Are you looking for the best drain cleaner to unclog your drain pipe? This article should help you in choosing the right drain cleaner from a wide variety of chemical and natural products available to you.
Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems you can encounter. Sinks, wash basins, laundry outlets, all are prone to clogging during some time or other. Biofilm comprising bacteria, food waste, body oils, soaps and detergents, are mainly responsible for the clogging of drains. This biofilm clings to the inside of the pipe, thereby disrupting the flow of water. No amount of flushing or plunging seem to solve the problem of clogged drains. In such cases, a drain cleaner can turn out to be very handy.
Commercial Drain Cleaners
They are either of chemical origin or biological origin. Lye or caustic soda is the most common ingredient found in almost all chemical drain cleaners. Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline substance. It is primarily known for its use in soap formulations. The strong alkali in lye dissolves the biofilm, thereby unclogging a drain. Lye is also available in the form of flakes, pellets and microbeads. Besides, it is also commonly sold as a solution. Other commercial chemical drain cleaners also use lye or similar harsh chemicals to dissolve the biofilm. These chemicals are extremely hazardous to human health and environment. Misplacement, improper handling, improper disposition, can be hazardous to human health or environment. This is the reason why you will often find a long list of precautions to be taken while using chemical drain cleaners, on the containers.
Another type of commercial cleaners for drain unclogging, called enzymes, are of biological origin and much safer to use than chemical cleaners. Enzymes are biologically occurring substances, which eat away the biodegradable part in the biofilm such as bacteria, hair, etc. This eventually leads to unclogging of the drains. Enzyme drain cleaners are less effective than chemical drain cleaners, mostly due to the absence of strong chemicals.
There are several chemical and enzyme drain cleaners available in the market. The working of both chemical and enzyme drain cleaners is explained above. Given below are some good quality cleaners.
- Liquid Plumr (Power Jet, Liquid Plumr Gel, Liquid Plumr Foaming Pipe Snake, Original Liquid Plumr and Liquid Plumr Kitchen.)
- Drano Drain Cleaner
- The Works
- Natural Earth Enzyme Drain Cleaner
Homemade Drain Cleaner
If you do not wish to use commercial drain cleaners for your drain, you have a cheaper and effective option of using homemade drain cleaners. A mixture of two tablespoons of washing soda and 4 quarters of hot water is great for medium to severe clogging. Simply pour this mixture through the drain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Another good remedy is to use vinegar. For better results, sprinkle some baking soda in the drain. Pour two cups of vinegar over the soda, down the drain. When the mixture begins to fizzle slowly pour boiling water down the drain. Your drain pipe should unclog within minutes! Another recipe for homemade drain cleaner is using 2 cups of baking soda, 2 cups of salt and half a cup of cream of tartar. Cream of tartar can be found at any grocery store. You need to look for it in the spices aisle. Sprinkle one-fourth of this dry mixture into the drain, followed by a cup of hot water. Allow the mixture to sit in your drain pipe for about 20 minutes. Run cold water for some time and repeat the procedure.
The best way to prevent any clogging of your drains is by pouring some boiling water in the drain on a weekly basis. This removes the accumulated muck, before it builds up and clogs the drain pipe.