We all know how frustrating clogged or slow-running drains can be. Drain cleaners are the best bet to help you clear your pipes and get the water flowing properly again. Drain cleaners are chemical compounds specifically designed to help you clear clogged drains, especially those involving standing water.
There is a long list of manufacturers producing drain cleaners since clogged drains in sinks, showers, and bathtubs are a common occurrence. Not surprising, each manufacturer claims its products to be the best drain cleaners available on the market. Drain cleaners, like hundreds of thousands of other products, are available online as well as at your local brick and mortar retailers.
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover
The number one bestselling clog remover at Amazon.com is Drano’s Max Gel Clog Remover. The chemical compound of this clog remover is remarkably strong and serves the purpose well. The company claims the product has 35 percent more active ingredients than regular formulas.
Max Gel Clog Remover can dissolve hair and other common clog-causers such as soap scum, and completely clear up your drain. The Max Gel Clog Remover is safe on pipes. A 32-ounce bottle is available at Amazon.com for as low as $11.00 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members.
- The chemical clog remover is strong and will dissolve all of your usual clogs, including those caused by hair.
- The gel will move though standing water and find its way straight down the drain and to the clog.
- It can also be used on the kitchen sink.
- The product is toxic and any contact with your body should be treated immediately.
- Do not use it with any other cleaners or chemicals as harmful fumes or a volatile reaction may result.
This is a fantastic drain cleaner and highly recommended by users. The company claims the product to contain 35 percent more active ingredients than regular formulas of the same type, and its clog removal abilities are superb. The Max Gel Clog Remover is extremely harmful, so make sure to keep it out of reach of children, and apply extreme caution while using.
Whink Hair Clog Blaster Liquid Drain Clog Remover
The Hair Clog Blaster Liquid Drain Clog Remover from Whink is among the best drain cleaners available. Its ability to remove even the most difficult clogs sets it apart from other similar products. Hair is the most common cause of bathroom clogs, and the Hair Clog Blaster Liquid Drain Clog Remover lives up to its name and really blasts away hair clogs.
The thick, professional-strength formula will easily penetrate through standing water and get the pipes flowing again leaving your drain clog-free. The Hair Clog Blaster works great on pipes and is definitely a good value for the price. The Hair Clog Blaster is available at Amazon.com for about $9.00 plus shipping for 32 ounces.
- It is safe to use on all pipes and with septic systems.
- It’s designed to dissolve hair and any other type of clogs preventing your drains from flowing freely.
- The drain clog remover is harmful if inhaled or swallowed or comes in contact with skin.
- Using too little of this clog remover may not completely clear the drain.
Whink’s Hair Clog Blaster Liquid Drain Clog Remover is a fantastic value for the price and is less expensive than most other brands ounce for ounce. It well lives up to its name as a hair clog blaster, and also clears up other types of clogs.
Pure Lye Drain Opener
Pure Lye Drain Opener by 30-500 is practically odorless, and it is a non-acid formula. It will clear out all your drains in minutes. The compound is 100 percent lye which is biodegradable and industrial strength.
Lye is an inexpensive, environmentally friendly alternative to other more toxic chemicals. Pure Lye Drain Opener is available at Amazon.com for about $10.00 for a one pound container, or about $15.00 for two one-pound bottles.
- Using it with hot water as instructed will instantly free your drain of any and all clogs.
- Lye is biodegradable.
- Lye is inexpensive.
- The product should not be used with aluminum or similar metal pipes.
- Using lye with hot water in a toilet will melt the wax ring and cause a leak.
The Pure Lye compound Drain Opener is excellent and will clear your clogged drains. This product is biodegradable, which means it is environmentally friendly. It is an excellent product overall, and it is a fantastic value for the price, especially with the two-bottle offer at Amazon.com.
Invade Bio Drain Gel
In today’s environmentally conscious world the average consumer is increasingly worried about how they’re impacting the world around them. That’s why we’ve started turning to products that match our attitudes. Invade Bio Drain Gel is a great option for those that prefer green products. It contains no harsh chemicals and produces no noticeable odors unlike many of its competitors.
It works by combining natural microbes and citrus oil in a formula that clings to drains and slowly eats away at the material clogging it. It is a little bit more expensive at just under $15 for a 2.2 pound jug, but it’s still a fairly attractive price for this type of product.
- No harsh chemicals or unwanted odors
- Fully biodegradable
- Clings to drains and slowly eats away at clogs
- May not be as effective as some of the stronger chemical formulas
- More expensive than many of its competitors
Invade Bio Drai Gel is a great option for the environmentally conscious consumer. It effectively tackles clogs without introducing harsh chemicals into your pipes and it doesn’t produce any unwanted odors. It may be slightly more expensive, but it’s still relatively reasonably priced.
