Tools & DIY

Best Drain Cleaner

There are a lot of things that require plenty of convincing before you make the decision to buy and a drain cleaner is not one of them especially since we all have drains at home. With all the things that cause a drain to clog, it is only a matter of when and not if and the last thing you want is to be in that situation and not have any quick solutions to the problem.

We all know how quickly that bill racks up when the plumber walks through the door and you really don’t want to run the risk of having dirty water backing up into your house. So, instead of covering some fancy gadget, today, we will look at something more important and one that could potentially save your home from a disease outbreak or some serious sanitations issues: Drain cleaners!

You will be shocked at just how much a little drainage hygiene can save you. The drain cleaners we are about to have a look at are not only affordable but will make sure you keep the plumber at bay as well as those debilitating hospital bills. So, this is not only going to be interesting to read but, it could also change your life and get some money in your pocket.

Best Drain Cleaners 2018

Even with drain cleaners, you need to make sure you are investing in the right one that will offer you value for your money and also guarantee the best results. Just like any appliance in your house, there are many different options in the market each of them singing praises of how good they are. However, we dug deep in a bid to separate the best from the nonstarters and here we are with the best drain cleaners for your money.

Sani Sticks, Drain Cleaner and Deodorizer

Clogs are not the only thing that you will be fighting. There is the occasional stench that comes from the drains which can be very embarrassing especially when you have guests around. While most drain cleaners on the market will focus on getting your drain free but not many remember to attend to the nauseating smell.

Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Sani drain sticks will eliminate that odor and prevent your sink from clogging.

The functioning of this drain cleaner is simple. The stick is coated with enzymes that digest whatever is causing the clog. They are simple to use and very effective. They are not toxic to septic tanks or the drains and they are very easy to use. You just plug the stick down the drain and it will take care of everything for up to one month.

PROS
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • Enzyme based so no fumes being released
  • Effective
CONS
  • It takes time for the effect to be noticed

DrainScrub Powder Enzyme Drain Cleaner and Septic Tank Treatment

Let’s stick with the enzyme based drain cleaners for a while. They are mainly preferred because you don’t have to take cover every time you dumb them down the drain. You also don’t have to dress like you are going to diffuse a bomb at the fear of breathing in toxic fumes. On a large scale, enzyme based drain cleaners are pretty safe but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to take care when using them.

The DrainScrub is one such product. It is an enzyme based and natural bacteria filled product. These two ingredients are what make this a good drainer cleaner. While using this product, you don’t have to constantly worry about having to change your pipes. The bacteria and enzymes are completely harmless to the plumbing. What’s more, the product is also environmentally friendly. To improve the quality of the results, the product also has micronutrients.

PROS
  • Double the concentration of bacteria and enzymes
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Faster results
CONS
  • Requires 5 days of treatment

Drano Max Clog Remover Twin Pack


The Drano Max is one of the most powerful drain cleaners you can come across and most people that have bought it will attest to this. One of the things we really liked about this product is the consistency. It is not just a thin liquid that quickly goes through the system or a powder that sits on top. It is gel-like which flows slowly and gets the rare chance to work itself into all the gunk and work it out of your plumbing system. It also gives the gel a fair chance to get rid of all the gunk.

With all that power, you have to be worry about how your pipes are going to fair but, that was factored in as well. The drain cleaner has a special ingredient that helps pipes made from PVC and metal remain safe while the cleaner is at work. The cleaner is also safe for septic systems and garbage disposals.

PROS
  • It is very affordable
  • Reasonably safe for the user
  • Safe for PVC and metal plumbing
  • Effective
CONS
  • Not recommended for use in toilets

Vastar 3 Pack 19.6 Inch Drain Snake


Chemical solutions and enzymes are not your only line of defense against clogs. If you would prefer not use any chemical based solutions, then the drain snake is your next best options. There are quite a number of reasons why this is a great option. First, you don’t have to worry about your pipes being eaten away or any fumes creeping up your nostrils.

The drain snake is a simple tool usually made of plastic or metal with hooks and barb like structures on the sides. You simply drive down the drain and give it a bit of a wiggle to make sure it grabs as much clog as possible then you pull it out. The barbs rip out any material that could be causing the drain.

The Vastar Drain Snake auger is designed to maximize its ability to capture clustered hair, garbage, food and anything that could be causing a blockage. The drain snake is engineered to be bent in many strainers and showers and it is also able to work around the flexes at P-trap which is where most of the clogs appear.

