When you’re facing a slow-draining kitchen sink or a stagnant shower drain, you might be tempted to turn to a chemical drain cleaner. Think again.
Chemical drain cleaners seem like a quick, easy fix—but they don’t get to the root of the problem and can cause bigger problems later.
Learn more about chemical drain cleaners and why they’re bad news.
What are Chemical Drain Cleaners?
There are several types of chemical drain cleaners that can come in liquid, powder or gel form.
A caustic drain cleaner contains basic ingredients like lye or caustic potash; they release heat and dissolve grease.
An oxidizing drain cleaner contains bleach, peroxides, and/or nitrates that cause the clog to lose electrons and oxidize.
Meanwhile, acid drain cleaners use sulfuric or hydrochloric acid to melt the clog.
All of the above release heat. This can soften, weaken, and damage your pipes—especially in older homes with metal pipes.
4 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Chemical Drain Cleaners
- Their high toxicity levels release harmful fumes, can burn skin and clothing, and can be fatal if ingested—which makes them dangerous to have in homes with children and pets.
- In addition to damaging your pipes, ingredients like hydrochloric acid can damage the enamel and expensive finishes on your kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
- They’re bad for the environment. Chemical drain cleaners travel to landfills and water sources, where they can hurt fish and wildlife.
- Chemical drain cleaners aren’t true solutions. If the real problem comes from a broken pipe or a sewer line issue, a chemical drain cleaner won’t do anything.
Put the Drano Away, Call Flatley’s Instead
Chemical drain cleaners are cheap and fast—but they’re not a real solution. Investing in functional, healthy plumbing for your home is worth it.