Rooto Drain Opener
Rooto Drain Opener is a lye based drain cleaner that works by creating a strong caustic chemical reaction that produces heat and combines with the clog to create a soap like substance that will simply wash away with water. It’s a highly effective method for clearing out your pipes, but it can have a corrosive effect on them if over used.
This cleaner can burn the skin so you do need to be careful when using it and keep it out of the reach of small children. It’s ideal for use on any small drain openings in your home. In terms of price it’s highly competitive and retails for less than $10 for about 2 pounds of cleaner.
- Effective Lye based chemical cleaner
- Turns clogs into a soap based substance that washes away with water
- Competitively priced
- Can burn if it comes in contact with skin
- Will have a corrosive effect on pipes if overused
If you’re looking for one of the best hair clog removers on the market then you won’t be disappointed with Rooto Drain Opener. This powerful lye based cleaner creates a chemical reaction that effectively eliminates clogs in a short period of time.
The only real negative with this cleaner is that it uses a strong chemical formula that can burn the skin and corrode your pipes if overused. If you’re looking for an affordable cleaner that works then this one fits the bill.
Drain Cleaner Buying Guide
We’ve certainly given you some food for thought with the great products we’ve reviewed so far, but if you’re still not quite sure what your best options are then hopefully our buying guide will give you the clarity you’re looking for.
Breaking through the Hype
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you when you’re trying to figure out what the best drain cleaner product for your particular needs is to not believe the hype. There are all kinds of cleaners out there making bold statements about their effectiveness that simply don’t come close to what they’re claiming.
The products we’ve reviewed here may have some flaws, but they can be effective under the right circumstances. The same cannot be said for all drain cleaning products on the market today.
How Bad is Your Blockage?
When you’re choosing a drain cleaning product you have to be realistic about how bad your blockage is. If your drain is pretty much plugged solid a liquid, powder, or gel based cleaning product is not going to be highly effective.
These types of products are best for use on partial blockages caused by normally everyday buildup – things like hair, grease, small food particles, and other such items. By the time you have a large blockage that almost completely blocks the flow through your pipes it’s too late for these products to be effective.
Foam and Gel Products
There are a lot of new and exciting drain cleaning products on the market today and some of the best clog remover’s are now foam or gel based products.
Gel is great because it’s heavier than water and some other smaller particles allowing it to push forward to the blockage and begin to dissolve it. Foam is another great alternative because it expands in order to spread over the whole area of the blockage – making sure nothing is left behind.
Enzymatic for Slower Drains
Many plumbers are adamantly against the use of chemical drain cleaners because of the corrosive effect they can have on your pipes. A good alternative are enzymatic powder based chemicals that are bio degradable and safe for your pipes.
They work by using enzymes and bacteria to break up the foreign particles in your drain without causing any damage at all to your plumbing. Since they’re also bio degradable they’re not a problem for the environment either.
From Kitchen Sinks to Showers
If you’re wondering where the ideal places to use chemical drain cleaning products are the answer is relatively simple – in your kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and showers. For any type of heavy duty work, especially in industrial settings, other options should be considered. Chemical cleaners are also more effective when the problem is still relatively minor.
Avoid Highly Acidic Cleaners
Some of the most popular chemical drain cleaning products can be very damaging to your pipes and drains. That’s because they have a highly acidic chemical make-up that can eat away at your pipes. They may take care of the initial blockage, but if you continue to use them over time they can corrode your pipes and you may end up with a much bigger problem than a simple blockage.
Is a Snake Better?
When it comes to heavy duty blockages any kind of chemical cleaner is going to struggle in attacking the problem. They may make some minor difference, but probably not enough to satisfy you as the homeowner. In these circumstances you have a couple of choices – you can call a plumber or you can purchase your own plumbing snake and have a go at cleaning the clog yourself manually.
Personally, I would recommend having your own plumbing snake in the home for emergencies. Even if you don’t consider yourself a handyman or woman these tools are relatively easy to use and don’t require any kind of mechanical knowledge.
All of the products reviewed here are of top-notch quality and choosing any one of them as the best drain cleaner is a tough job. So, it all comes down to the product you feel most comfortable with. Drano’s Max Gel Clog Remover is the top seller among the products reviewed here. Its powerful chemical compound will clear drains and will not let you down, but the Drano clog remover is the most expensive of these products.
We’ve also included a couple of great environmentally friendly options here in the case of Pure Lye Drain Opener and Invade Bio Drain Gel. These cleaners are safer for the environment and have minimal effect on your drain pipes. All of these products will effectively remove common causes of clogs such as hair, soap scum, and grease.