Chemical Drain Cleaners: Harmful or Effective?

If you’re a homeowner dealing with a clogged drain, it may seem like purchasing a chemical drain cleaner from the nearby drugstore is the most convenient option for getting rid of it. Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners aren’t as successful as you may expect at eliminating drain clogs. Plus, the chemicals could cause more damage than they’re worth to your pipes. 

This article will cover the details of chemical drain cleaners and how they stack up against Denver plumbing services. We think you’ll find that expert plumbing services are ultimately the best, longest-lasting solution to a drain clog in your home. 

How Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work?

Chemical drain cleaners work by reacting to the electrons in the clog in your drain. During this reaction, gas and heat are produces. The idea behind these cleaners is that the heat and gas will clear out the blockage and fix your drain clog. 

The chemicals used in these cleaners are typically very harsh. Peroxide, bleach, lye, and caustic potash are among the chemicals most commonly found in drain cleaners. These chemicals are very dangerous if ingested or inhaled, which is important to understand before using this type of cleaner. 

You can find chemical drain cleaners in many different formulations. But, whether you choose a gel, powder, liquid, foam, or crystal drain cleaner, the result will be just about the same. 

Reasons To Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

There are a handful of reasons why chemical drain cleaners usually aren’t the best solution to a Denver drain clog. These include:

  • Pipe corrosion

Chemical drain cleaners, as mentioned in the previous section, contain harsh chemicals. These chemicals are intended to be strong enough to power through grease, hair, and debris. Unfortunately, due to the strength of the chemicals, this also means that chemical drain cleaners may damage your pipes. Especially if you use chemical drain cleaners on a regular basis, your pipes may start to corrode.

  • Health risks

If chemical drain cleaners are accidentally ingested, come into contact with the skin, or create fumes that are inhaled, it could cause a serious reaction. This only occurs with improper use, so be sure to thoroughly read the instructions provided on the label if you do use a chemical drain cleaner. 

  • Unsatisfactory results

There are many cases in which chemical drain cleaners aren’t fully effective. This means that the cleaner may at first seem to get rid of the clog, but the clog will soon return. In this scenario, the chemical cleaner may have eliminated only part of the clog, not all of it. The remaining debris will simply cause another clog to develop soon after you used the drain cleaner. 

  • Damage to fixtures

The harsh chemicals in chemical drain cleaners could damage enamel finishes in your bathroom or kitchen. When an enamel finish is damaged, it typically can’t be repaired, only replaced. So, by using a chemical drain cleaner on your fixtures, costly damages could result.

  • Environmental risks

When you pour a chemical cleaner down the drain, small amounts of the chemicals are likely to end up in the ground and even nearby water sources. This creates a risk to the environment, which should be avoided whenever possible. 

Alternatives To Chemical Drain Cleaners

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chemical drain cleaners. Depending on the severity of the clog, you may try non-chemical DIY methods or contact your Denver plumber for professional help. 

First off, before pouring anything down the drain, consider getting rid of the clog with a plunger or sewer snake, if you have one. These tools may physically remove the clog without the use of chemicals. If this method doesn’t work, you can give homemade drain cleaning solutions a try. A solution of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar may help clear the clog. This chemical-free solution should be left in the drain for at least 30 minutes, then flushed with hot water. 

If these at-home methods aren’t working to clear out the clog, contact Drain Terrier for professional Denver plumbing services. Our expert plumbers can get rid of the clog for good without causing damage to your pipes. This reliable solution for drain clogs is trusted by many homeowners across Colorado. 


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