Drano vs. Liquid-Plumr: A Quick Guide

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It has happened yet again; a drain in your house has become plugged up, again.

Whether it is your toilet or kitchen sink, this situation is annoying and you would rather not call the plumber.

Lucky for you, there are many products that claim to unclog your drains.

Two of the more popular and recognizable brands of drain cleaners are Drano and Liquid Plumber.

While both products may seem similar, there are differences that separate the two products from each other.

Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
Size
160 oz
80 oz
Active Ingredients
Sodium hypochlorite, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium silicate
Sodium hypochlorite, Sodium hydroxide
Time to Clear
15-30 min
15 min
For Use in Standing Water?
Works on Hair
Rating
Reviews
1,022 Reviews
152 Reviews
Prime Eligible?
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
Size
160 oz
Active Ingredients
Sodium hypochlorite, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium silicate
Time to Clear
15-30 min
For Use in Standing Water?
Works on Hair
Rating
Reviews
1,022 Reviews
Prime Eligible?
Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
Size
80 oz
Active Ingredients
Sodium hypochlorite, Sodium hydroxide
Time to Clear
15 min
For Use in Standing Water?
Works on Hair
Rating
Reviews
152 Reviews
Prime Eligible?

Similarities

There are many similarities between Drano and Liquid Plumr. These similarities include:

  • Easy-to-follow directions
  • Both products are available in most stores
  • Both products usually under $20, depending on the store

Drano vs Liquid Plumr – Key differences

Despite the similarities, the products have differences as well.

  • Ingredients—While both Drano and Liquid Plumr share many of the same active ingredients, Drano has an active ingredient that is not in Liquid Plumr—sodium silicate. Sodium silicate is a chemical compound used for commercial purposes such as detergents, adhesives, and water treatment. Drano uses this ingredient to help clean drains, but sodium silicate turns into a liquid glass if it reacts with other chemicals
  • Products—Drano has a wider range of products compared to Liquid Plumr. While that is not a bad thing for Liquid Plumr, this range of Drano products allows people to try a product made specifically for his or her drain problem. Though Liquid-Plumr may lack having a range of products for specific situations, the few products from this brand are either the classic version or a pro-strength version that comes in many forms, mainly liquid or foam

Drano

Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
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The great thing about Drano is that it is made to produce less foam compared to its competitors

If you have a problem with standing water, the gel version of Drano is great to use as the product claims that it is thicker. Whether that is true or not depends on perspective, but it’s worth a shot to see if it does work.

Since clogged pipes can happen anywhere in the house, it is great to know that Drano has different products that can help you.

Sale
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
1,022 Reviews
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl. Oz (2 Count)
  • Formulated thick to dissolve the tough clogs fast
  • Cuts through standing water straight to the clog
  • Safe on PVC, metal pipes, garbage disposals and septic systems
  • Guaranteed to work or your money back

Kitchen sinks and toilets, as we all know, are two of the most common systems that always seem to back up. Having a product that is designed to clean the pipes of these two systems is amazing for those who do not want to call a plumber.

As stated earlier, Drano contains sodium silicate which is known for being a liquid glass, and certain types of chemicals are known for reacting with sodium silicate. So, if you have used other pipe-cleaning products right before using Drano, it can cause this reaction to happen.

When used as labeled, Drano is safe for PVC pipes. However if used incorrectly, you can certainly make matters worse. 

For PVC pipes, it’s recommended to use a drain snake when possible. What is a drain snake and how do you use it? Find out more in our drain snake guide.

Liquid-Plumr

Liquid-Plumr is very similar to Drano except for it’s lacking ingredient, sodium silicate. This product is listed as safe for all types of pipes when used as directed. 

Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
152 Reviews
Liquid Plumber Clog Remover, Professional, 80 oz
  • Fast-acting, ready-to-use, 1-step solution is safe on pipes, disposals and septic tanks
  • Heavy-duty formula clears fully clogged and slow-running drains
  • Works on clogs caused by hair, food soils, grease and other materials that slow drains

Are Liquid-Plumr and Drano Safe to Use?

Reading the label on the back of product where the instructions are located is quite obvious, but some people do not do this. Reading any instructions and warnings are important since there are many dangers of using both Drano and Liquid-Plumr.

These dangers include:

  • Health hazards
  • Hazardous gasses
  • Danger to your pipes

If you use too much of either product, there is a chance that you might actually damage your pipes. These drain cleaners both create a lot of head within your pipes when it reacts to the material in the clog. This can weaken PVC glue joints and cause pipe weakness over time if used consistently. 

There are many health hazards associated with using Drano and Liquid-Plumr.

Both products are poisonous, it is dangerous to come into direct contact with it; if it touches your skin or splashes your eye, it can burn you.

You should read the first-aid directions on the product to know what to do if the product gets on your skin or eyes.

Hazardous gasses are created when you mix either product with different chemicals such as ammonia. It is important that you do not use two different drain products at the same time because hazardous gases will be produced.

Choosing between Drano or Liquid-Plumr

If you want a cleaner that is safe for all pipes and general use, you should probably pick Liquid-Plumber.

However, if you want a product that is for a specific use, you should buy a Drano product. For example, if your kitchen sink is backed up, you can use Drano Kitchen Sink.

The kitchen sink Drano is specifically made for this situation and is a great substitute for Liquid-Plumr.

The two products are similar, but you should decide which product you want to use for your drain problem.

Please remember from above, you should not use Drano and Liquid-Plumr at the same time since it can cause a hazardous gas to form.

Despite the fact both Drano and Liquid-Plumr are similar, Drano has an extra active ingredient that differentiates it from Liquid-Plumr.

While there are many pros and cons to both products. Make sure you know what type of pipes you have and select the product that is suitable for you.

Professional Advice:

When possible, it’s best to use a drain snake. This is a sure fire way to avoid the health risks of chemicals and will clear out the clog just as well. 

Here are some budget friendly drain snake options:

Still Unsure? Seek a local professional in your area.

Last update on 2019-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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2 thoughts on “Drano vs. Liquid-Plumr: A Quick Guide”

  1. The description of Drano Max Gel Clog Remover states that the product is “safe on PVC, metal pipes, garbage disposals and septic systems”, but further down in the description of Drano, it states that “PVC pipes cannot handle Drano due to the liquid-glass reaction. If you have PVC piping do not use Drano as it will do more damage to your pipes”…These two statements are contradictory…How do I know whether to use it or not?

  2. Thanks for pointing out the error. We’ve updated the article with updated information and looked additional expert opinions. Both are safe for PVC pipes when used as directed. The better approach to most clogs would be the use of a drain snake.

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