The drain snake though not as effective is perfect for people that care a lot about the environment and also for those that have a very strict budget.

PROS
  • No chemicals
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Affordable
  • Effective
CONS
  • Cannot reach deep into the plumbing

Green Gobble Clog Remover


Now this is a real clog fighter and it has the reviews to testify on its brute force. The Green Gobbler has a unique combination with a high pH yet it is does not corrode the skin. It also happens to be safe for toilets and pipes so you now have a comprehensive drain cleaner for every part of your plumbing.

It has an ultra-dense formula that clings on to the walls of the pipe. This is a good thing because if it flows too fast, then it is not able to work through the clog properly. With ha dense consistency, the drain cleaner is able to guarantee better quality results in a shorter amount of time and with less treatment required.

In case your drain is already clogged, the revolutionary dissolve technology that works on the paper and hair will make sure that the drain is back to working in no time.

PROS
  • can be used on all types of drainage
  • works on all kinds of clogging agents
  • does not corrode the skin
  • rapid dissolve technology
CONS
  • takes a little time to kick in

SCOTCH CORPORATION 1969 Hair & Grease Drain Opener


This is one of the strongest caustic formulations on the market. It is going to make easy work of hair clogs and it is among the more reliable methods you can use to free up your drains. Even though it’s a non-acid formulation, it holds very well against the grease by creating heating making it a must have for your kitchen.

There is not much fuss about this product like with the Drano and Green Gobbler but it does get the work done. If you can manage to let it stay in the drains longer, you can be assured of better results. The idea of waiting might not sound really encouraging but if you think about it, you would rather give the product some time to work or you could spend a fortune on a plumber.

The packaging has a couple of safety features that you are going to love especially the child resistant cap. Kids are quick and it takes only one blink to find them playing in the all the wrong the places. It is essential to be careful at all times. The product comes in a heavy plastic bottles and a re-sealable safety storage bag. Please make sure that you use this product exactly as directed especially when the septic tank is in question.

PROS
  • Non-acid formulation
  • Comprehensive unclogging action
  • Child safe cap
  • Safe for septic system
CONS
  • Might need to be left overnight to work

Drano Drain Cleaner Professional Strength

One of the most annoying things about drain clogs is the bad timing. The last thing you want is a backed up drain with guests around. The last thing you want at such a time is a drain cleaner that promises to get your drain back in action by morning.

If you find yourself in such a fix, then you have very few options and one of them is the Drano Drain Cleaner. Personally, I am not a fan of waiting around and if I can get the results now, why not? This Drano Drain cleaner is able to get your clogs out of the way and your drains flowing as new in as little as 15 minutes.

To achieve this, the cleaner has 35% more active ingredients which tear through the clogging agents in record time and it is able to dissolve hair. Even with its might against clogs, the cleaner is harmless to the pipes and guarantees quality results.

PROS
  • Results in just 15 minutes
  • Strong formula
  • Dissolves the clogging agent
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Might not be safe for use on toilet bowls


This is the father of all drain unclogging equipment. I would dare say without fear of sounding biased that I have used the product before and the results were stunning. It is an all-round drain cleaner that works perfectly on grease traps and even root systems in the septic.

Other than the ability to chew tree roots alive, this product is odorless. Let’s agree that the preference of odor is highly personalized and just to be safe, it is better to have a product that doesn’t have a smell. This one doesn’t.

The other interesting features about Pure Lye is that it is safe not only for the plumbing but also for the fixtures used in and around plumbing systems like the chrome trims and the surprises don’t stop coming. With all that force, pure lye is non-acidic and can be used in septic tanks as well.

You can ditch the gas mask as well. There are no fumes or foul smell that is released when you use this product. If you have constantly had to put up with your stinking and constantly clogging drains, rest assured that you might have just found lasting solutions.

PROS
  • It is environmentally friendly
  • Is odorless
  • Non-acidic
  • Dissolves root systems
CONS
  • If you don’t follow the directions of use properly, the product can cause irritation of the skin.
  1. Thrift Marketing GIDDS-TY-0400879 Drain Cleaner


Just when you thought Pure Lye was a fast acting drain cleaner, you find another product that makes the 15 minutes lye uses to work on a drain a joke. The Thrift Marketing dry cleaner takes a record setting 60 seconds to clear out your clog. It is the perfect product to save your from those last minute embarrassment.

