Clearing a clogged or slow-draining sink, toilet, or shower is certainly a chore. If you don’t have the patience to plunge the drain or use a drain auger to snake it, finding the best brain cleaner is your top priority. A liquid drain cleaner can be a good alternative to calling a plumber, but you must be careful about which one you choose. Some contain corrosive chemicals that do more harm than good. But here, we’ll help you find the best drain cleaner to use.
How to Pick the Best Drain Cleaner
There are three types of liquid drain cleaners to choose from, the best liquid drain cleaner depends on your specific needs:
Enzymatic Drain Cleaners
A non-corrosive formulation with bacteria that produce enzymes that break down soft material like paper or hair. Enzymatic cleaners aren’t as effective on grease or soap scum and can take up to 24 hours to work. They usually have no irritants or harmful toxins. Examples of enzymatic drain cleaners include Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover (also works with grease) and Bio-Clean, a multi-purpose cleaner that comes in a can.
Caustic Drain Cleaners
Sodium hydroxide or other alkaline chemicals turn the material clogging the drain into a soap-like substance. It then dissolves in water. The process often works within 30 minutes with the tap on. Although these cleaners can soften plastic pipes over 20 years old, they’re safe for newer plastic or metal pipes. Wear safety glasses, gloves, a respirator, or other gear during use, as caustic cleaners can cause skin burns and eye/nose irritation. Caustic drain cleaners can easily corrode brass, galvanized steel, aluminum chrome, and other pipes, regardless of age.
An example is Professor Amos SuperFast Drain Cleaner; it’s a shower, tub, and sink drain cleaner with a lye-based formula that is effective on all kinds of gunk (with just a few ounces poured into the drain).
Acidic Drain Cleaners
In 15 minutes or less, they can clear heavy-duty clogs caused by food, grease, hair, or soap scum as well as paper. While generally safe for newer pipes (plastic or metal), acidic cleaners can damage older pipes. Never use aluminum chrome, stainless steel, or galvanized steel pipe of any age. Wear safety gear, including skin coverings, as they can burn skin, irritate the eyes, and harm the lungs if inhaled.
Liquid Fire Drain Line Opener is an acidic drain cleaner. With 1½ to 2 cups poured down, wait 15 minutes and then run cold water for five minutes. It is best to clean a sink drain but is not suited for use in tubs or showers, or with metals prone to corrosion.
Choosing the Right Drain Cleaner
The right drain cleaner depends on the plumbing fixture and material most likely to be clogging the drain. For example, if you have a clogged shower drain, a drain cleaner that can dissolve globs of tangled hair is best. For kitchen drains or the main sewer line, use a product suited for clearing grease-induced clogs.
When looking for a drain cleaner, the type of clog is an important consideration. It’s also wise to consider the time of exposure and whether the product is compatible with your plumbing system. Therefore, you can save time and money.
Contact Express Plumbing Services
Even with some of the best products to unclog toilets and drains, stubborn clogs can still put a damper on your day. We provide professional drain cleaning services throughout Boise and the Treasure Valley. Each of our plumbers is thoroughly trained to deal with a range of problems and protect your home. If necessary, we can perform drain and sewer camera inspection to see what is clogging the lines and where it’s located, so we can take the appropriate action. Call to request drain service.