Different Types Of Drain Cleaners To Choose From

Posted on: 4 January 2015

Bathroom, shower, toilet, and kitchen drains can become clogged for many reasons. If you have a clog in your home, you can use drain cleaners to clear it out. There are different cleaners you can choose from, however. Understanding the different types can help you choose the right one for you.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can be in powder, gel, or liquid form, and you can find them in most stores. These drain cleaners use strong chemicals. As the chemicals react with the clog, electrons start to move. When they start moving, they generate heat. There are three different types of chemical drain cleaners you can choose from, including:

  • Oxidizing: This type of drain cleaner contains peroxide, nitrates, and bleach. The chemicals cause the clog to lose electrons, which causes them to become oxidized. It releases gas and heat to clear the clog.
  • Acid: You will not commonly find this type of drain cleaner in stores, because it can be dangerous. In many cases, you can only purchase it through a plumber. Acid drain cleaners contain high concentrations of hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid. This acid attracts electrons from the clog. When the acid reaches the clog, it releases heat, and melts the clog.
  • Caustic: This type of drain cleaner is made of caustic potash and lye. When used, the hydroxide ions and electrons cause a reaction that will clear the clog. It also releases heat that can melt through grease, and dissolves anything else that is causing the clog.

These cleaners are very toxic, and can burn your skin or eyes. They may release fumes if they are not used correctly. If you use these cleaners, make sure you read the instructions carefully.

DIY Green Drain Cleaners

If you do not want to use chemicals to clean your drain, you can use some DIY green methods instead. These methods use enzymes or bacteria that will eat through waste materials, such as food and hair waste.

Some methods you can use include:

  • Pour one-half cup of baking soda in the drain first, and then pour one-half cup of white distilled vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes, turn on your hot tap water, and let it run for a few minutes.
  • Mix equal parts baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Pour this mixture into your drain, and wait for one hour. After this time, turn on the hot water tap, and let it run in the sink for 5 few minutes.
  • Mix one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of salt.  Sprinkle this mixture into the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then pour boiling water in the drain.

If you still have clogs after trying these methods, you should hire a drain cleaning company like Gold Seal Plumbing to clear them out for you.