- Everyone knows the pain of clogged pipes and toilets: shower drain and bathroom sinks gather hair and soap scum, kitchen drains collect old, stinky food rests and other types of gunk; not to mention what toilet bowls have to handle.
- What’s more, it’s so easy to overlook the catastrophe in these hidden areas. All in all, clotted pipes and a slow-running drain are a nuisance to deal with.
- Luckily, there are chemical solutions such as Drano (for example, Max Build-Up Remover), Liquid-Plumr, and others, able to create chemical reactions to get rid of the organic matter.
- The idea is to act on a clog using Drano before you contact a plumber; there is a reason they call these chemical drain cleaners “liquid plumber.” According to the manufacturer, Drano will safely dissolve the clog and clear out the way where the water runs down.
Using Drano products
Drano products are a popular solution to plumbing problems, including clogs caused by organic tissues.
Drano comes under various names; the choice depends on the existing plumbing system and the kind of issue we’re facing. There are liquid plumbers from the Drano family, such as:
- Drano Max Build-Up Remover,
- Drano Kitchen Granules,
- Drano Liquid Clog Remover—among the most popular, reliable, and low-cost solutions to deal with a clotted pipe system that can cause a sink drain to clog,
- Drano Max Gel, and
- Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover, and a few others;
The most potent Drano product is the thick bleach formula of Drano Max Gel Clog Remover. It has the power to cut right through standing water remove hair, soap rests, and other gunk.
Tip: After you have cleared up clogged drains with Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, use Drano Max Build-Up Remover to prevent clogged drains from forming again. This products’ formula contains natural enzymes and bacteria that won’t open clogs but will keep drains running smoothly and prevent clogged drains in the future.
The goal of all these chemical drain cleaners is to deal with a clogged drain bringing your plumbing system back to its proper, undisturbed functioning.
Can you imagine resolving all your plumbing problems without calling a plumber?
Here comes Drano!
Drano and safety
Using Drano products is safe if done wisely. However, this liquid comes with a list of dangers for our health and plumbing system (metal and PVC pipes).
Here’s are the threats we need to be aware of:
- Drano can damage metal pipes and plastic pipes existing plumbing—the combination of dissolving proteins, hot temperature, and bubbles could be problematic for some pipes to withstand. Several chemical reactions can make pipes made of metal corrode or crack, and PVC plumbing softens and break.
- Drano contains strong chemicals such as aluminum, salt, bleach, sodium nitrate, lye (sodium hydroxide), and aluminum chips. It can harm your skin, eyes, and lungs. Drano’s purpose is to dissolve organic tissues, so coming into contact with your bare skin, eyes, or mouth can cause rashes or burns.
- Drano ingredients can be detrimental to residential and water environments when liquid waste makes its way into the sewage system, rivers, streams, and the ocean. In addition, it can cause plants and wildlife to suffer, contaminating food and water supplies.
- With Drano, the septic system is in danger. Drano’s chemicals are harmful to septic systems because they kill all bacteria, even the “good” ones that aid in the decomposition and break down of the sewage located in the septic tank. Without these bacteria, more extensive blockages can occur, causing stress and financial burden down the road. It means that using a bottle of this chemical cleaner for clogged drains can cause even more significant blockages than we had before we had dealt with an in-house clog.
- Drano manufacturer claims we can use these products safely with plastic or metal pipes if we follow the label directions. Yet, keep in mind that accidents where plastic or metal pipes got damaged after people used Drano did happen several times in the past.
- Rethink using Drano if you have kids and pets. Not being able to read cautionary labels, they are more susceptible to accidental poisoning by household chemicals.
Important: Chemical drain cleaners are potentially dangerous and can cause severe personal injuries. Always use Drano products sticking to the instructions on the package. Wear goggles and rubber gloves to protect from splashes. Keep Drano away from children and pets. Keep the phone numbers for local and national poison control hotlines in case of accidental spillage.
To safely unclog your
- bathroom sink,
- kitchen sink, kitchen drain, and
- other drains such as laundry sinks,
carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Important: Some people say that chemical cleaners can make a clog worse because of the damage they cause to the septic system and plumbing materials. Consider two sides of the story before using a Drano product of your choice.
As a clogged drain prevention method, introduce to your House Rituals a regular application of one cup of plain vinegar and a quarter of a box of baking soda to keep your drains open.
If you notice a slow drain, use a cup of baking soda and white vinegar and pour boiling water down the drain. When you see hairs washing up, grab them and pull them out. After getting the clog out, run hot water for several minutes to wash down any remainders.
Tip: Pouring boiling water down the drain is similar to using chemicals. If you have metal pipes, use hot water (plastic pipes may have a hard time with it). Pouring a pot of boiling water directly down the drain into the trap may dissolve the clog, primarily if it consists of soap scum or grease.
Also, minor clogs can be remedied with coarse salt. Combine a half cup of salt with four liters of water. Pour the salt solution down the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, pour hot water down the drain. Salt helps dissolve the clog, and hot water softens the clog and unclogs the drain.
Many people claim that it’s always best and safest to remove the blockage physically.
Sometimes a simple plunger will help you effectively get rid of the problem.
Other times, you’ll be better off clearing the drain with a small snake to make the clog move along. Snakes are plastic strips that you insert in the drain. They are usually long from drain to elbow. Put a snake into the drain and pull it out with the attached gunk. You can buy it cheap at a hardware store.
Homeowners can clean out their pipes with rented tools. It’s smelly work but saves money you would otherwise spend on a professional plumber.
Pipes that are really full of crud usually need to be meticulously cleaned out by a plumber.
Popular anti-clog liquid chemicals’ aim is to put an end to slowly draining sinks and unpleasant clogs in your house and workplace.
If you’ve decided to use a Drano product, read how to use Drano liquid to unclog your drain and other appliances.
The general idea is to simply pour the product and wait 15-30 minutes before flushing it with water.
- If you deal with clogged or slow-running drains, pour half of the bottle (32 oz.) over a drain.
- For extremely slow-running drains or complete clogs, pour the entire bottle (32 oz.)
As a rule of thumb, unless you have a major drainage issue or a nasty clog, try to avoid Drano.
Now, let’s have a look at some special situations we can come across in our households:
- Garbage disposals
Will Drano work well on garbage disposal?
You can use Drano to clean out your garbage disposal as long as you follow the instructions listed on the bottle.
Mind that Drano products can be abrasive if used too often, so less is more. Don’t use it more than every few months.
Tip: Don’t use Professional Strength Crystal Clog Remover, as it can damage your disposal.
For starters, Drano Max Gel Clog Remover isn’t appropriate for toilets.
You can unclog your toilet with another product, Drano Max Build-Up Remover, recommended for slow-running toilets.
According to Hunker, you should pour four ounces of the product down the toilet for over three consecutive days.
Apply Drano overnight or before you go to work.
Make sure not to flush with hot water your toilet for 6-8 hours after each treatment.
Wait for 6-8 hours before running warm water down treated drains or flushing treated toilets.
Repeat the entire process using Drano every four weeks.
How long to flush Drano?
After placing the liquid in the plumbing, let it sit for 15 minutes; for tough problems, 30 minutes.
At this point, you should have unclogged your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower, or clogged bathtub.
Now, flush it with hot water for 5-15 minutes.
Important: It should be hot water but not boiling water.