Why You Shouldn’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

A hand pouring chemical drainer down a drain.
Clogged drains are inconvenient, and instead of scheduling an appointment for professional services, you may try to fix your drain yourself. Chemical drain cleaners may seem like a quick and easy solution as well as a way to save money; however, over-the-counter, liquid drain cleaners can often do more harm than good.

5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Your Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you use a chemical drain cleaner, your clog issues may disappear, but you may discover you have more issues later. Here are five reasons you should ditch chemical drain cleaners and consider alternatives for unclogging your drain.

  1. They can burn and/or irritate your skin. Approximately 3,000 injuries are caused by chemical drain cleaners annually. Most liquid drain cleaners contain lye, bleach, sulfuric acid, aluminum, and other dangerous chemicals. Because they contain high concentrations of sulfuric acid, drain cleaners can burn your skin if exposed. In some cases, the burns may be severe enough to require skin grafting.
  2. They can ruin your pipes. While the drain cleaner can erode whatever is clogging your drain, the chemical can also erode your pipes, which can lead to leaks or other plumbing issues.
  3. They compromise your indoor air quality (IAQ). Liquid drain cleaners can release toxic fumes that can negatively impact your IAQ (which is why people recommend you open a window during use). Once you unscrew the cap, you expose yourself (as well as others) to these fumes, which can cause respiratory issues (especially for asthmatic individuals) and irritation in your eyes and nose.
  4. They kill good bacteria. Drain cleaners with harsh chemicals will kill all the bacteria in your drain, including bacteria that help break down some of the buildup in your drains.
  5. They are only a temporary solution. Recurring clogs often point to a much larger issue. If your drains clog frequently, using a chemical drain cleaner will not address the real problem.

Drain Cleaner Alternatives

You can’t leave your drain clogged, so what can you use instead of a liquid drain cleaner?

  • Baking soda and vinegar. You can use these common household goods to clear the drain. Simply mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar and pour the mixture down your drain. After an hour, pour hot water down the drain.
  • Hot (not boiling) water and dish soap. Squirt some dish soap or shampoo into your sink or toilet. Then take a gallon of hot water and carefully pour it down the drain. Do not use boiling water, though, as it can damage your pipes.
  • Bio or enzyme-based cleaners. Instead of harsh chemicals, these liquid drain cleaners use good bacteria and concentrated enzymes as a natural alternative to unblocking pipes.
  • Drain snake. Many sink clogs can be rectified using a drain snake (also known as a toilet jack), which is a slender auger that can be used to loosen and remove a clog.
  • Plunger. A sink plunger (which is different than a toilet plunger) will clear a clogged drain easily. Just as you would with a toilet plunger, work the plunger up and down, pull it off, and then repeat until the drain clears. Be sure to cover the other drain or the overflow hole before you start plunging. Do note – you need at least an inch of water in the sink basin to create a strong seal and better suction.

Contact Our Skilled Technicians

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Southeast Georgia, we offer affordable and efficient plumbing services. If you need help unclogging or cleaning your drains, our technicians have the experience and know-how to help you.

When you book a service with our team, you can trust that:

  • We will get the job done quickly without compromising quality workmanship.
  • We will never charge you extra fees for overtime work or holiday and weekend appointments.
  • We will offer a flat-rate price and will provide a price before we start working.
  • We will arrive on time.
  • We will treat your home as if it’s our own by keeping it clean.

Let our trusted experts clean your drains! Contact us online or call us today to schedule an appointment or receive an estimate. We are available 24/7!