzymes can only cut through organic stuff, such as blocked hairs or food, or any other obstruction will remain intact.
Chemical drain clog removers operate pretty quickly. Unfortunately, most chemical-based drain clog removers might harm your drainage system’s pipes. Frequent usage of a drain clog remover can cause metal pipes to corrode. The PVC pipes can melt due to the heat generated by the chemicals. Chemical cleaners can be further classified into three categories:
• An oxidizing drain remover
An oxidizing drain cleaner prepared with nitrates, bleach, and peroxides. It dissolves organic obstructions, such as food and hair, by oxidizing them readily. Hence, they are ideal for shower, bathroom sinks, and toilet drains.
• Caustic drain clog remover
This chemical drain unclog combines caustic potash and caustic lye. Also, it contains alkaline chemicals ideal for dissolving grease clogs in kitchen sinks. Caustic drain cleaners are basic solutions. They will have a low acidity but a higher pH level.
• Acidic drain blockage remover
These drain cleaners include a high percentage of sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acids. As a result, they are employed mainly by plumbers. It should be avoided as it may easily cause burns.
Why Are Chemical Drain Cleaners Problematic?
There are several difficulties with the use of chemical drain cleaners. First, these products generate heat to soften obstructed materials and PVC pipes. However, damage to these PVC pipes is rare if the recommendations are followed. In addition, they have negative consequences on our health. If ingested, chemical cleaners are incredibly hazardous. It burns the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Acidic cleaners can even damage the cloth.
Certain cleaners may even emit poisonous gases. If you do not follow the directions precisely, you risk explosions. Moreover, chemical cleaners can eliminate healthy bacteria in septic systems as soon as they enter the pipes.
How to use drain cleaners safely?
- Many safety measures should be taken before attempting to unclog a drain:
- Follow the label’s instructions while using a drain cleaner. Make sure there is enough airflow. You shouldn’t let drain cleaner remain in pipes longer than the directions say.
- When pouring the drain cleaner, you shouldn’t stand in the bathroom’s wet areas.
- Stone, marble, stainless steel, and other materials are vulnerable to the caustic nature of some chemical cleaners. If the drain cleaner doesn’t work, don’t try a second one or pour another down the drain. A hazardous gas or possibly an explosion may result from a chemical reaction.
- After using a chemical cleaning, it is essential to thoroughly flush the drain with the water, adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations for water temperature and rinsing time.
- A toilet should never have chemical cleaners used on it to clear a clog. Instead of using a typical drain snake, which could break or crack the porcelain, try a plunger, a toilet auger, or an enzyme cleaning made from natural ingredients. If the obstruction persists, it’s time to hire a plumber.
Best Drain Cleaner in 2023
- Instant Power Main Line Cleaner: Good for Grease
Grease is another common cause of drain clogs that would not drain properly. To fix plumbing problems caused by grease or smells, you’ll require a product like Instant Power Main Line Cleaner. This product is highly rated and comes in one-gallon jugs. It has a potent formula that breaks down hair, grease, and other gunk that builds up in drains.
It is safe to use on all kinds of pipes and septic systems. Many people use it to open both main sewer lines and lateral lines. Many reviewers say a plumber told them to buy this product as it works well on grease clogs.
- Drano-Dual Force Foamer Clog Remover
This caustic Drano drain cleaner is not a liquid or a gel. Instead, it is a foaming solution that expands when poured down the drain. Most liquids and gels go straight to the blockage because gravity affects them more. This means that some areas don’t get cleaned. This drain cleaner fills the whole pipe by growing, ensuring it penetrates every surface.
The way you use it helps eliminate bad smells and breaks up hair, food, grease, and soap scum clogs. But it takes about an hour for this method to work. Also, the drain cleaner doesn’t work in toilets or where water is standing.
• Kind: caustic
• Working Time: 60 minutes
• Good for: hair, soap scum clogs, food, grease
• Safe for all pipes and garbage disposals
• Foam solution fills the whole pipe
• Removes odors
• 5-bottle value pack
• Doesn’t work in toilets or standing water
• Takes a long time to work
3. Green Gobbler Drain Clog Remover
Green Gobbler is the best drain clog remover since it dissolves soap, hair, and toilet paper without leaving any harmful residue. The biodegradable mixture can quickly and effectively enter the drain, where it may then cut through any standing water and dissolve the clog. Additionally, there is no chemical odor because the formula is unscented.
