4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Liquid Drain Cleaner to Fix a Clogged Drain


If you are dealing with the frustrating situation of a clogged drain, purchasing a liquid drain cleaner can be an alluring option. The home repair experts at Angi (formerly Angie’s List) have seen first-hand the many unexpected problems that liquid drain cleaners can create for homeowners.

Here are the top four reasons why you should always hire a professional drain cleaner to fix a clogged drain, instead of using liquid drain cleaners:

1. Drain Cleaners Can Damage Your Pipes

The primary ingredient in most liquid drain cleaners is hydrochloric acid. Unfortunately, PVC is one of the many materials that hydrochloric acid is able to eat through. While drain cleaner isn’t going to melt your pipes on the first application, it can certainly damage them over time. Unfortunately, this happens far too many times and fixing damaged pipes is always a much more serious expense than unclogging a drain.

2. Drain Cleaners Are Bad for Your Health

Anything that can dissolve solid material probably isn’t too good for your health, and hydrochloric acid is far from the only dangerous chemical found in liquid drain cleaners. Drain cleaners can cause serious irritation if the liquid comes in contact with your skin, and drain cleaners also produce fumes that can be dangerous to inhale.

3. Drain Cleaners Are Bad for the Environment

When you pour drain cleaner down your drain, it doesn’t just disappear the moment its job is done. Instead, it leaches into the soil and creates a number of ecological problems. Even the leftover remnants of liquid left in the bottle after you throw it away can often make their way into a water source, poisoning fish and any other wildlife in the area.

4. Drain Cleaners Might Not Work

Drain cleaners are undoubtedly effective for eliminating certain sources of a clogged drain such as hair or food. However, there are plenty of other reasons your drain might be clogged. Issues with your sewer line or broken pipes, for instance, can both create a backed-up drain, and drain cleaner will do nothing to address these problems. Homeowners searching for a plumber after unsuccessfully trying to fix the issue with drain cleaner is a story that many are all too familiar with.

Fix Your Clogged Drain the Right Way

If you find that your drain is backed up, hiring a professional to fix the issue is always going to be your best bet. In most cases, unclogging a drain is a relatively cheap and simple fix. While hiring a drain cleaner might be a little more expensive than purchasing a liquid drain cleaner, it is ultimately the much safer option and the option that is actually guaranteed to work.


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