The Dangers of Drain Cleaning Chemicals

Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Clogged drains are all but inevitable, especially for families. If you’ve got various people using showers and tubs, young people tossing toys into toilets, and well-meaning family members putting food particles down the wrong drains, you’re going to have your drains clogged up sooner or later—but how do you unclog them?

The easiest solution may be to invest in some chemical drain cleaners—but before you do so, it’s important that you know some of the risks associated with these products.

What’s Wrong with Chemical Drain Cleaners?

Simply put, drain cleaning agents rank among some of the most caustic, potent chemicals you can buy in stores. In most of these products, the main ingredient is either sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide—both highly toxic ingredients. Should anyone in your home swallow these ingredients, the results on the body could be bleak—including prolonged damage to the esophagus and stomach. In some cases, and with high doses, these chemicals can be lethal.

And that’s just the beginning. These chemicals can burn the skin and blind the eyes. When mixed with other toxins, they can be explosive. And if that’s how they affect the body, just imagine how these chemicals corrode your pipes and your plumbing!

Safer Alternatives to Toxic Drain Cleaners

But if these drain cleaning agents are so harmful, are there any safe alternatives? Absolutely there are. Here’s a quick list:

  1. Always start with a good old-fashioned plunger—a simple and safe way to remove the more minor clogs.
  2. Make your own, non-toxic drain cleaner. A bit of baking soda and a cup or so of white vinegar can sometimes have just the de-clogging effect you need.
  3. Purchase an auger or “pipe snake” and see if it can get you the results you are looking for.
  4. If all else fails, call a plumbing company and schedule a professional drain cleaning—something that can help mitigate the effects of even deep and severe clogs. We offer free drain cleaning to our members, so if you aren’t a member already, find out more today.

The bottom line about chemical drain cleaners is simply this: many of them come with some truly nasty and dangerous ingredients, and even the “safe” ones can wear down your pipes over time. There are better ways to get your drains unclogged. Contact our Vancouver plumbing team to learn more or visit our drain cleaning price guide for a transparent breakdown of costs. Did you know, our members receive free drain cleaning? Have you considered becoming a member?

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