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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Why Store-Bought Drain Cleaners Are No Gift

drain-cleanerWe’re not implying that you would ever purchase drain cleaners as a gift for someone, no matter the holiday! No, what we want to get across to you today is that you can give yourself that gift of a fully-working plumbing system in great shape … by avoiding store-bought drain cleaners. 

These bottles of chemicals may have “drain cleaner” in their name, but this is a result of marketing from the companies that make them. No professional plumber recommends anyone use drain cleaners for unclogging sinks, showers, toilets, or any other drain. These drain cleaners don’t really “clean” either—except in the most blunt-force way. Using a drain cleaner on a clog is similar to using a flame-thrower to remove a tree stump from your yard. Yes, you might get the stump, but you’ll also torch most of your property and might put yourself and your house in danger. 

What’s So Wrong With Drain Cleaners?

We aren’t exaggerating much with the “flame-thrower vs. tree stump” metaphor. Drain cleaners use an aggressive approach to unclogging drains that can cause damage to the plumbing system without being guaranteed to work. Here are several reasons no plumber advises using store-bought drain cleaners:

  • They’re highly acidic: In fact, acid is all that drain cleaners are. They use acid to chew through obstructions in drains. But this acid can also cause damage to metal and plastic drainpipes. The chemical residue will remain inside the drain for a long time and continue to eat away at the inside of the pipe. They can also have a chemical reaction with soap scum that causes corrosion.
  • They’re temporarily effective at best: Using acid to eat through a drain clog isn’t “cleaning” the drain. It’s eating through enough of the clog to allow water to slip through. The chemicals won’t clear out all of the debris in the drain, and that makes it easy for the clog to return. 
  • They’re highly toxic: Yes, acid is toxic. Not a major revelation, but people often ignore just how acidic chemical drain cleaners are. They’re poisonous, they burn skin and eyes, and they create lingering fumes. It’s simply not good to have these chemicals in your house.
  • They’re harmful to the environment: Empty bottles of chemical drain cleaner aren’t fully empty. When they go into landfills, they allow the harmful chemicals in them to seep into the ground and pollute the environment.

So How Can I Clean My Drains?

If you have a basic clog, you can use a plunger to attempt to clear it. This is a safe method and often works. If this doesn’t do the job, or you’re looking for full drain cleaning to restore your drain pipes to like-new condition, here’s where you can give yourself a gift: call for professional plumbing in Skokie, IL to clean the drains. We use the best tools, such as hydro-jetters, to thoroughly scour residential drains without damaging them. You’ll have drains so clean it’ll be hard for them to collect debris again. Think of it as a “reset” button for your plumbing! 

Want great drain cleaning or need a tough clog removed? Call Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. We have 24/7 emergency service.

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