The Truth About Drain-Cleaning Chemicals

If you’re like many Louisville residents, drain-cleaning chemicals are often your go-to for backed up sinks or bathtubs. Are these products effective? Sure, they can be - but are they safe? Before you turn to a liquid to clean out your drains, consider these five things:

1. Cleaning chemicals can become extremely dangerous if they aren’t properly stored.

There’s no way around the truth: the chemicals found in drain-cleaning solutions can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. The majority of drain-cleaning compounds have high pH levels and contain bleach and lye, all of which can easily burn the skin. NEVER store these solutions within reach of children.

2. “Drain-cleaning” does NOT mean “pipe-friendly.”

Ever considered what “industrial strength” means for your pipes? Many drain-cleaning products are quite powerful, and if the chemicals are not thoroughly flushed through your pipes or are unable to break through the clog, they can sit inside of the pipes and slowly corrode them. Check the warning labels on these products for instructions regarding how long the chemicals are able to sit inside the pipes before causing significant damage.

3. If the chemicals don’t work, it could cause a backup with new consequences.

If the drain-clearing chemicals aren’t successful, the clog will remain. If and when the shower drain backs up due to the clog, it could lead to you or your loved ones standing in a pool of dirty water and chemicals that can easily cause damage to skin.

4. NEVER plunge after you’ve used the chemicals.

Plunging after chemicals don’t properly flush can lead to the chemicals being pulled back through the drain and onto your skin, eyes or into the air. The best thing to do if the chemical was uneffective? Give us a call, and be sure to explain the type of product used. Having this information allows us to choose the safest method of handling the clog.

5. Before you resort to dangerous chemicals, try baking soda and vinegar.

Yep, you read that right: the stuff of science-fair-worthy volcanos is also capable of safely and naturally breaking down the clog in your pipes. To begin, pour extremely hot water down your drain to loosen up the clog. Wait a few minutes, then pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar and one more cup of hot water. Cover the drain and let the natural mixture do its work. After allowing time for the reaction to take place, follow with more scalding-hot water.

We don’t mean to scare you, but when you care as much about customers as we do, it’s important to educate about the dangers certain chemicals can pose. Need a professional hand clearing that clog? We’re available around the clock. Give us a call!