Pour one or both of the pre-measured prescriptions from the product’s dual-chamber bottle down the blocked drain, depending on how stubborn the clog is. Unlike some other drain cleaners, this one won’t corrode your pipes because it doesn’t include harmful chemicals like bleach or sodium hydroxide.
- The benefits include the rapid dissolution of obstructions.
- No corrosive effect on pipes
- Dissolve the clog easily
- To produce actual results, six to seven hours are required.
4. ComStar Drain Clog Remover
Finally, but certainly not least, ComStar’s drain clog remover is the eco-friendliest. The lye formula is biodegradable, making it environmentally friendly. It also contains 99% sodium hydroxide, which dissolves all obstructions and thoroughly cleans the drain.
The recipe is non-acidic, so it’s suitable for chrome trims, metal pipes, PVC pipes, and fine fixtures. In the meantime, the bead-shaped composition allows it to sink by slashing through standing water. Hence, this drain clog remover helps fight the obstruction at its source. Also, it promotes the growth of active bacteria, which inhibits the production of additional blocks.
- Non-acidic composition renders it safe for use.
- Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
- Prevents the creation of further obstructions
- Prevents the result of other obstructions
- More difficult to clear persistent blockages
5. Pure Lye Bead Drain Opener: Best Beads
Most drain openers come in a liquid or gel form, but some, like the ComStar Pure Lye Bead Drain Opener, come in a different form. This product is made of 99% pure lye beads that are strong enough to use in an industrial environment and can get even the toughest clogs out of pipes.
Each container has one pound of material, and the lye beads will sink to the base of the water, getting to the source of the blockage and breaking up challenging clogs. The formula doesn’t smell or isn’t acidic, so you can use it with plastic pipes, grease traps, and septic systems without worrying. The finest reason to buy this product might be the positive reviews from people who have used it. They say that it worked on tough drain clogs where other products failed.
6. Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner
Drano Max caustic drain cleaner has a thick viscosity, so it penetrates the inside of the pipe as it moves toward the clog, cleaning it and removing any remaining odors. In most cases, the clog may be removed by pouring just one-fifth of the bottle down the drain and letting it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Hot water flushing the drain should remove the obstruction.
This drain cleaner is not intended for flush toilets but can be used in garbage disposals and septic systems. Read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid mishaps, such as when the drain cleaner sprays out because you turned on the removal too quickly. This solution can be used in moving and stagnant water to remove obstructions and restore wastewater flow in a septic or municipal sewage system.
• Removes hair, food, grease, and soap scum
•Require time for action: Half an Hour
The thick gel mixture sticks to the inside of pipes and typically only requires a quarter of a bottle for each clog. It is safe to use around garbage disposals and septic systems.
• Not for toilet
What Factors Should You Look for in Clog Removers?
Composition of chemical
When choosing a drain cleaner, it’s critical to check the label for information on its chemicals. Inhaling the hazardous gases and fumes from most cleaning products can seriously damage one’s health. Furthermore, the harmful chemical reactions caused by using these cleansers can eat away at PVC pipes. So, it is crucial to seek cleaners with natural and non-toxic components that may efficiently clear the clogs without causing any mess.
The stench of decaying organic stuff in clogged drains and sinks is unpleasant enough; adding your cleaner’s foul odor worsens matters. Yet, in addition, it efficiently dissolves organic debris. A clog remover with a subtle fragrance, like mint or lemon, will create an aroma that will keep your bathroom and kitchen smelling fresh. Choose a cleaner without a strong odor, as these can be a source of health problems and headaches.
The efficiency of the cleaner is measured in terms of its grade ability. It describes how effectively the treatment unblocks drains without producing harmful byproducts. The natural enzymes and bacteria in a biodegradable drain cleaner may break down the organic stuff in your pipes without damaging them, making them the ideal product. They are risk-free and efficient in unclogging drains.
Easing of Use
Clog removers with a laundry list of maintenance steps can be difficult to use correctly. Rather than spending hours learning how to use a complicated cleaner, investing in one that requires no effort is best. First, before you go out and get a drain cleaner, check to see if you can comprehend the directions for using it. If you did this, you could reduce the frequency (and cost) of drain cleaning.