No one ever wants to have a clogged drain; cleaning them is one of the most difficult and dirtiest chores to do.
It’s time-consuming, frustrating, and straight-up messy to do, especially when you have old pipes that have a huge build-up of organic waste.
Good thing, there are drain cleaners that can easily do the task for us. In this review, we have gathered seven best drain cleaner for old pipes. All of these are tested and proven to be of high-quality and can surely help you with all your clogged drain problems.
They have varied compositions with different approaches to clearing your pipes, so you can choose which one is best for you.
How Drain Cleaners Work?
Drain cleaners have different formulas that dissolve the grime build-up in your pipes. Some are made from biodegradable ingredients; others have harsh chemicals in them.
What you do is, you pour the cleaner directly down the drain, then you leave it there for 15-20 minutes, or depending on what the instructions say. Within those minutes, the cleaner eats up all other organic wastes that have clogged up your drain. The last thing to do is pour down hot water to rinse the build-up away.
However, some cleaners work better than others. Some products only need to be used once, and there are others that you need to apply again and again to remove all the organic waste.
Different Types of Drain Cleaners
There are different types of drain cleaners, and each of them has different ways of dissolving organic waste that has stuck on the walls of your pipes. The most dangerous ones are chemical drain cleaners. It can damage your pipes and as well bring a negative impact to the environment.
Chemical/Caustic Drain Cleaners
The active ingredients in caustic drain cleaners are lye, bleach, and caustic potash. These are the most common type in the market. Lye works by physically removing tough build-up through destroying the chemical bonds.
Caustic potash is what decomposes soft tissues and other organic substances. Chemical drain cleaners are thicker and heavier than water so that it can work through clogs even in standing water.
Oxidizing Drain Cleaners
The formula of this drain cleaner is composed of household bleach, peroxides, and nitrates. They work by latching on to the organic waste and making them lose their electrons, and later on, become oxidized.
Same as the chemical cleaners, these are heavier than water, so it can also reach the clog even through standing water. It clears out blockage by releasing heat and gas that melts the organic waste away.
Acid Drain Cleaners
These are not usually bought in stores and sometimes can only be accessed by plumbers due to their dangerous nature. Acid drain cleaners contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid in high concentrations. These ingredients increase the hydronium ions then pulls in the electrons from the clog.
The reaction made by this attraction releases heat, which melts the tough grease and grime in the drain.
Chemical Drain Cleaners Safety Tips
No matter how careful you are, accidents are inevitable. That is the reason why you should possess knowledge that would promote your optimum safety. Here are some of the things that you should remember:
Always Read the Label
Not all chemical drain cleaners are of the same ingredients and concentrations. Always make sure that you’ve read and understood the instructions before you try to use it.
Some cleaners are more harmful than others — some can damage and eat through your pipes, plumbing, and septic systems. They can be dangerous enough to burn your skin if they come in contact.
Wear Protective Gear
It is a must to use proper protective gear when dealing with chemical-based cleaners. When working with chemicals, there is always a reaction that comes with it, and these reactions can be harmful to your skin. Wearing protective gear avoids the risk of accidents happening.
We recommend you to wear long-sleeved shirts or jackets, long bottoms, thick gloves, and slip-resistant shoes. You can also wear protective glasses in case of fumes and accidents that may lead the chemical to land in your eyes.
Avoid Using Plungers or Sewer Snakes Immediately
After you pour the chemical cleaner down your drain, avoid using plungers and sewer snakes right away. Using these tools might cause splashes to happen. If these chemicals splash directly onto your skin, it will give you irritation and burns.
At most, chemical cleaners need 20 minutes to fully dissolve. But, even then, you must not insert anything in or plunge something out of your drain. Pour hot or warm water instead, depending on the instructions written.
Factors Need to Consider While Choosing the Best Drain Cleaner for Old Pipes?
With so many choices on sale, it can be challenging to find the right drain cleaner for your old pipes. In this guide, we’ll know some of the things that you have to look for before opting for a certain product.
