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Which Drain Cleaners Actually Work?

It’s a sticky and often unsightly job, but a clogged drain is par for the course when you’re a homeowner. Over time the elements that go down the drain get stuck with the accumulated biofilm to create a blockage that only an outside product can penetrate through. Getting the right drain cleaner for the right job is paramount to finding a drain cleaner that actually works.

When deciding on a product to get through your clog, look for a thick drain cleaner. The newer products are generally thicker than the older products and the thickness allows the cleaner to stay at the site of the clog longer and creates more time to break it down. Keep in mind that the most common ingredient of liquid drain cleaners is household bleach and this should not be used if you are hooked up to a septic system.

The new foaming products are a more effective choice because they have the ability to reach all of the biofilm, or gunk that has built up inside the pipes. Most drain cleaners only have the ability to trace the same course as the water, but this overlooks the upper part of the pipe where the water does not touch. When used according to the package instructions, a foaming cleaner should fill up the entire pipe and effectively wipe out all the biofilm.

There are some things to avoid when assessing a clog. First, be sure not to use liquid drain cleaners for clogs in laundry drains. Clogs in laundry drains are primarily made up of lint buildup which is tiny clothing fibers. These fibers can not be dissolved by a liquid drain cleaner.  Second, an enzyme cleaner should not be used if your drain is completely clogged. The enzyme will eat the biofilm and you’ll be better off by using a powerful drain cleaner and/or a mechanical snake. Enzyme cleaners should also not be used if you are connected to a city sewage system.



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