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The best drain cleaners are those that work effectively, quickly, and cheaply. In the event that your pipe is clogged by some sort of obstruction, whatever it may be, you want to find an option that’s affordable and not a hassle. Drain cleaners exist for this very reason, to handle the clog without you having to worry about it. Unfortunately, they don’t always work as advertised or may not solve the problem at all for your specific need. That’s why we took the best options out there and concentrated them down into a cheat list for you to skim through for whatever your problem is.
Perhaps a warning goes without saying, but always be cautious when using drain cleaners. Some of these are safer than others, but all drain cleaners are dangerous to use. Be sure to wear gloves and goggles, at least, when handling any of these bad boys. Sometimes, you’ll want better protection, like if you’re using pure lye, for example, or something that gives off strong fumes. Take care of yourself. A clogged pipe isn’t worth a hospital bill. Now, let’s get to the best drain cleaners out there, so you can get back to that clog!
Many of the best drain cleaners can be found on Amazon or at your local department stores in the cleaning chemicals section. The best drain cleaners will be discovered through a little research and some professional opinions. To save you the time and frustration, we have one the research for you and came up with a list of the best drain cleaners available today.
1. What Is a Drain Cleaner?
A drain cleaner, for this article’s sake, is a chemical product in a solid or liquid form. They are usually made out of acidic materials and can be very dangerous if used incorrectly.
2. What Does a Drain Cleaner Do?
Drain cleaners are used to unblock pipes, either for the sewer or other clogged drains. Typically, they can be used in sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, or septic systems, but can be used for other purposes.
3. How Do Drain Cleaners Work?
The acidic materials that make up the drain cleaner enter the pipe and physically dissolve the obstruction. This is why many drain cleaners are very dangerous around humans, even just breathing in the fumes. Some are less dangerous or work by simply trying to push the clog along or make everything a little more slippery.
How We Reviewed
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Products that work well with great consumer reviews and cheap prices were put on this list. Even in serious situations, you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money trying to get it fixed up if you can help it. That’s the whole reason drain cleaners exist, to save time and money. Needless to say, this article puts together the best drain cleaners around.
Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)
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Most of the products on this list are between $10 and $20, much cheaper alternatives to some expensive competitors out there. There is one product around the $50 range, but it works so well that we had to include it.
What We Reviewed
- Earth Friendly Products ECOS Earth Enzymes
- Drano 701722747197 00117-2PK Max Clog Remover
- Invade Bio Drain Gel- 1 qt
- Comstar 30-500 Pure Lye Drain Opener
- Green Gobbler GGDIS2CH32 DISSOLVE Liquid
- XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener
- CLR PP4-5 Power Plumber Drain Opener
- Roebic K-570 32 Fl
- Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener
- Bio-clean Drain Septic Bacteria
- Cuts through grease, protein & hair buildup
- Made with enzyme power
- Safer for people, pets & the planet
ECOS is all about natural ingredients in their products. In this case, they’ve created a drain cleaner that isn’t made with harmful chemicals on the environment and pipes. It doesn’t come with caustic, phosphate, or any other toxins. ECOS Earth Enzymes can be used on any drainage system, regardless of the construction materials.
- A safer drain cleaner for the planet
- Non-corrosive, no dyes, and no toxins
- Reported to be not strong enough for serious clogs and sometimes makes the clog worse
- Doesn’t offer returns
- Drano Liquid Maximum Strength Clog Remover it is the best at removing hair, soap scum and other gunky clogs
- It is safe for plastic, PVC, metal pipes, garbage disposals and septic systems
- It pours through water straight to the clog
Drano is safe to use in any clog for any pipes, but it isn’t recommended for toilet clogs. It shines when dealing with hair in the shower or sink though. While not as fast as older products, it’s made a lot safer than those and doesn’t give off overwhelming fumes, though safety equipment is still recommended. The gel consistency of this drain cleaner forces it to sink straight to the problem. It is just as effective as the older products even if you have to wait a few extra minutes.
- Great for hair-type clogs
- Safe on metal pipes
- Not recommended for toilets
- Doesn’t work as fast as older products but is much safer
- 4 oz. per drain
- Microbes and Citrus Oil
- This product is to be used specifically for drains but can also be used to eliminate sugar snakes in soda fountain drip...
Another safer drain cleaner for pipes, it has no strong chemicals or odors to make it dangerous for routine cleaning. It can be used alongside other products like power sprayers or mopping applications without causing harm. Plus, the gel-like quality makes this cleaner sink straight to the source of the problem.
- Safe chemical to use regularly
- Can be used alongside other products and tools for cleaning
- Reports of making the clog worse
- Reportedly doesn’t stop drain flies as promised on promotional material
- 99% pure lye beads, industrial strength, biodegradable, food grade
- Clears out drains, grease traps, septic systems and cesspools safely
- Does NOT contain needless fillers, dyes or water
There’s nothing overly fancy about this drain cleaner. Comstar’s Pure Ly Drain Opener is exactly as promised: absolutely pure lye or sodium hydroxide. While this is probably the best drain cleaner out there, it’s also very dangerous to use. Lye can cause chemical burns on your skin with just a few granules. If you’re brave enough to use it, be sure to wear all the safety equipment, remain cautious, and follow the instructions to the letter. Also, be sure to add this to your drain very slowly. As lye dissolves, it produces a lot of heat which can actually warp your pipes or create fumes you really don’t want to be breathing in. Otherwise, all the dangerous stuff aside, this drain cleaner will definitely nuke that clog you’ve got.
- Extremely effective
- Great for organic matter in clogs
- Very dangerous to use and must be handled with caution
- The newer product is made slightly safer but less effective
- DISSOLVES HAIR, SOAP, PAPER & GREASE: Forget the dirty work of plunging clogged toilets and end backed-up drains once...
