Drain clogs are one of the most common and most annoying plumbing problems. Using chemical drain cleaners is widely considered to be one of the easiest, most convenient, and most effective ways to clean and unclog blocked or sluggish drains. However, chemical drain cleaners are not actually the harmless miracle products they are advertised to be. In fact, using chemical drain cleaners in the drains in your home can wreak severe havoc on your home plumbing system and the health of you and your family.

Keep reading to learn 3 reasons why you should avoid using chemical drain cleaners in your home—and what to do instead when your sink or shower drain is slow or clogged.

1. They Damage Your Pipes

Chemical drain cleaners can cause severe damage to your pipes. Just because they are designed for use in your drains does not mean that the ultra-harsh ingredients in chemical drain cleaners won’t damage the pipes in your home plumbing system.

Harsh ingredients in these cleaners—such as hydrochloric acid—eat away at the insides of your pipes. This can cause holes to develop in your pipes, which leads to water leaks that can cause water damage and plumbing issues that are expensive and frustrating to repair.

Chemical drain cleaners are also damaging to the enamel in toilets, sinks, and bathtubs and can cause you to have to replace these fixtures more frequently than you would need to without the use of chemical drain cleaners.

2. They Are Toxic

Chemical drain cleaners are incredibly toxic solutions. They produce hazardous fumes that travel through the air and can cause everything from minor irritation to your lungs and eyes to severe health problems for you, your family, and your pets when inhaled.

The toxins in chemical drain cleaners are also terrible for the environment. When you pour chemical drain cleaners down the drains in your home, these cleaning solutions seep into the soil and nearby bodies of water. This can render soil infertile and introduce harmful toxins into natural supplies of drinking water.

3. They Reduce Septic System Efficiency

If you rely on a septic system for your home, it’s important to note septic systems work by using beneficial bacteria to break down the solid waste and transform it into liquid waste that drains freely without causing a clog. This beneficial bacteria is crucial to the functionality of your septic system.

Unfortunately, the harsh ingredients in chemical drain cleaners kill much of the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank. Without this beneficial bacteria, your septic tank will have trouble transforming solid waste into liquid waste effectively—which will reduce the efficiency of your septic tank over time and will likely cause an eventual clog.

Septic System

Septic System

So if you shouldn’t use chemical drain cleaners in your home, what are you supposed to do when your drains get clogged? Fortunately, there are multiple ways to clean and unclog the drains in your home that do not involve using these products.

A buildup of hair, dirt and other debris can cause drains in your home to slow down or clog completely. Pouring a one-to-one solution of baking soda and vinegar down your clogged or slow drains can help dissolve whatever is stuck in the drains and help water flow freely through them again. Vinegar also works as a natural disinfectant to clean the inside of your drains and remove any harmful bacteria from inside of them.

If there is a large amount of debris inside of the drains in your home—this is especially common in shower drains where hair is likely to build up over time—you can use a plastic drain stick to manually clear your clogged or slow drains. Follow up this manual clearing by pouring the one-to-one baking soda and vinegar mixture down the drain to dissolve any remaining dirt and debris.

Sometimes, clearing a clogged drain requires professional help. Before you resort to using chemical drain cleaners in the clogged drains in your home, call a professional plumbing company. Plumbing professionals have special tools such as drain snakes that they can use to clean and clear the clogged and slow drains in your house without using chemical drain cleaners.

For any of your home plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to contact us today!