Do Liquid Drain Cleaners Really Work?
Few things in the household can be more frustrating and stressful than a clogged sink drain. In most cases, people’s response to a clogged sink is to pour down any amount of liquid drain cleaner they have on hand to try and wash away the stubborn clog. Sometimes this works, many times it doesn’t, which is why the question in many homeowners’ mind is whether or not these drain cleaners actually work and if they should bother with them or simply call their local plumber to fix the clog once and for all.
Whether a liquid drain cleaner will work magic with your clogged drain or not depends largely on the type and quality of cleaner you have on hand. Most drain cleaners are either chemical based or enzyme based. These are substances that burn down or eat away obstruction inside drain pipes. In enzyme based liquid drain cleaners, the enzymes contained in the liquid carrier essentially digest the organic obstructions that are causing the clog in your drain. Because they don’t contain any chemicals or substances that may be too harsh on piping materials, they very rarely, if ever damage pipes. Chemical-based drain cleaners, on the other hand, contain chemicals that interact with the grime and debris that are causing your drain to clog. In doing so, they burn the blockage by means of gaseous heat as a result of the chemical reaction.
Strong chemical cleaners use acidic ingredients like sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, along with oxidizers like sodium hypochlorite and caustic substances like sodium hydroxide, lye, and caustic soda—these substances can be corrosive and may cause harm to your drain pipes, especially when used in large portions or volumes. This is why it is best to use more pipe/septic-safe cleaners over stronger, yet more harmful cleaners that could end up damaging your drains. Also importantly, you should never use heavy chemicals to clean septic drains as these may kill essential bacteria in septic systems. Instead, use recommended cleaners that are made specifically to clean and unclog septic systems.
A liquid drain cleaner may seem nothing more than a garbage disposal cleaner and deodorizer for some, but with the right formulation, they can actually be extremely effective not only in breaking down clogs, but also keeping your pipes free from gunk and debris that cause build-up.
So which products are actually safe to use?
For homes with septic systems always check to make sure that you are using a septic safe drain cleaner. Washout is a septic safe Monthly Maintenance Drain Opener that helps keep pipes clean and prevent future clogs and they are available for purchase on Amazon.com
When deciding on a product to get through your clog, look for a thick drain cleaner. The newer products are generally thicker than the older product formulations and the thickness allows the cleaner to stay at the site of the clog longer and creates more time to break it down. Keep in mind that the most common ingredient of liquid drain cleaners is household bleach and this should not be used if you are hooked up to a septic system.
*Washout does NOT contain bleach and is safe for septic systems
Professionals use various techniques when clearing clogs, including drain snaking or cabling and hydro jetting, which makes use of very high water pressure in order to blast away stubborn clogs. The most effective liquid drain cleaner for this declogging solution is Clear-It water jet and drain opener, which works great in removing different kinds of clogs, ranging from food to hair, congealed substances, and even silt build-up.
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