The product comes in a highly durable container and comes in powered form. All you have to do is pour the powder into the drainage and follow it with some hot water and sit back and watch as the magic happens. Thrift Market GIDDS works on small drains, septic systems and it can also work on grease traps. This is one of those drain cleaners that will give you value for money and guarantee that you are able to get instant results. What’s more, you can use it on just about any surface including toilet surfaces.

PROS
  • Fast acting formula
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used on toilet surfaces
CONS
  • Contains sodium hydroxide

GREEN GOBBLER Ultimate Main Drain Opener


For homeowner’s who have an attention hungry drainage system, having some ample amounts of drain cleaner lying around in the house should always restore the hierarchy in the house. But, you should always make sure that you have the right amounts of the right product.

The Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Cleaner is able to dissolve hair, paper, soap scum grease and even organic matter. The formula of this formidable drain cleaner is engineered to be biodegradable so it does not harm the environment and at the same time it does not save the clogging agent.

The drain cleaner is non corrosive and will not irritate your skin and our favorite feature is the fact that it is odorless. It has more or less the same consistence as the Drano Max Gel which makes it easier to get rid of all the clogs in your toilet and even in your septic system.

PROS
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe to the skin
  • Odorless
  • Safe for toilets
CONS
  • it is slow to act

There are the best drain cleaners that you can use to wage war on the clogs that have made themselves in the pipes of your plumbing. As always, it is important to remember that there is no rule of thumb when choosing even the drain cleaners. What you are looking for is what someone else could be avoiding so you always have to do your homework.

How does a drainer cleaner work?

You would think explaining how a rocket works would be hard but, so is how a drainage cleaner works. Let us start with the goal which is to free your drainage from built-up gunk. How the drainage cleaner does this depends on what kind you buy.

There are many different types of drainage cleaners in the market. Some are made up of chemicals that liquefy the gunk and help it flow through the pipes into the sewer line. There are others that are made out of a probe which you can stick down the drain and free anything that could be causing the clog. If you are lucky, you might come out with it instead of letting go to another part of the drain. Let us look at the different types of drains and as we look at each of them we will explain how each of them works.

Best Drain Cleaner Buying guide

Drain cleaners are serious business and you have to make sure that you make the right pick especially in cases where you are connected to the city sewer. This shouldn’t imply that the process of picking is any easier when you have a septic tank. Remember, you have a responsibility to the environment and the well-being of your pipes so this is a decision that you should take very seriously. To help you make the right call, here are some factors you should consider.

  • Type of blockage – sometimes, it is possible to decipher what could be causing the blockage. Maybe you recently trimmed your hair at the bathroom sink and now the drain has miraculously blocked. There are some drain cleaners that work best on certain clogging agents. If you can identify the cause of the blockage, you are better equipped to pick the right drain cleaner.
  • Type of drain cleaner – as you might have noticed, there are quite a number of different options that you have. There are the bacteria and enzyme based cleaners, chemical based cleaners and the mechanical ones like the drainage snake auger and even a plunger falls in this category. A plunger should come as a standard for every home and you should have one for your bathroom and another for your kitchen. 

As for the others, it can be a matter of preference and urgency. Of course, you expect the enzyme based cleaners to take longer than most chemical based cleaners. If you are pressed for time, the chemical options should work perfectly fine. If the drain is not serious, the snake augers are a great way of retrieving any debris stuck within the length of the snake auger.

  • Safety – you should always avoid using products that result in fumes in closed spaces. Things can get bad really fast. Always make sure that you pick drain cleaners that have the capacity to get the job done without endangering your life. If the instructions say you have duck after applying the drain cleaner that could be a good hint to stay away from it. You can also look for other safety features like child proof caps.
  • Price and quality – your budget will always be a stumbling block and you always have to make sure you remain within it. That is what a shrewd person would do. But, price should never come before quality especially on something as sensitive as a drain cleaner. You should make sure you get affordable but high quality drainage cleaners.

For drainage cleaners, we could discuss these endlessly. They are a nuisance that needs to be constantly dealt with and without the right attention, they can be the reason you walk around the neighborhood with your head hanging low. With the drain cleaners that we have reviewed, you should be able to capitalize on their features and make clogged drains a thing of the past.

Also, you don’t always have to wait for the drain to clog so you can think of addressing it. You should have a schedule of attending to your drains. Whether you pour hot water down the drain, use drainage snakes once a month or pour drainage cleaner it is important to have a routine to keep the drainage safe. At least you have the best drain cleaners now. All that is left is your due diligence in making sure your drains are at their best all the time.

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