Why You Should Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Why You Should Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Cleaning drains is a task no one wants to handle. Because of this, many people try to go with a quick solution: using chemical drain cleaners. Unfortunately, these products can pose several problems. Let’s look at some information about chemical drain cleaners, why you shouldn't use them, and safer alternatives.

What Are Chemical Drain Cleaners?

Chemical drain cleaners are a popular method of clearing clogs. They typically utilize sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide to dissolve gunky build-up. While effective at removing clogs, they could do your plumbing more harm than good. Here are three reasons to avoid pouring these harsh chemicals down your drain.

1. Chemical drain cleaners often cause corrosion

As we mentioned earlier, chemical drain cleaners use harsh chemicals as their main ingredients. Because of this, they not only destroy whatever is clogged in your drains but also your plumbing system. The interior of your pipes may sustain damage, potentially costing thousands of dollars in repairs.

2. Chemical drain cleaners are a safety hazard

Specifically, the harsh chemicals found in these drain cleaners can be especially harmful to young children and pets. Additionally, not adhering to the safety warnings on the bottles of chemical drain cleaners could result in skin and eye irritations or worse. Dangerous chemical reactions can also occur if you mix different brands of drain cleaner together. If you insist on using this product, follow the precautions outlined on the bottle (i.e. wear a breathing mask, protective eye equipment, and rubber gloves.) Serious, this stuff is nothing to mess with.

3. Chemical drain cleaners are not environmentally friendly

Because drain cleaners are emptied down your drains, there is always the risk that they get flushed out into the environment. This means that they could be introduced into the water stream, where they pose many health and environmental threats.

Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners

Now that you know the risks associated with chemical drain cleaners, let's look at a few potential alternatives you can use to effectively clean your drains. A few methods include:

  • Prevention: Although it can be difficult, try not to allow long hair, food products, or hygiene products to fall into your drains. That’s why we recommend using a drain screen or strainer. To maintain free-flowing pipes, you can use a homemade solution of white vinegar, baking soda, and water. Pour this mixture down your drains once a month and flush with hot water. While it won’t bust clogs, it will help purge thin layers gunky build-up.

  • Enzyme-Based Drain Cleaners: Like the baking soda and vinegar mixture, an enzyme treatment will also keep pipes running smoothly. Enzymes are bacteria that feed on organic matter, such as hair, mold, algae and other common clog-causers. This all-natural solution is safe and effective. Contact us today at High 5 Plumbing to purchase our recommended enzyme cleaner, Bioclean.

  • Clean the Pipe: In some cases, the best way to clean out your drains is by cleaning the pipe with a pipe brush. Simply run the brush down the pipe and gently scrub away caked-on grime. Make this part of your monthly maintenance routine.

  • Call in the Pros: Ultimately, the best way to clear pipes of stubborn clogs is to hire a professional plumber. Plumbers use specialized tools such as a plumber’s snake and hydro-jets to safely remove clogs without causing any undue damage to your plumbing system.

Hopefully, this post has provided you with plenty of valuable information about why chemical drain cleaners shouldn't be used and effective substitutes you can use. If you have any plumbing inquiries, feel free to reach out to us at High 5 Plumbing (720) 330-4868.
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