Using Drain Cleaning Products Is a Bad Idea – Here’s Why

drain sink

While drain cleaning chemicals might seem like a good idea if your drains are clogged, can using this method cause more harm than good? The answer is, in a single word, “yes.” In fact, no licensed plumber will ever recommend, much less use, using any of these harsh chemicals. Keep reading to find out why this is the case.

Problems with Chemical Drain Cleaners

1. Chemicals Can Damage Pipes

Most chemical drain cleaners create heat courtesy of a chemical reaction. This can jeopardize your home’s plumbing system. The pipes in your home are likely constructed out PVC plastic that can melt or warp if subjected to excessive heat. You’re not out of danger if your pipes aren’t made from PVC since they can still bulge if overheated. Left unattended, the end result can be cracked pipes. Calling a plumber Toronto will end up saving you hassles and extra expenses.

2. Chemicals Damage Septic Systems

Chemical drain cleaners are never the answer if your plumbing system has a septic tank component. Septic tanks employ bacteria to dissolve organic material. So, harsh chemicals can destroy the bacteria in your tank and leave some of the organic material undissolved.

3. Chemicals Can Harm Your Health

When it comes to chemical drain cleaners, your health can be at risk. A lot of toxic chemical fumes are released into the air when you use chemical drain cleaners. Breathing in these fumes will be bad for your health.

The problem can be even worse if you’re using the drain cleaning product in an enclosed space lacking adequate ventilation – like your bathroom. If you breathe in these fumes over an extended period, you could jeopardize your respiratory system. Doing this over and over can also lead to brain damage.

Chemicals in drain cleaning products can also damage your eyes or skin. It’s not an exaggeration to state that improper exposure to such products can lead to blindness – if it gets in your eye — or chemical burns – if it gets on your skin. If you do use drain cleaning products, wear gloves, put on a mask, and use eye protection.

Chemical Drain Cleaner Alternatives

The good news is that there are effective alternatives to chemical drain cleaners.

  • A simple option is to use hot and cold water. All you need is to pour very hot water down the drain. You’ll then need to pour cold water down the drain to flush it through.
  • Another method is to combine vinegar and baking soda. When combined, these ingredients create a chemical reaction that can help to clean your blocked pipes. You’ll need to pour baking soda into your drain and then pour in some vinegar. Allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, turn on the faucet to dissolve the clogged portion of the pipe.
  • If you don’t get the desired result after trying these two methods, try using a drain snake or a plunger.
  • Another option, if your drain is clogged with hair, is to attempt to extract the hair manually. You can usually do so by taking off the drain cover. Use something like a clothes hanger to get rid of the hair.

Calling a Licensed Plumber is the Best


If you still can’t unclog your drain despite trying the methods above, call a licensed plumber. The professional will have the training, experience, and tools to do the job right.  A professional will ensure that the problem is resolved completely so that you don’t face the same problem soon thereafter.

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