- MAINTAINS FREE-FLOWING PIPES & DRAINS: The ultra thick formula of green gobblers hair clog remover clings to pipes to...
- WORKS WITHIN MINUTES: Unclog drains and liquify hair within minutes! This drain opener is safe to use in pipes, toilets,...
In a not so surprising twist, the Green Gobbler is actually green for the environment, too! However, it’s also a bit slow and doesn’t have the same strength as other products. While not as effective on total blockages, this cleaner works great on slow drains for routine cleaning. Mostly made for bathroom use, it’s great for soap scum and hair though not as great for the toilet. While useful, this product is also very slow.
- Great for regular cleaning on tubs and sinks
- Safer than traditional products
- Very slow working drain cleaner
- Not ideal for complete blockages
- ★ AVOID OTHER SINK DRAIN CLEANER S THAT promise results and flat out DON’T WORK OR MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE! Xion Lab...
- ★ MOST ACID-BASED BATHROOM SINK DRAIN CLEANERS ARE VERY toxic, corrosive & damaging, with chemical ingredients HARMFUL...
- ★ BALANCING BETWEEN EFFECTIVENESS & SAFETY, OUR hair drain clog remover is non-corrosive & APPPROVED FOR USE ON ALL...
Again, XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener isn’t for a serious clog. It won’t work well on toilets and complete blockages, but it does great for regular household cleaning and slow drains. It’s safe all around and can sometimes work on the harder clogs if not the serious ones. It’s great for the kitchen and bathroom since it works well on hair and grease.
- Safe to use
- Great for hair and grease
- Not the best for complete blockages
- Not great for toilets
- Safely Blasts Clogs: CLR Clog-Free Drain is a pressurized drain opener that unclogs drains in seconds without the use of...
- Multi-Purpose: Formulated for use in bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, tubs, shower stalls, laundry tubs and toilets. Our...
- Economical: With up to 15 uses per can, CLR Clog-Free Drain cleaner is an economical way to address clogs. It is...
CLR is a safe cleaning product with no harsh chemicals, dyes, etc. It’s also extremely fast acting, providing results within a matter of seconds and clearing clogs up to fifty feet down. It’s great for use on sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets. With one can, you can expect about fifteen applications. It’s not everyday you find a product that’s easy on the pipes, good for the environment, and works fast.
- Works very fast
- Safe cleaning product
- While it can work in toilets, it’s not ideal
- Reportedly makes the clog worse at times
- TREATS CLOGS AND BUILDUP: Roebic K-570 Leach and Drain Field Opener helps to rapidly break up clogged or sluggish drain...
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY AND BIODEGRADABLE: Safe for the environment, the all-natural biodegradable formulation contains...
- PATENTED BACTERIA: Powerful Roetech enzyme-producing bacteria degrade protein, starches, and other food-related organic...
While this is a concentrated product, the Roebic K-570-Q-4 is still safe and easy to use. It’s biodegradable and doesn’t damage pipes. Great for septic systems, showers, and laundry drains. The secret of this product is that it’s still concentrated, meaning it has more bacteria to break down waste and clear obstructions than many other products.
- The concentrated formula makes it better to use
- Is safe on pipes and easy to use
- Cleans septic systems, showers, and laundry drains
- Reportedly doesn’t work on serious clogs
- Not good for emergency treatment as recommended
- HIGH-DENSITY MAIN LINE DRAIN OPENER. Ultimate Main Line Opener’s thick, high-density formula sinks through water and...
- DISSOLVES ORGANIC MATERIAL AND PAPER. Ultimate Main Line Opener dissolves grease, hair, oils, soap scum, baby wipes, and...
- NON-DAMAGING TO PIPES. Green Gobbler’s industrial-strength drain clog remover is tough where it counts. While it takes...
This would be the best drain cleaner on the market if not for Drano and lye. However, it’s much safer than both of those and still incredibly strong. While the recipe is a company secret, they claim it’s a great enzymatic cleaner. Even though this cleaner is great, it doesn’t do well against complete blockages. It sticks to the walls of the pipe and breaks down connecting pieces, so it may take way too long for a serious clog. This Green Gobbler product can handle paper, though, so it can be used in the toilet. If you don’t want to work with harsh chemicals, this may be your first choice.
- Safe to use
- Can handle any clog so long as water can pass through it
- Not as effective on complete blockages
- Not as effective as stronger, more dangerous cleaners
- LISTING IS FOR 1 TWO POUND CANISTER
- Special combination of natural bacteria and enzymes that DIGESTS dead organic waste found in your plumbing system
- Eliminates costly backups. Up to 100 Drain Treatments.
Bio-Clean’s Drain Septic Bacteria is completely natural and very safe to use, even in litter boxes. It can clear out clogs and unstop septic tank backups. This product is very different from all the others on the market. It works by consuming the waste from all directions, entrapping and dissolving the problem away. Works for all sorts of purposes, like pipes, toilets, septic tanks, garbage disposals, litter boxes, motorhomes, and more.
- Very safe to use for all kinds of purposes
- Works differently from other products, making it unique for use
- Much more expensive than other products
- Has reportedly not cleaned out serious clogs
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If your clog is serious and you want the best drain cleaner, Comstar’s Pure Lye will definitely pop it open for you. That said, lye is very dangerous to handle. If you’re worried about using it, try to start out with Drano. It’s a much safer option for you, your pipes, and the environment while still being strong enough to get through just about any blockage. Don’t let your guard down just because it’s safer than lye, though. Drano can still hurt if you’re not cautious while using it, as with all the products on this list. The best drain cleaners don’t come without a little caution, though. Getting the pipes clear can’t be done without them unless you want to pay a lot more money.
Featured image via GIPHY