drain cleaners

What’s The Scoop On Drain Cleaners

We’ve all experienced a clogged drain at some point. We usually do what comes naturally and grab our faithful plunger. More time than not, our plunger usually does the trick, especially on a clogged toilet. The problem with a plunger is that it cannot eliminate hair and slime from a slow-moving sink. Our sinks are where most chemical drain cleaners are used and most plumbers will tell you not to use them. That’s because they claim they are bad for pipes.  

Three Types of Drain Cleaners

There are three types of chemical drain cleaners: caustic, oxidizing and acid drain cleaners. Caustic drain cleaner contains lye and potassium hydroxide which can be found in industrial products. Two familiar drain cleaning brands that we easily recognize is, Drano® and Liquid Plumber®, both of which are caustic drain cleaners.

Lab Test Prove That Liquid Plumbr® is Safe On Drains

Drano® clearly states that their product is suitable for all clogged drains, but also says not to use the product on clogged toilets. Drano® Max Build-Up Remover claims, if used regularly, it can help keep your bathroom sink and shower drain move freely because it releases essential enzymes to break down residue. Lab tests have concluded that Liquid Plumbr® is safe on all household pipes and that includes PVC. It is also safe on marble, fiberglass, chrome, and porcelain sinks.

Oxidizing drain cleaners contain basic household substances such as bleach, peroxides, and nitrates. The product works by breaking down the organic material found in a clog. The product easily moves through water because it’s heavier than water; once it hits the clog, it releases heat and gas to help clear and breakdown the obstruction.  

Avoid Acid Drain Cleaner

Avoid acid drain cleaners at all cost. They contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid, and used incorrectly the product can damage, aluminum, porcelain, and metal. While sulfuric acid is less damaging to metal plumbing, it still can cause damage and should only be used as a last resort,  and only dispersed by a professional.

Take An Organic Approach To Cleaning Drains

While there are many quality products on the market, you may want to take an organic approach to your clog. Make a hydrogen peroxide solution. Start with a cup of peroxide and a cup of water then pour it down your drain. A mix of vinegar and baking soda is good for breaking down soap scum and slime. Consider a natural drain cleaner Zep® Drain Defense which releases natural enzymes to clear a clog and opens slow-moving drains.

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