9 Best Drain Cleaners of 2020 for Clogged Sinks, Toilets, & Tubs
There are few things that are more annoying than a slow or blocked drain – greasy water in your sink or soapy water in your shower or bathtub is not a pretty sight and cannot be ignored. The good news is that a clogged or slow drain can often be fixed without the need for a plumber.
According to the experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning laboratory, the safest first step to clearing up constipation is to use the correct plunger, depending on where the blockage is (sink or toilet). Make sure you first cover the overflow outlet for maximum pressure, shut off the water supply, and always use a plunger before (not after!) Each chemical cleaner to prevent the chemical from splashing back on you and into your eyes.
Courtesy of Brands
Chemical or enzymatic cleaner
If the drain is still clogged after using a plunger, a chemical or enzymatic cleaner can help. Different cleaners work for different types and degrees of constipation – for example, one that works for a slow-flowing drain may not work for complete constipation. Chemical-based drain cleaners work the fastest, but they can also do more damage. Enzymatic cleaners remove blockages more slowly but are usually less harmful to your pipes (or to yourself).
When evaluating drain cleaning products and tools at the Good Housekeeping Institute, we interview company scientists and review the data for the effectiveness and safety of the products. We also evaluate how easy and neat the product is to use and how to complete and accurate the label and product claims are. We review online product reviews and have consumers test it on real clogs at home whenever possible. The drain cleaning tools and products listed here have been selected based on our previous reviews and experience with the products, company research and convenient online customer reviews.
These are the best drain cleaner according to Good Housekeeping Institute ratings:
Best drain cleaner overall: Drano Max Gel Liquid Clog Remover
Best drain cleaner for hair clogs: Liquid Plumr Clog Destroyer + Hair Clog Eliminator
Best enzymatic drain cleaner: Bio-Clean
Best crystal drain cleaner: Thrift Odorless Drain Cleaner
Best disposable drain cleaner: Green Gobbler Drain Opening Pacs
Best combination of chemical and enzyme drain cleaner: XionLab Safer Drain Opener
Best drainage screw for clogged toilets: Rigid 59787 K-3 toilet snake snake
Best drain cleaning tool for hair clogs: Vastar 3 Pack 19.6 inch Drain Snake
Best bathtub tool to prevent hair clogging: Tubshroom
How to use drain cleaners safely
Here are some important precautions to take to clear clogged drains:
- Follow all instructions carefully on the label of a drain cleaner. Make sure the room is well ventilated. Do not leave the drain cleaner in the drain longer than specified.
- Wear gloves and eye protection. Do not stand in a tub or shower cubicle when pouring the drain cleaner.
- Pour in the drain cleaner carefully Avoid spilling. The caustic nature of some chemical cleaners can damage surrounding stones, marble, stainless steel, and other materials.
- Never mix drain cleaners with other cleaning agents – also homemade – or pour a second cleaner down if the first one doesn’t work. The chemical reaction can cause toxic gases or even an explosion.
- Always rinse the drain well After using a chemical cleaner, follow the instructions in the package for the water temperature and how long you should rinse.
- Never try to clear a toilet jam with a chemical cleaner. Use a plunger, toilet screw (a standard drain snake can damage or tear the porcelain), or a natural enzyme cleaner. If constipation persists, contact a professional plumber.
BEST OVERALL DRAIN CLEANER
Max Gel Clog Remover
With 88% 5-star Walmart ratings, this top performer is a consumer favorite. Drano Max Gel Liquid Clog Remover is a thick gel that sinks to the source of constipation through standing water gets to work, dissolves hair and melts lather, grease and other chunky blockages. In the case of complete blockages or slow-flowing drains, the gel works in 15 to 30 minutes. If constipation persists, this solution can be used a second time.
BEST DRAIN CLEANER FOR HAIR MATERIALS
Hair clog eliminator
Liquid Plumr’s Thick gel works through hair clogs that slow the drainage of the sink, bathtub and shower. Hundreds of reviewers raved about how well it works. It is safe for pipes and drains, including sewage treatment plants. Wait for all the water to drain from the sink or tub, then slowly pour the Liquid Plumr bottle into the drain. The work takes at least 15 minutes. If drains are heavily clogged, you can leave Liquid Plumr in the drain overnight to work and then rinse thoroughly with hot water in the morning.
BEST ENZYMATIC DRAIN CLEANER
Drain septic bacteria (pack of 2)
BEST CRYSTAL DRAIN CLEANER
Odorless drain cleaner
The drain cleaner from Thrift is also safe for the maintenance of the septic tank and is said to work on slow-flowing drains in just 60 seconds. Hot water is required to heat the pipes, dissolve and activate the crystals before rinsing the drain thoroughly after 60 seconds. The reviewers are impressed with how quickly it works. Grease traps can be left to work overnight. As it is a strong chemical cleaner, the Thrift drain cleaner must not be used in waste disposal facilities or toilets.
BEST SINGLE-USE DRAIN CLEANER
Lower the opening pacs
No measuring, no messThe individual Pacs from Green Gobbler can make cleaning a slow-flowing drain very easy. Each pack contains three pre-packaged ready-to-use powder packs – just add water and wait 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing (or wait for hard blockages overnight). While the pacs themselves are odorless, some blockages may stink when dissolved – but once the drain is thoroughly rinsed, the smell will dissolve. More than 1,000 Amazon reviewers gave Green Gobbler a 5-star rating and said they loved how well it worked.
BEST COMBINATION OF CHEMICAL AND ENZYME DRAIN CLEANERS
Safer drain opener
The septic safe XionLab Safer Drain Opener works against hair or fat blockage (but is not ideal for food waste). A balance between acidic/caustic cleaners and mild enzymatic cleaners, The gel sinks through standing water in about 2 hours and removes slight obstacles (harder blockages last longer). A critic raved that it “works like magic”.
BEST DRAIN EYE FOR HIDDEN TOILETS
K-3 toilet snake
A toilet snail can succeed where a plunger has not. Using a normal drain snake on a clogged toilet can damage the porcelain, but the Ridgid has one Vinyl protection to protect against scratches and cracks. The ergonomic handles make it easier to turn the cable with the lamp head along the drain line past the toilet to break up and remove stuck blockages.
BEST DRAIN CLEANER TOOL FOR HAIR MATERIALS
19.6 “Drain Snake (3-pack)
The flexible Vastar Drain Snake is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms and penetrates deep into the drain pipes and bends at the P-trap, where most obstacles occur. It is an inexpensive option to mechanically remove blockages. The barbs grab hair and other messy clogs so you can remove or remove them – Many reviewers who loved this product and how well it works reminded us of how disgusting some of these clogs smell. The Vastar Drain Snake can be cleaned or disposed of after use.
BEST BATHTUB TOOL TO AVOID HAIR SUBSTANCES
Bathtub drain protection
The revolutionary design of the TubShroom is a winner of our 2020 Best Cleaning Product Awards Sit in the bathtub and collect hair neatly as the water runs off. To clean it, just pull the TubShroom out of the drain and wipe it off. It fits in standard processes and does not use chemicals. Although technically no drain cleanser this is a great way to prevent hair clogging, and it worked so well in our GH Cleaning Lab tests that we just had to take it here.
How to make a DIY drain cleaner
We recommend trying this homemade solution about once a month. It’s not strong enough to completely clear up constipation, but it can help keep your drains fresh and flowing.
• Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of table salt and pour it into the drain.
• Slowly pour in 1 cup of warmed distilled white vinegar
• Let the foaming bubbles stand for 10-15 minutes and then rinse them with hot tap water for 15-30 seconds.