Will a Drain Cleaner Really Unclog Your Drain?

Will a Drain Cleaner Really Unclog Your Drain?Published September 16, 2015 Woman cleaning drain with a plunger

You’ve probably had your fair share of drain clogs. It’s a Catch-22 in that they inspire you to tear your hair out, when often your hair is the source of the clog in the first place.

The simplest way to deal with a clogged drain is to pick up a drain cleaner at your local drug store, but is it really the most effective solution? Will drain cleaners actually unclog your drain? Let’s look at the most common types of drain cleaners to see if they live up to their title:

Types of Drain Cleaners

There are two main types of liquid drain cleaners on the market today, chemical and enzymatic. Here, we’ll explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type:


Chemical drain cleaners like Drano are the most commonly used drain cleaning products on the market. These drain cleaners generate heat through a chemical reaction intended to break down the clogged substance. Whether they accomplish this, however, is a subject of hot debate.

Chemical drain cleaners can be a quick and easy fix to an annoying problem for homeowners, but they can also create more problems. First and foremost, these cleaners can be extremely dangerous to people if inhaled, swallowed or come in contact with your skin. Not only are these chemicals harmful to people, they can also wreak havoc on your pipes, severely corroding them over time.


Enzymatic drain cleaners like Bio-Clean rely on natural enzymes that feed on organic waste material like hair or food particles. A safer alternative to traditional chemical cleaners, enzymatic drain cleaners don’t contain the hazardous chemicals that can damage pipes and harm the environment.

While switching to an enzymatic drain cleaner sounds like a no-brainer, they also have some serious downsides. Enzymatic drain cleaners work much more slowly than the traditional chemical cleaner. Rather than waiting the 15 minutes it takes the average drain cleaner to unclog your drain, you could wait up to several hours for the enzymatic drain cleaner to do its job.

Drain Cleaning Alternatives

If you’re not sold on the traditional drain cleaning products, you have options. Before resorting to the more costly methods, you should first try to manually remove the source of the clog. See that bit of hair peeking out of your shower drain? Grab it and start pulling. If that doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to step up your efforts.

If the clog is out of reach, try pouring hot water down your drain to help break up the clog. This is not a fail-safe, but a good first step before bringing in the big guns (i.e. a professional). A plunger can also help in this process by loosening the clog allowing it to break free and move through the drain.

So, you’ve tried these simple tricks, but nothing’s worked. Time to call in the pros. Plumbers have the know-how and the tools to effectively remove even the toughest clogs. While not the cheapest solution, calling in a plumber can save you money in the long run by using methods that won’t damage your pipes.

Drain cleaners, while easy to use, are not an ideal solution for clogged drains. At best, they can be ineffective, and at worst they can be hazardous to people and the environment. When faced with a clogged drain, try to take care of it manually, and if that doesn’t work, give your local plumbing company a call!

Looking for a drain-cleaning alternative? Call the experts at BHP!

At Blissfield Heating & Plumbing, our experienced technicians can fix even the worst drain clogs. Contact us or give us a call at (517) 486-3575 to schedule your plumbing service today!

8593 E US Hwy 223

Blissfield, MI 49228

Phone: (517) 486-3575

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