Type of Drain Cleaner
Above, we have listed the three types of drain cleaners, and this is an important factor to consider when purchasing one. They have different ingredients and strengths when it comes to unclogging drains. For old pipes, the cleaner must not be corrosive; otherwise, it might damage the pipe.
Purpose of Use
You must know the purpose of why you need to use a drain cleaner. Some use it to dissolve tough drain build-up, and others purchase it for everyday use and maintenance in their drainage system. Dissolving tough grime needs a more powerful chemical compared to drain cleaners for everyday use.
If you are looking for a cleaner for maintenance of your drains, then you must choose a milder one so it won’t damage your pipes.
Look for drain cleaners that will protect your pipes, especially, since you are working with old pipes that have accumulated rust throughout the years. There are brands out there that have special coatings for your pipes so that they won’t easily let the organic waste attach to the walls of your pipes.
Make sure what you are purchasing is within your budget. Do not buy overly expensive drain cleaners that you don’t know how to use. There are different cleaners out there that are affordable and can work as well as expensive ones. When something is expensive, it doesn’t always mean it is better.
Best 7 Drain Cleaners for Old Pipes in 2020:
Under here, we have listed seven drain cleaners that are available in the market today. It comes with their pros and cons, as well as their highlighted features for your convenience.
1. Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver
Isn’t it frustrating that every time you try to unclog your toilet, plunging with all your might, you still end up unsuccessful? Well, the Green Gobbler has created a solution for you. The brand has formulated a special drain clog dissolver that easily melts every organic substance clogging your pipes.
With this, you’re sure that the drain cleaner works in just minutes. And, after it dissolves all the dirt and grime that’s stuck in your pipes, the ultra-thick formula keeps your pipes protected and working well by clinging on them. It’s safer and more effective to use than most drain cleaners that use sodium hydroxide.
In today’s time, being environmentally-friendly is a must. The Green Gobbler drain clog dissolver uses biodegradable ingredients. It is not only safe for you to use, but it is also safe for the environment.
2. Green Gobbler Bio-Flow Drain Strips
Instead of being poured into your drains, Green Gobbler also has bio-flow drain strips that work just as well as the other types. Simply drop a strip into your pipes, and it will quickly eat away the dirt trapped inside. More than that, the strips also deodorize your pipes, leaving them fresh and clean.
They work best on eliminating food, oil, fats, and all types of scum that are stuck in the walls of your pipes. Also, you’re sure that this product comes with enzymes that eat up those substances, leaving your pipes clean and smelling great. They work well in kitchen and bathroom sinks.
It is recommended to use the strips once a month as a part of your cleaning routine. The strips are safe to use on old pipes, PVC pipes, and all kinds of septic systems. Say goodbye to clogged drains and pipes because the easy to use Green Gobbler bio-flow drain strips will get the job done for you.
3. Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Full Clog Destroyer
This drain cleaner is a 3-in-1 full clog destroyer with a powerful, fast-acting solution ready to remove all the tough, dirty substances that are blocking your pipes. It’s versatile enough to work on tubs, sinks, showers, and garbage disposals. You’re sure guaranteed every penny spent on it is worth it.
The pro-strength comes in viscoelastic formula’s ability to completely clear out blockages due to hair, soap scum, and hair. For sure, this drainer can easily work through slow-running and fully-clogged pipes. It ensures you clean and unclogged pipes all the time with monthly use, and it also prevents clogs from coming back.
Liquid Plumr full Clog Destroyer’s Formula includes a PipeGuard. This protects your pipes while it destroys the dirt surrounding inside. It is safe to use throughout your house, in all kinds of pipes, including plastic pipes and septic tanks.
4. Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener
Another high-quality drain cleaner from Green Gobbler is their ultimate main drain opener. It has the same biodegradable formula as the other two Green Gobbler products, but this one has a higher density. The higher density lets the formula sink through water and sticks on the pipes to liquefy tough dirt.
With its tough formula, it can dissolve not only organic materials (hair, oil, grease, soap scum) but also baby wipes and paper products. The ultimate drain opener is perfect for unclogging and preventive maintenance. It intensely works on clogs but does not harm the pipes and septic systems.
