Modern sink and faucet in a bathroom

Why You Shouldn’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners at Home

It can be tempting to use chemical drain cleaners when unclogging your tub or sink, especially if you have busy weekdays. While this could get the job done at the moment, it would cause more harm eventually. 

DIY drain cleaning uses corrosive, hazardous chemicals that pose a health risk to humans and endanger the environment. Furthermore, they could end up damaging your plumbing, which leads to more expenses.

Why shouldn’t I use chemical drain cleaners?

Though it’s perfectly fine to pour chemical cleaners down the drain as a way to dissolve clogs, it’s illegal to use it for other purposes at home. It is because drain cleaners are highly toxic to humans, plants, and animals, and they can also dissolve the interiors of pipes in the long run.

Homes with older pipes or ones with PVC are particularly vulnerable since drain cleaners can cause these to weaken. Regular use could lead to leaks and pipe bursts; cleaners can corrode even stainless steel and porcelain. If you have a clogged drain, it’s best to call residential plumbing services to fix it.

In addition to the health hazards, it’s important to note that drain cleaners are not always effective. Many people find that their plumbing issues don’t get solved when they pour chemical drain cleaners down their sink. It could be because the clogging is not from grease or particle build-up. Sometimes, tree roots can get in the way of plumbing, and they can cause the pipes to back up. To remove these, you would need help from professionals who have the right equipment.

Finally, chemical drain cleaners have strong acids. Not only do they destroy dirt, grease, and the interiors of pipes, they could also damage enamel-based finishes like the ones on sinks and tubs. Brass traps and other types of metal are not safe, either; some particularly strong cleaners can eat through these easily.

What can I use instead of chemical drain cleaners?

If you are waiting for your local plumber to arrive, you can mitigate some of the clogging through temporary solutions. A combination of vinegar and baking soda will help dissolve most clogs. Mix these two ingredients over the drain and let the mixture stay overnight. Flush the drain with hot water the next day.

You could try a similar technique with dish soap. Boil hot water, mix in a few tablespoons of dish soap and slowly pour this down the drain. The hot water helps in softening the build-up, and the soap will wash the particles and oils down. Note, though, that these are not meant to be replacements for the work that a professional plumber can do.


Homemade remedies like these would work in the short-term. However, to prevent persistent complications, it is best to go straight to a contractor who specializes in plumbing. Chemical cleaners work for now, but they set you up for eventual expenses in the form of replacement pipes or extensive damage. Prevent this from happening by calling a specialist at the earliest signs of trouble.

For quick, transparent, and high-quality service, turn to Bromac Mechanical today. We provide residential plumbing in Abbotsford, BC, and we can help you get your drains working in no time. Contact us today for more information!

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