Best drain cleaner


High-quality drain cleaners make it easy to get rid of clogs in toilets, bathtubs, showers and sinks by dissolving debris like sludge and hair for fast and efficient results.

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Which drain cleaners are best?

A clogged drain can be pretty frustrating. Whether it’s in your toilet, shower, or sinks, you don’t want to have to contact a plumber each and every time a clogged drain occurs. That’s where drain cleaners come into play. Top-quality drain cleaners make it simple to get rid of clogs in toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks by dissolving debris like sludge and hair for quick and efficient results. 

The Drano Max Gel is a superior drain cleaner for all of your draining needs.

What to know before you buy a drain cleaner

Consider alkaline vs. acidic drain cleaners

There are a couple of different types of drain cleaners, including alkaline drain cleaners and acidic drain cleaners. Acidic drain cleaners usually have higher concentrations of sulfuric acid and use acid hydrolysis to dissolve and get rid of soap scum, hair, and other contaminants in your drain. These acidic drain cleaners are much more powerful and able to clean harder clogs.

On the flip side, alkaline drain cleaners commonly use lye as the primary ingredient. The main purpose of using alkaline drain cleaners is that they are not quite as corrosive as acidic drain cleaners, but they do a fair job of clearing drains and dissolving contaminants.

Understand the nature of the clog

Various parts of your house suffer from various kinds of drain clogs. Hair is usually the top offender in bathroom sinks, while kitchen sinks usually clog from food particles and grease. Soap residue and hair cause major issues in the shower. You should think about the kind of clog you have when selecting a drain cleaner since each drain cleaner has different weaknesses and strengths based on the nature of the clog.

Think about the duration of the clog

You might need to hire a plumber if you’ve already tried using a drain cleaner at least a couple of times and still have a clog or if your drain has been clogged several instances within a fairly short period of time. The duration and persistence of the clog can impact the kind of drain cleaner you require.

What to look for in a quality drain cleaner

Dissolving power

Some of the top drain cleaners have the power to dissolve solids like hair into liquid form. These drain cleaners tend to be the most chemically corrosive, but you need this feature if you have a very stubborn clog.

Fast-acting formula

Some drain cleaners provide a guarantee of instantly removing clogs within the first minute of contact. These drain cleaners tend to be the most acidic and chemically corrosive.

Gel vs. liquid

The two most common kinds of drain cleaners are liquid-based drain cleaners and gel-based drain cleaners. One advantage of gel-based drain cleaners is that the gel takes more time to go down the drain, so it works on the clog more. Liquid-based drain cleaners tend to go down the drain more quickly, so they don’t directly contact the clog as much, but they have a similar success rate to gel-based drain cleaners.

How much you can expect to spend on a drain cleaner

Drain cleaners usually range in price from about $10 to $25. The most basic drain cleaners cost about $10-$15, while mid-range drain cleaners vary in price from about $15 to $20 and the most high-end drain cleaners go for $20 to $25.

Drain cleaner FAQ

Are drain cleaners dangerous to touch?

A. Some drain cleaners are safe for you to have on your hands, while other drain cleaners are very corrosive and the packaging says that the drain cleaner solution shouldn’t come in contact with your skin. Make sure to read and follow the warnings on the drain cleaner packaging.

Can you combine various drain cleaners for improved strength?

A. No, you should not combine chemicals of any kind together unless the manufacturers explicitly instruct you to do so. Combining different kinds of drain cleaners can be very dangerous.

Can using a drain cleaner in your home damage the inside of your pipes?

A. Most drain cleaners are meant to be used in houses, apartments, and homes with traditional plumbing, so as long as you are using them properly, the drain cleaners shouldn’t cause any issues with your fittings or pipes.

What are the best drain cleaners to buy?

Top drain cleaner

Drano Max Gel

Drano Max Gel

What you need to know: This premium drain cleaner from Drano can cut through your standing water to get rid of clogs.

What you’ll love: This Drano drain cleaner works well on septic systems, garbage disposals, and metal pipes and is formulated to address clogs quickly. The instructions that come with this drain cleaner are very simple to follow.

What you should consider: This drain cleaner often fails to get rid of hair-related clogs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top drain cleaner for the money

Comstar Pure Lye

Comstar Pure Lye

What you need to know: This top-notch and budget-friendly drain cleaner from Comstar is easy to use and won’t damage your budget.

What you’ll love: This Comstar drain cleaner immediately moves to the bottom of your standing water to eliminate any blockages. The drain cleaner has a non-acidic, odorless formula that won’t cause damage to your fixtures or pipes.

What you should consider: This drain cleaner is less efficient and effective than similar drain cleaners.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Green Gobbler Dissolver

Green Gobbler Dissolver

What you need to know: This drain cleaner from Green Gobbler works well in sinks, showers, and toilets.

What you’ll love: This Green Gobbler drain cleaner dissolves everything from sludge to hair to grease and comes with a high-density formula that clings to blockages to eliminate them. The drain cleaner is biodegradable, non-flammable, and odorless. 

What you should consider: This drain cleaner works fairly slowly compared to other drain cleaners.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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