The drain cleaner is safe to use compared to brands. It is odorless, non-flammable, and does not irritate the skin. Not to mention, the product is safe for the environment too. You won’t worry about them leaving damages. The formula does not damage your groundwater, and it does not give off toxic fumes.
5. DrainScrub Powder Enzyme Drain Cleaner
What people favor using drain cleaners with enzymes is that they are safe to use. You won’t worry about getting skin irritations, but you still must use caution when you use it. The DrainScrub powder has enzymes and natural bacteria; these ingredients double the cleaning power without the toxic fumes.
It is also safe for your pipes, even if they are old galvanized ones. They won’t wear down with this cleaner. The natural bacteria that eat up organic waste have a time limit. After you’ve mixed your powder in, you must apply it to your drain within 30 minutes or else the bacteria will die and not serve its function.
The DrainScrub Powder is a little bit on the expensive side. But, it can last you a while and give the best results when it comes to cleaning the drain of your old pipes. The money you spend on the cleaner is cheaper compared to calling plumbers for maintenance every month.
6. Professor Amos Superfast Drain Cleaner
The name itself shows the best feature of this drain cleaner, superfast. It uses an accelerator formula. Without a doubt, this is powerful enough to remove all the food, grease, hair, and other organic wastes, effectively in just 15 minutes. It’s useful for all the different kinds of drain cleaning you need in your household.
Professor Amos superfast drain cleaner is excellent for old homes, where most pipes have accumulated a lot of build-ups. No matter how old the pipes are and how thick the grime attached to them may be, the superfast drain cleaner has no problem with dissolving them all.
More than just your drains at home, this cleaner works well with septic tanks, cesspools, and public sewage systems too. It can be used on various types of plumbing as well, like PVC pipes, copper, and all the like.
7. Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Full Clog Destroyer Gel
There are two Liquid Plumr products on this list. They may look similar, but they have their differences. First, this one is gel-based. The thick consistency enables the formula to coat the entire pipe. An overall coat completely wipes away all the hair, soap scum, food, and all other organic waste build-ups.
Perhaps, the advantage of using gel is that it leaves a protective barrier on your pipes so that grime will not easily stick to the pipe walls. Same as the other pro-strength drain cleaner, this one also has the PipeGuard feature. This protects your pipes while it dissolves the grime inside it.
The Full Clog Destroyer works excellently for slow-running and fully blocked drains. It is safe for septic systems and all kinds of pipes as well, including plastic, PVC, copper, and old pipes. Other than cleaning your drain, it also deodorizes it. You don’t need to worry about having stinky, clogged drains ever again.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should you get your drains cleaned?
Often, homeowners would clean their drains when they find out its clogged. But it is better to have monthly maintenance on your drains to avoid build-up from happening. You can call professionals to get the job done, or you can use a drain cleaner and do it by yourself.
But, if you are going to clean your drain by yourself, make sure you’ve read the instructions and are fully equipped to perform the task.
2. What are the benefits of drain cleaning?
No one wants to have a clogged drain in their homes. It is always better to have an effective drainage system so you won’t face problems with clogging or slow-running. Cleaning your drains will prevent foul odors from happening, and can lengthen the lifespan of your pipes.
3. Do enzyme-based drain cleaners work in eliminating tough clogs?
Yes, they do work better in clearing tough clogs. Enzyme-based cleaners are environmentally-friendly compared to the harsh chemical found in some drain cleaners. They work slower than chemical-based products, but the result is still the same. You will have clean and odorless pipes after use.
4. Can I use liquid drain cleaner to eliminate clogs if I have aluminum or copper piping?
It is best to avoid using liquid drain cleaners if you have aluminum or copper piping. Liquid drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes from the inside.
Moreover, acids used in these kinds of cleaners have found out to cause adverse chemical reactions. The acids can heat up to unsafe temperatures, and melt your pipes on contact. For aluminum or copper piping, turn to a more environmentally-friendly alternative.
Apart from the review, we have also added safety tips, things to consider when purchasing a drain cleaner, and the different types of drain cleaners. With this, we hope that you are now fully knowledgeable to figure out what is the best cleaner for old pipes.