4 Reasons Why Drain Cleaners Are More Harmful Than Helpful

Typing a phrase like “best drain cleaners for hair” into a Google search will be met with dozens of drain cleaning products that guarantee to get you out of your sticky situation with your plumbing system. With so many options available, you probably think drain cleaners are ideal for getting rid of pesky plumbing clogs.

Though sink and toilet drain cleaners can certainly help you take care of nasty hair buildup, they don’t do so great against other clog culprits, like grease or cosmetic towelettes. In fact, sewer drain cleaners typically do more harm than good. Here are a few key reasons you should avoid them like the plague.

  1. Drain Cleaners Are Dangerous
    Sewer drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, or potassium hydroxide. Exposure to or ingestion of these chemicals can cause all sorts of health issues, from burns, diarrhea, and vomiting to chest pain, loss of vision, and permanent tissue damage (hopefully, not in that order).
    While you might think that exposure to these chemicals is rare, that is not always the case. Every year, thousands of people are exposed to the chemicals that make up toilet drain cleaners.
    Therefore, should you use sewer drain cleaners, wear gloves and be careful not to splash any of them onto your skin or surrounding surfaces. Also, ensure that the bottle is kept out of reach of children. A better option is to reach out to a professional from a company like Paraco Plumbing to use a safer and more effective method of clearing the clog.
  2. The Chemicals Are Bad for the Environment
    Keep in mind that if these dangerous chemicals are tough enough to burn through big clumps of hair or cause burns to your skin, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine what they do to the environment.
    Eventually, toilet drain cleaners end up in your sewer system or septic tank. Although most sewer water is treated, eliminating caustic chemicals from the water is both costly and difficult.
    In the case of septic systems, the chemicals always remain in the wastewater. This can cause them to end up seeping into your yard through your drain field, where your kids play or your dog roams around.
  3. Even the Best Sewer Drain Cleaners Cause Damage
    Whether you buy the cheapest drain cleaner you can find, or you select the top brand in the industry, it will still cause damage to your plumbing system. The harshest sewer drain cleaners can eat through wood, metal, and plastic – something right out of Alien vs. Predator.
    Though eating through your pipes might take quite a while, to be fair, every time you use a drain cleaner, you’re weakening your pipes and increasing your risk of experiencing a major plumbing issue that will potentially cost thousands to fix. And few things in your house have as high of a price tag as your plumbing system.
  4. Most Drain Cleaners Produce Lackluster Results
    Companies that make drain cleaning products would like you to think that their harsh chemicals can cut through any clog. Unfortunately, many sewer drain cleaners aren’t quite tough enough to deal with major blockages.
    The ones that are powerful enough to eat through major hairballs and other gunk may still take a while to clear the majority of the blockage. As the acid burns the clog away, it will create an awful smell that passes through your whole home while also damaging your pipes.

The next time you encounter a tough clog, skip the sewer drain cleaner and contact a professional plumber instead. A skilled plumber will have the tools and know-how needed to bust through even the toughest clogs.

Scroll to Top