Is Liquid Drain Cleaner Safe to Use on My Plumbing?


Liquid drain cleaner might seem like a convenient way to get rid of stubborn clogs in your sinks and drains, but you may have recently wondered whether or not this product is really safe for home use. After all, liquid drain cleaner often contains harsh chemicals that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Keep reading to learn more about liquid drain cleaner, what it’s made of, how it can affect your home’s plumbing system, and alternatives to consider.

Which Chemicals Are Commonly Found in Drain Cleaners?

The two important chemicals typically found in commercial drain cleaners are sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. Sodium hydroxide is a very strong base that breaks down organic matter in drains, such as food remnants, grease, and hair. Sulfuric acid is a strong acid that removes metallic deposits and corrosion from the inside of pipes. It can also help to dissolve mineral deposits that can cause clogs.

Both of these chemicals are toxic and caustic, so take the necessary precautions when using them, such as wearing protective clothing and goggles, keeping your hands away from your face and eyes, and avoiding contact with skin.

Does Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes & Drains?

The answer to this question is a resounding YES. Liquid drain cleaner can cause serious damage to your pipes and drains. Not only can it corrode your pipes, but the harsh chemicals in these cleaners can also break down rubber seals in fixtures like taps or sinks. This can lead to leaks that could potentially cause massive water damage.

Is It Safe to Store Liquid Drain Cleaner in My Home?

When it comes to liquid drain cleaners, safety should always be the first priority. Even though liquid drain cleaner can be useful for clearing out clogged drains, storing it in the home is not recommended due to its potential dangers.

Here are some of the risks that come with storing this type of chemical in your home:

  • Liquid drain cleaner is highly corrosive and can cause serious damage to skin, eyes, and lungs if contact occurs.
  • If stored improperly, there is a risk of fire or explosion from spontaneous combustion.
  • Inhaling the fumes of liquid drain cleaner may lead to respiratory problems such as coughing or difficulty breathing.
  • It can also be highly toxic when ingested and should be kept away from children and pets at all times to avoid a tragic accident.

For these reasons, it is best to use liquid drain cleaner only when absolutely necessary and in accordance with the safety instructions provided on the product label. When not in use, store it in a safe place away from your home, such as a garage or shed. Be sure to follow the safety guidelines for proper disposal once you are finished with the product.

What Are the Alternatives to Liquid Drain Cleaners?

When it comes to unclogging a drain, liquid drain cleaner is not the only option. Alternatives to liquid chemical drain cleaners exist and can be just as effective, if not more so, at clearing your drains of clogs.

Here are some alternatives you can try:

  • Boiling Water: Boiling water makes an effective alternative for tackling small clogs. Pour a pot of boiling water slowly down the drain, being careful not to splash yourself in the process. Do this several times for best results.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: For more stubborn clogs, try pouring one cup of baking soda down your drain followed by one cup of vinegar. The combination will create a reaction and foam as it clears out your pipes. For an extra boost, add a few drops of dish soap and cover the drain if possible.
  • Plunger: A plunger is a classic option for unclogging your drains. Fill the clogged sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger’s cup before taking action. Push down firmly several times to create a vacuum that will loosen the clog.
  • Snake: If you’re dealing with an especially tough clog, consider using a drain snake. You can purchase a manual or powered snake from your local hardware store. Insert it into the drain and turn the handle until it breaks through the blockage.

If your drain clog persists after trying these alternatives, it's time to consider calling a professional plumber for help. They will have the skills and expertise to accurately diagnose the underlying problem and recommend an effective solution.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions and check references before hiring a plumber, to make sure you get the best service for your needs. With the right professional on hand, you can rest assured that your plumbing system will be back up and running in no time.

For expert plumbing services, you can always count on Carter Quality Plumbing, LLC. Contact us today to learn more.