Having a clog in your home can be frustrating to say the least. We’ve all been in that situation where we have to deal with a clogged toilet. Naturally, most of us reach for the plunger which is usually a good enough option. But sometimes we feel especially lazy about unclogging our toilets, and our minds wander to that infomercial from the weekend before that sold us on a liquid that could do the dirty work for us. And we reach for a commercial drain cleaner.

At this point, reaching for this blog article may have been the better option.  Not only are commercial drain cleaners ineffective for most clogs, they may also be quite harmful to your pipes. In this article, you’ll find out why drain cleaners may be harmful to your pipes, and safer, more effective methods to fixing your clogs.


Commercial Drain Cleaners Are Ineffective

Simply put, the reason chemical drain cleaners are ineffective is due to its limitations and the unknown variables of the clog. If the clog is due to a couple days worth of soap scum, some strands of hair, or a wad of toilet paper that never traveled down your pipe, then the drain cleaner will probably be able to take care of it. (The classic plunger, however, would still be a valid option that wouldn’t corrode your pipes.) However, the majority of clogs that we run into are actually quite dense and old, having been built up over time. Commercial drain cleaners are just not powerful enough to fix this kind of clog.


Drain Cleaners Can Be Harmful To Your Pipes

The ingredients in drain cleaners are extremely toxic and corrosive, as you would expect for a cleaning agent that’s meant to eat through clogs. In fact, the primary ingredient in most drain cleaners is hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive substance that is the main reason these cleaners work. Not only can it eat up small fatbergs and soap scum, it can also eat away at plastic, human hair, and aluminum to name a few. As you may have guessed, these chemicals are extremely potent. So potent that they can also eat away at your pipe and strip away years of its life, and lead to even bigger problems such as cracks and breaking. Imagine exposing your pipes to these chemicals every time there’s a clog?


Healthier Alternatives For Your Clogged Pipes And Drains

Boiling Water and Dish Soap – Mix two liters of boiling hot water with several tablespoons of dish soap and pour down your kitchen drain. If your problem is caused by built-up grease, this non-toxic solution will heat it up to liquid form so that it can run down your pipes. This may take several tries.

Wire Coat Hanger – Straighten the coat hanger out and let the hook remain, you now have a simple tool that can fish food out of your kitchen drains, and hair out of your shower drains.

Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Hot water – You can read more about this method here

Plunger This classic and simple solution will solve clogged toilets the majority of the time without risking any damage to your pipes.

Toilet Auger – Another hands-on tool to fix toilet clogs is the toilet auger. We recommend using this tool if the plunger isn’t solving the problem. This affordable tool is essentially a drain snake with a rubber sleeve to protect your toilet from scratches.

Hire A Professional – Clogs are a thing of the past with this option. If you hire a professional to routinely maintain your pipes and clean your drains, ensuring the flow remains even, and clogs are kept at bay to prevent you from larger and costlier problems happening down the line.


There are many causes to a clogged drain and the best solution is to always be conscious of the objects that clog it, and if problems do occur, to make sure the solutions don’t contain chemicals that can further damage your pipes. If you ever run into an emergency with clogged pipes, don’t hesitate to call a professional at Clear Pipe (847-374-0372) with all of your sewer needs!

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