You finally get around to doing the dishes and the drain is clogged. We understand the frustration. You don’t necessarily want to have a plumber come out and clear it, so you look for a quick fix. You’ve seen drain cleaners that claim to clear any clog, but this isn’t the best choice to solve your problem. We’ll explain.
Drain Cleaners are Toxic
In order to cut through any type of clog, chemical cleaners utilize a caustic chemical reaction. It sinks in water going to the clog and begins burning and dissolving whatever is blocking your drain. Imagine what it would do is exposed to your skin or even accidentally ingested.
It may surprise you to learn that there were over 100,000 cases of poisoning from cleaning substances in 2017 among children younger than six reported to US Poison Control. While many of these exposures are non-serious, most of them do not involve chemicals as harsh as drain cleaners. Unfortunately, we even see fatalities from cleaning substance poisoning among children.
With the often brightly colored packaging of these substances, they can be inviting to children. If you do decide to have commercial cleaners in your home, ensure that they are out of the reach of children.
Drain Cleaners Can Harm Your Plumbing
You may think that as long as you take proper precautions, a commercial drain cleaner is worth it. The truth is they just aren’t that effective. They have to slowly dissolve and burn away whatever is clogging your drain.
This takes time and constantly exposes the inside of your pipes to the chemicals. This can severely damage old metal pipes and even soften modern PVC piping.
Drain Cleaners Damage the Environment
Even if your commercial cleaner clears your clog, it will still go down your drain and eventually, to a sewage treatment plant. They do a great job, but their equipment isn’t designed to separate out hazardous waste.
A small diluted amount of your chemical cleaner will end up in our shared environment as pollution. From there, it is difficult to determine the potential effects on local wildlife and future water supplies.