Last Updated on April 27, 2022
Drain cleaning is crucial, no one wants to be in ankle-deep water in the bathroom or balcony with clogged drain lines. Drain cleaners come in different forms, such as powder, gel, and liquid.
Over time, many people are trying to identify the safe chemical solutions regarding drain cleaning. You might also want to know the best solution for drain problems. Don’t worry at all; here are all possible solutions for drain cleaning.
From commercial liquids to home hacks and traditional ways, you will find every method here. In this article, we will tell you how does drain cleaner work and you will be better able to decide the most appropriate methods for you.
Fortunately, you can now locate all drain cleaning methods and how they work under one platform.
What is the pH of the drain cleaner?
Drain cleaners can be acidic, base, or alkaline, and based on their nature, pH also varies. The pH ranges from 0 to 14 on the scale. The pH level lower than number 7 shows that the product is highly acidic. On the other hand, products with above pH 7 are basic or alkaline.
Caustic drain cleaners are highly basic and have a strong alkali. The pH of Sodium hydroxide, caustic soda, and lye-based products ranges from 11-14.
However, drain cleaners with sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid are highly acidic having a pH range of 0-1. The low pH of acidic drain cleaners makes it the harshest chemical-based drain cleaner. Using products with such acidic nature is not recommendable, as they can also burn your skin.
Chemical-based drain cleaners
In the market, you will see many commercial drain cleaners. These cleaners vary in range. Some of these are highly acidic, while others claim to be the best drain cleaning solution as a base. Whether acidic, basic, or alkaline, you first need to know how they work and what are the mandatory precautions before using them.
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Among all the chemical-based solutions, acidic are the harshest. These cleaners contain high amounts of sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid. These drain cleaners produce an immense amount of heat, which dissolves the organic material and opens the clog.
At the same time, highly harsh chemicals cannot only rupture the drain lines (especially septic tanks) but are also health hazardous, leading to respiratory diseases.
Oxidizing drain cleaners are also commercially available in the market. These cleaners work by taking away all the electrons from the organic matter. Pour the drain line with water, the cleaner will produce high heat, dissolve the organic matter by shrinking them, and taking all electrons.
Ultimately the blocked drain line quickly opens. It works better for organic material, so people use it in shower areas and kitchen drains. Just like acidic drain cleaners, they are also hazardous to health and drain pipes.
Severe chemical reactions take place that can damage your breath, lungs, and respiratory process. Moreover, these chemicals also kill the bacteria in septic tanks which are there for good purposes.
Caustic drain cleaners are another commonly available type. This type of cleaner contains high amounts of Sodium hydroxide, caustic soda, and lye.
Caustic cleaners are in use very frequently against greasy clogs. In the kitchen, people drain grease-based stuff hence block the drain pipelines. Caustic drain cleaner provides electrons to the grease and makes it thin. Ultimately the material dissolves and leaves the drain open.
Although these commercially based chemical drain cleaners work quickly and instantly remove the clog, we cannot deny their health hazard nature. They produce fumes and heat with large amounts of harmful chemicals. If your house or drain clogged space (bathroom) lacks proper ventilation, do not use them. It can cause respiratory disease because you will consume high chemicals later on. However, before using, make sure the ventilation and safety measures by wearing a mask, gloves, and google. Your skin can also burn if the chemical-based drain cleaner is directly exposed to it.
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Mechanical drain cleaners
Due to the damaging nature of chemical drainers, many people use mechanical methods to remove clogs from the drainage. The most common tools include a plunger and a plumber snake.
2.1. Plunger/ Plumber snake
Among the traditional methods for drain cleaning, the plunger is one of the prominent. The plunger is a long stick like a coil. Plumber snakes, also known as drain snakes, are comparatively less common. A plumber snake is a functional tool to remove hair, chemical residuals, and debris from the drain. It can also clear the sides of the pipeline entirely.
How does drain cleaner work? Home-based hacks
You can try home hacks if you do not want to contact a plumber first hand or chemical drainers do not suit you. These hacks can also help remove the clogs.
3.1 Baking soda and vinegar
Particularly in the kitchen sinks and drain, baking soda and vinegar are great, To open up a clog. It can unblock the drain and will not leave any harmful heat, fumes, or damage to pipes.
- Add a gentle amount (depending upon the clog) of baking soda to the clogged drain.
- Pour vinegar on the baking soda. This combination will lead to a chemical reaction.
- Wait for at least one hour and let the mixture complete its work. You can also add salt.
- Pour hot water from the top.
- It will open the drain clog.
Bleach is in use as an inexpensive and common drain cleaning tool. Pour a gentle amount of bleach, and it will dilute the clog. However, it can also be chemically harsh. For metal pipes, it might be a little safe. In the case of septic tanks, bleach can kill bacterias that are responsible for digesting waste material in the water. Thus, bleach can destroy the sole functions of septic tanks.
3.3. Hot water
In many cases, hot water alone can serve the purpose. If your drain pipe is clogged, add a bucket of hot water to it. Hot water will dilute the garbage slowly, and the drain will open. You can also add cold water followed by hot water so that the debris completely passes away and does not stick to the pipe again.
Enzyme drain cleaners
Enzymatic drain cleaners are counted among the list of safe drain cleaners. Although the product is not commonly available, the process is safe. This method uses enzymes and bacterias that can naturally consume organic material such as hair and food.
These bacterias easily digest organic waste. Ultimately they reproduce in number, making large colonies throughout the clogged drain. As a result, drain clog ends. It is important to note that this process is environment friendly but is long and may also take hours. Bacterial regrowth also takes time, so have patience when using these methods.