Which Drain Cleaner is Best for You?
Like most dilemmas in life, there is not an easy answer for finding out what drain cleaner is best. It depends on many variables. Before this question can be adequately addressed, we must first be able to say where the clog is and whether or not the source of the clog is known. Once these things are established, reference the following list for the best drain cleaners for your stickiest jobs.
For the bathroom, the main problem is usually hair. You can also get a buildup from soap, gels and bath products, but hair is still the most common problem for bath drains.
The nice thing about this type of clog is that it can be cleared with a drain cleaner tool, so no chemicals are involved. There are a few different drain cleaner tools, but the best one is possibly the drain claw. It is a small wire looking drain cleaner with a tip that has a hundred interlocking plastic hooks. You can work the tip into the opening of the drain and with a twisting motion and grab the hair that is slowing the drain. It is much more flexible than the other drain cleaner tools and it doesn’t get stuck in small areas.
For kitchen drains, the most common problem is grease, a buildup of food particles and soap. For these types of problems, the best antidote is a chemical drain cleaner available at most big box stores. Products such as Liquid-Plumber or Drano are a base that attacks the junk that has accumulated in the kitchen drain and will slowly eat it away to allow for faster flowing water. Sometimes multiple applications may be required to dislodge the stubborn clogs. In any case, you need to avoid pouring the chemical cleaner in the side of your sink that has the disposal. The aluminum parts of the disposal will react with the base of the cleaner and cause serious problems. Instead, slowly pour it into the side of the sink without the disposal and wait for several minutes before flushing it with hot water.
A toilet is most commonly clogged by what is most commonly put in it: human waste. A toilet can be cleared with a commercial product or tools, but it’s important to first establish what system your toilet is connected to. If your toilet is connected to a septic system, you can use toilet drain cleaners but if you’re hooked to a city sewer system, your choices may be more limited. In either case, your best bet may be to add specific enzymes and bacteria that are used for clearing toilets. These products are safe for the environment and are used to eat at the organic matter and keeping clogs at bay.