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The best products to unblock drains in your home.

| Michael Quinn

Every shower drain becomes blocked at some point, no matter how many preventative measures you put in place. Blocked drains are a common eventuality for many homeowners and more often than not, people want a quick fix. These common household items have been used as drain unblocking products for many years and will help prevent blocked drains in your home.

An image of water dripping into a sink.
An image of water dripping into a sink.

What are drain unblocking products?

Drain unblocking products are common household drainage cleaners that help get rid of blockages. Drain unblocking products come in a variety of different types. Whether you want to use chemical cleaners or natural alternatives, quality drain unblocking products are made specially to decompose most organic materials to help your drains flow normally again. You can find a wide variety of drain unblocking products sold all around the UK.

Biological drain cleaners.

Water, Tap, Black And White, MacroBiological products are great at unblocking stubborn drains. Utilising enzymes' power, biological drain unblockers work to attack blockages that have built-up in the pipes. Biological drain cleaners work best on blockages or obstructions caused by natural materials such as hair and soap. More extensive issues may require a stronger solution.

Chemical drain cleaners.

Chemical cleaners are the most widely used products on the market and can be found in every supermarket around the country. Not only are they a fantastic go-to cleaning product, but their powerful solutions can break through most blockages.

Remember, chemical cleaners of any kind can be harmful to your body. If your drainage involves a septic tank, chemical cleaners are a no-go as they contain an ingredient called sodium hydroxide, which can damage septic systems.

Natural drain unblocking products.

If you care about the products you use and work to protect the environment as much as possible, natural products are probably your best bet even in your daily cleaning tasks. Natural drain unblockers include solutions such as sodium carbonate and boiling water. Letting this solution rest in your drains for 20-30 minutes before flushing it through with hot water is a great way to soften blockages and wash them away.

How do drain unblocking products work?

You can pour drain unblocking products down the drain where several chemical reactions happen simultaneously. Some drain cleaners are so strong that they generate a chemical reaction so strong they generate heat at near-boiling temperatures. The high heat created by these chemical reactions helps speed up the decomposition process to decompose hair, soap scum, and clog particles.

Let’s take a look at each of the drain unblocking product types, what they’re most useful for, how they work, and where you should use them.

Chemical drain cleaners, how they work, and where to use them.

Chemical drain cleaners are one of the most popular types of drain unblocking products available. They work by creating a chemical reaction to help clean the pipes. This reaction creates bubbles that effectively speed up the unblocking process by loosening clog particles and clearing the pipes of blockages.

Chemical drain unblockers can be used throughout your home as they are also fantastic at killing bad bacteria commonly found in the bathroom and kitchen drain. However, chemical drain cleaners also have several negative aspects and, if you don’t know how to use them properly, they can do more damage than good.

Chemical drain products can be damaging.

.Using drain unblocking products can be risky and damaging for your drains in the following ways:

  • Drain unblocking products sit in the pipes.
  • Some products can reach dangerously high heat levels.
  • If your drain pipes are PVC, old, or corroded, they can be easily damaged by strong drain unblocking products as they can dissolve the glue holding the pipes together.

Therefore, it is important to read the instructions for drain cleaning products properly before use. This ensures the product is right for your drain and won’t cause any damage to your drainage system.

An image of a bath plug drain
An image of a bath plug drain.

Chemical products can be unpredictable.

Spray Bottle, Cleaning Supplies, ChoresAnother negative aspect of some drain unblocking products is how unpredictable some products can be when combined with other cleaning chemicals. The reason for this is small amounts of drain unblocking products can remain in your drain pipes after cleaning.

Therefore, if you use a chemical cleaning product afterwards, the two mixed together will create toxic fumes when mixed. This can be a health risk as you never know what kind of chemical reaction might be created.

Chemicals can irritate skin, eyes, and lungs.

Just like many other chemical cleaning products, if drain unblocking products get in your eyes, skin, hair, or lungs, they can burn and cause significant irritation. So, when using drain cleaning products, wear gloves at all times and apply the product carefully. Remember: never use a plunger with drain unblocking products so that there is no risk of splash-back.

Chemical cleaners are a quick fix.

Keep in mind that drain unblocking products should only be used as a quick fix; they should never be used as a long-term solution, as they can be harsh on your plumbing system and are bad for the environment.

Biological drain cleaners.

Perfect for use in the shower or bath, biological drain unblockers do a fantastic job at breaking down clumps of hair or soap that have become caught in the pipes. Biological cleaners are ideal for partial blockages. If you have a slow running drain, your drains may be only partially blocked. If this is the case, it is possible to use a small amount of drain unblocking product to break it down effectively.

Biological drain cleaners are ideal for this job as they help break down any naturally-occurring blockages safely and effectively. What’s more, running the water afterwards will help flush out any loosened blockages leftover in the pipes. So, if you have partial blockages in your drainage system, use biological cleaners.

Biological cleaners don't work for serious blockages.

If your pipes are significantly blocked and the water has been backed up for a while, biological cleaners probably aren’t the best solution. While biological cleaners work very effectively on small blockages, they cannot tackle serious blockages because they are not strong enough. If your blocked drains are very advanced, it is best to call in a drainage professional who can manually clear the blockage out to avoid pipe damage or flooding.

Natural drain unblocking products.

Caring for the environment effectively doesn’t just mean recycling and reducing your plastic use; it also means using natural cleaning products. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and putting them down your drains can wash them out into the oceans, affecting marine life significantly.

Therefore, natural drain unblocking products can be a very worthwhile solution.

Natural products unblock blocked drains.

Having blocked drains is a serious problem that can cause many issues within your drainage system, not least of all cracked or collapsed pipes and flooding. You must prevent these problems at all costs.

One of the best ways to keep your drains unblocked and flowing well is to clean them regularly with natural products, such as caustic soda. If you use natural products on your drains regularly, you’ll notice they’ll remain unblocked, and you will not have to pay for any expensive repairs. However, the effectiveness of natural drain unblockers does depend significantly on how well you care for and maintain your drains.

Natural products do not clear big blockages.

If your drains are significantly blocked, natural drain cleaners are probably not going to be that helpful. Rather, your drains will need professional attention to clear the blockage and return normal function. So, if you experience seriously blocked drains, call a professional to fix the problem for you rather than wasting your natural products on an issue that requires more.

Always read the product instructions before use.

Drain unblocking products are often a convenient do-it-yourself option for many homeowners, so they are commonly available in various hardware stores. While it has many applications (such as a short-term solution for getting rid of stuck hair), these should only be used with the proper precautions. Just as you wouldn’t use a product as strong as bleach without reading the label, you shouldn’t use a commercial drain treatment without first knowing the proper safety and usage instructions.

Call in the drainage professionals.

It is important to call in professionals when it comes to your drains. After all, using quick-fix chemical cleaners can end up costing you more in the long run. That’s why we highly recommend you call our team at ASL Limited to investigate the problem, identify the cause, and fix the issue without damaging your drains.

While chemical cleaners can be an effective short-term fix, they do not stop blockages altogether and drains that are significantly blocked should always be seen by a professional.

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