5 Top Reasons Chemical Drain Cleaners Should Be Avoided


When cleaning a clogged drain, some homeowners often use chemical cleaners. In fact, a bunch of you may think that it is the only fast and easy solution. Little do homeowners know that it is never the best option?

Chemicals aren't just harmful to your health but also hazardous towards your septic system. These synthetic products can ravage your pipes and lead an immediate damage to your plumbing system. Moreover, chemical cleaners are never an environment-safe product.

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Here are detailed explanations that will absolutely convince you to stop using chemical drain cleaners. This article will also tackle on what homemade drain cleaners you can switch with so that you can avoid using noxious and dangerous ones.

High Toxicity Level

Disadvantages of Toxic Chemical

Chemical drain cleaners are high in toxicity. Whenever inhaled, it can cause serious health issues since the chemical agents can emit harmful exhaust that linger in the air. You may not be able to feel any immediate and serious effects but if you’ve been exposed to the chemicals frequently then there is a high possibility you will develop respiratory maladies. It’s even worse for those who are suffering asthma or anyone who has a sensitive respiratory system since they’re more prone to lung sickness.

Possible effects such as eye or skin irritations can also be experienced due to high toxicity levels. Even a little dash or drop of these chemicals can cause burns on your skin if not treated quickly. Of course, you can use gloves and respirator masks to protect yourself from the dangers of using chemical cleaners but there are still possible risks.

It Doesn't Work All The Time


One of the common plumbing household problem is an obstructed drain line. A clogged drain may not be a result of a blockage but due to a damaged pipeline. Furthermore, there are many reasons of why plumbing pipes can be destroyed; and of them is due to frequent chemical exposure.

The most obstinate blocks can be indissoluble to a chemical cleaner. Pouring chemicals may stiffen your PVC pipes and even corrode old metal pipelines. There are pipes that are definitely resistant to chemicals but that doesn’t mean they’re not prone to corrosion. If you want your pipes to work for a very long time then you should definitely avoid pouring those nasty chemicals. Pipes that are too old are definitely more prone to damage from chemical exposure.

It Can Damage Your Septic System

Septic System

To naturally decompose the waste in your septic tanks, essential bacteria is required. Using chemical drain cleaners can remove this natural bacteria. You don’t want to eliminate these essential bacteria since they’re part natural process of your septic system; and help break down wastes. To solve this possible problem, you need to clear out your whole septic system — costing you money! Failure to remedy the issue will render your septic system completely useless.

Risky For kids


If you happen to have small kids at home, it is really risky to use chemicals. As you already know, chemical products are absolutely lethal. Your little kids may find the container and play with it or even ingest the chemicals! Proper storage will certainly avert this problem.

However, if you still apply the chemicals; you will still expose your kids to the toxic fumes. Children who have respiratory problems are definitely prone to these chemicals. You should use natural alternatives instead of putting your children at risk through chemical exposure.

Not Environment Friendly


Chemical cleaners aren't just dangerous to individuals but as well as to the Earth and its wildlife. Wildlife — depending on the contaminated water — will be put at risk once they are exposed to these.

Once you pour a bottle of chemical cleaner, this will eventually flow towards your septic tank. These chemicals will then be filtered and freed back to the ground water. There is a big possibility that what remains from these chemicals will flow down to the landfills and water source.

Switching to better and safer alternatives

It’s a reality that using chemicals is extremely dangerous and you should definitely stop using them as soon as possible. Even the best chemical-based cleaners can cause many possible problems in the future as discussed earlier. There are many alternatives which are natural or safer...


These homemade alternatives are not only safe to use but they’re also inexpensive. In fact, some of these are just common household items which you most likely have right now! You do need to remember that there are instances when any type of drain cleaner or declogger won’t be effective simply because the problem is deeply rooted deep within the plumbing lines. In these situations, the best option is to contact your local plumber and let them inspect the problem.

Method #1 Baking Soda and Vinegar

Do you still remember when you had a school fair and all eyes are on the erupting volcano? Well, that kind of experiment can be used to clear the gunk in your slow drains. When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, a chemical reaction will occur that will create bubbles and clear away clogs. The reason why we urge using white vinegar is that its natural acidity can definitely sanitize your drains.

Homemade Natural Cleaner

For this mixture you need the following:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • A rag
  • Boiling water

Steps in using this method:

  • Remove excess water in your drain
  • Remove the debris from the opening of the drain
  • Pour 1 cup of dry baking soda into the drain
  • Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the drain
  • Cover the fizzling mixture immediately with a rag
  • Leave it for 30 minutes
  • Prepare boiling water while waiting for the designated time
  • Remove the rag and pour the hot water down the drain

This is totally an easy, inexpensive, and safe way to clean your drain. However, you may need to do the whole process a few times in order to fully clear the drain pipe. It’s most likely that the vinegar smell will linger. If you want to get rid of the vinegar odor, you can squeeze a lemon or any citrus fruit juice to eliminate the smell.

Method #2 Baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide


Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless substance that is a little thicker than water. It is an oxidizer that kills organic materials including bacteria and germs. This makes hydrogen peroxide perfect for sanitizing your drains and even your whole bathroom. The foaming effect of the two substances will eat away the debris in your pipe; plus, pouring it with hot water will rinse the clog and hydrogen residue away.

For this mixture you need the following:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • Hot water

Steps in using this method:

  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain
  • Wait for 15 minutes, pour a cup hydrogen peroxide into the drain
  • Then wait for a couple of hours
  • Pour hot water the drain

Method #3 Baking Soda and Lemon


This is the most inexpensive way of treating your blocked drains in this list. The reaction produced by these substances can cause a foaming action that will break up the clogs in your drain. Flushing it with hot boiling water will cleanse your drain. What makes this mixture unique is due to the usage of lemon. You see, this citrus fruit produces a refreshing aroma — making it suitable for drains that have putrid smells!

For this mixture you need the following:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Steps in using this method:

  • Remove any built up grease, hair, or soap in your drains
  • Remove excess water in your drain
  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down your drain
  • Pour 1 cup of lemon juice
  • Rinse your drain by pouring hot water

Final Verdict

Always remember the phrase "safety first". Put on a pair of gloves before cleaning the dirt in your clogged drains. Even though you’re using non-harmful cleaning agents, you still need to protect yourself from the filth deposits in your drains. You should also use a homemade cleaner regularly to prevent obstructions from forming in the first place. It won’t hurt to use plungers after you using these natural cleaners for complete cleaning and unclogging.

If you have a heavy clog, you may need to apply these homemade alternatives more than once or twice. It may feel tedious but it’s definitely worth it. Also, these non-chemical solutions aren’t perfect. In any case that your drains are still clogging despite your best efforts then there is seriously something wrong with the drain line. Your best option is to contact a plumbing professional. If you want to do less cleaning with your drains and prevent any serious issues then you need to do proper maintenance in a regular basis.