Plumber's Choice: Best 2019 Drain Cleaners
Each year, we take the time to review existing plumbing products and evaluate plumbing options for ourselves and our customers. This review takes into consideration the best 2019 drain cleaners currently on the market, taking into consideration effectiveness and impact on your plumbing system.
Best 2019 Drain Cleaners by Type
When you peruse the aisles at your local hardware store, you will find several types of commonly sold drain cleaners. Dig into the options on Amazon and you’ll find even more. The following are descriptions of the four most commonly sold types of commercial drain cleaners – caustic, oxidizing, acidic and biological.
Caustic Drain Cleaners
Caustic drain cleaners contains harsh chemical ingredients like caustic potash and lye. The heat produced by these caustic chemicals transforms grease into a soapy substance, dissolving a hole down the middle of the clog, if you’re lucky. In most cases they just sit on top of the clog, creating dangerous and damaging heat and fumes.
Oxidizing Drain Cleaners
Oxidizing drain cleaners use peroxides, nitrates and bleach to cause the obstructing material to lose their electrons. These cleaners also typically sit on top of the clog, producing harmful byproducts.
Acid Drain Cleaners
Acid drain cleaners are not usually sold to the general consumer; they usually are sold only to professional plumbers because they contain a high concentration of hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. These drain cleaners are bad for your health and bad for the environment, and are highly dangerous.
Biological Drain Cleaners
Enzyme-and bacteria-based drain cleaners are made from a combination of natural bacteria and enzymes that digest dead organic waste found in your plumbing system including all kinds of fats, grease, hair, soap scum, food particles, paper and cotton.
Plumber’s Choice: Best Type of Drain Cleaner in 2019
As plumbers who witness the incredibly expensive impact of pipe corrosion (resulting in leaks and destruction of your pipes, and often causing extensive water damage to your home or business), we strongly discourage you from using anything other than biological drain cleaners.
You put your health at risk when you use caustic, acidic or oxidizing drain cleaners, especially if you pour a caustic cleaner into a clogged drain and then try to snake or plunge that drain - which usually remains clogged (these drain cleaners are not magic and usually do not work well). The chemical backsplash can burn your hands, exposed skin, face or eyes, and the fumes can be quite toxic.
You risk damaging your pipes when you used caustic, acidic or oxidizing drain cleaners. Read our recent article on pipe corrosion to better understand the magnitude of the damage caused by repeated use of these harsh drain cleaners.
Use of these other drain cleaners is not good for the environment, either.
But most importantly, most of these drain cleaners don't work. They don't clear the clog, or if they do, they only clear it partially and temporarily.
Plumber’s Choice 2019: BioClean
BioClean is hands down our favorite drain cleaner. As a biological drain cleaner comprised of enzymes and bacteria that literally eat through the gunk lining your pipes and clogging your drains, BioClean is easy on your pipes and does not produce heat or fumes inside your pipes like most chemical drain cleaners do.
Just like organic elements in natural environments are broken down by enzymes and bacteria, BioClean breaks down organic matter in your pipes, only it is eaten by the bacteria which then live inside your pipes, continually cleaning the insides of your pipes. The very stuff that is clogging your pipes is food for the bacteria, and the enzymes in BioClean prepare the food for consumption, making it possible for the bacteria to do its work.
Once BioClean is mixed with water, the enzymes go to work preparing the gunk for the bacteria. Organic waste is broken down and the bacteria, which double in number every half hour, eat the waste and set up home in your pipes, climbing both up and down until they have populated the length of your plumbing system.
BioClean is our favorite for safe, effective drain cleaning and for preventative drain cleaning, since population of your pipes with these bacteria means cleaner pipes for the long term.
But I Have a Clogged Drain Now!
In most cases, a biological drain cleaner will do the trick, given a little time. Unlike caustic, acid or oxidizing drain cleaners, it will not produce dangerous backsplash that puts you and your drains at risk if we need to use a snake or hydrojetter.
Give us a call today at 704.846.5371 and we will safely and carefully dislodge the clog without damaging your pipes. Start using a biological drain cleaner on a regular basis, take precautions to prevent hair from going down your drains (see our drain catcher recommendations), and use a Zip-It to remove hair from the drains once every three months, and you’ll never have drain clog problems again.
Quick question & answer: What is the best drain cleaner?
BioClean is the best drain cleaner. It is a biological drain cleaner, which means that it’s made of natural bacteria and enzymes that digest dead organic waste in your plumbing system. Once mixed with water, enzymes of BioClean prepare the gunk for the bacteria. The bacteria eats waste, setting up in your pipes to keep them clean long term.