You probably have heard about Drano, the commercial multipurpose drain cleaner and clog remover. But as good as Drano is, there are concerns about its safety. So, is Drano safe for shower drains?
Drano is safe for shower drains as long as you don’t allow it to act for a long time. Preferably, you should flush Drano with hot water after 15-30 minutes of acting. But even so, only shower after 6-8 hours to avoid any form of contact with the Drano deposits or fumes.
Also, remember to protect your eyes, nose, hands, and skin from any form of contact with Drano when working with it. That should keep you safe and allow you to get the most from Drano.
To help you understand the risks that come with Drano, I’ll discuss them and their preventive approaches. I’ll also offer you some safe Drano alternatives if Drano is not an option for you.
But before I do, let’s answer our title question next.
Is Drano Safe for Shower Drains?
Drano usually is safe to use on plastic and metal pipes as long as you don’t allow it to sit in the drain for long. All you need is to give Drano some time to act on the clog.
For the less serious clogs, you should let Drano act for 15 minutes while giving it 30 minutes when dealing with the serious ones. Less serious clogs include papers and soap scum, while serious ones include hair and corrosion.
But overall, it’s essential to flush Drano with hot water as soon as it acts. That not only help to hasten its action and helps to get rid of its deposits. And once you flush Drano, you shouldn’t use the shower immediately. Wait for 6-8 hours before showering.
The Risks of Drano for Shower Drains
Remember, Drano contains powerful chemicals like sodium hydroxide (otherwise known as lye), sodium hypochlorite, and caustic, which have corrosive properties. As a result, they pose the following risks:
1. Drain Damage
If you leave Drano overnight, it’s likely to corrode and damage pipes. Additionally, continuous usage of Drano can also ruin your PVC pipes.
That is because of Drano’s corrosive chemicals, which I mentioned earlier. Over time, your shower drains may start becoming brittle and crack, resulting in expensive repairs.
Ensure that you do not use Drano regularly to clean your shower drain, especially if you have PVC pipes in your plumbing system.
Additionally, you should only use Drano for 15 minutes on less problematic clogs and 30 minutes on stubborn ones.
2. Septic Damage
Too much Drano use can damage your septic tank. You wonder how?
Well, the harmful chemicals in Drano usually kill both the good and the harmful bacteria. And since good bacteria help break down and decompose sewage in your septic tank, the septic tank will become ineffective without them.
Don’t over-depend on Drano for cleaning your septic tank. Instead, you should use enzymatic cleaners like Bio-Clean Drain Septic Cleaner (View on Amazon), which contains 100% natural enzymes that digest the bacteria in your septic tank for effective cleanup.
And if you must use Drano, use it seldom.
3. Further Clogging
While Drano is a known clog remover, it could also be the source of clogging or make an existing clog worse. That usually happens when you excessively use Drano, and its deposits loosen in the drain.
The chemicals could also clog the drain if the pipe is too narrow to allow smooth drainage.
It’s essential that you don’t leave Drano in the drain for a long time. Doing so reduces the risk of its deposits clogging.
Not Forgetting Health Risks
Drano can pose health risks when you inhale its dangerous fumes. This is if Drano gets into contact with your skin, mouth, and eyes. For example, Drano’s corrosive chemicals can irritate the skin, throat, and mouth and sometimes cause burns, rashes, and other side effects.
There are even cases of lung damage after inhaling the fumes for long or cancer after prolonged exposure.
It’s essential to avoid all kinds of contact with Drano when working with it. That means wearing protective gear like a mask, goggles, and gloves. And if it accidentally spills on your skin, you should ensure you rinse it off immediately with lots of water.
Is Drano Worth It for Shower Drains Despite the Risk?
After looking at the Drano risks, you are likely to wonder if the drain cleaner is worth it. So, should you spend money on it? Should you use it to clean your shower drain?
Well, the answer is yes. Here is why I’m arguing so:
1. Drano Is Normally Safe On Pipes – As Long as You Use It Correctly
Drano usually is safe to use on different drains. It only becomes a concern when you allow it to sit in the pipes for a long time. So, as long as you give it 15-30 minutes to act and then flush it with hot water after, then your pipes will be safe.
2. Drano is Tough On Shower Clog
Drano contains enzymes that break down large and stubborn clogs in your shower drain system. That includes hair, soap scum, and papers. So, you can count on Drano for the best drain cleaning.
For the best results, here’s how to use Drano Max Gel in shower:
- Pour Drano Max Gel down the drain
- Ensure there aren’t spillages when pouring and if there are, clean them right away
- Wait for the Drano to act for 15-30 minutes
- Flush with hot water
- Wait for 6-8 hours for the fumes to escape before using the shower
3. Drano is Fast-Acting
It takes about 30 minutes to clean your drain with Drano and about 6-8 hours before you can shower. Mark you, this is something you do once in a while, but its effects are long-lasting.
4. Drano is Easy to Use
You do not need to call a plumber to unclog your shower drain if you have Drano on your arsenal.
All you need is to wear protective gear, pour Drano down the drain, give it time to act (about 15-30 minutes), flush the drain using hot water, and that’s it!
Safe Drano Alternatives for Shower Drains
While Drano is quite effective, its risks are undeniable even though they are preventable. However, you don’t have to risk as other drain cleaners do a pretty decent job.
They include the following:
Your toilet plunger is not just meant for unclogging the toilet. You can also use it to clear your shower drain and bathtub.
2. Boiling Water
You can unclog it by pouring boiling water in case of a slight clog. Just ensure you pour enough water and give it a bit of time to loosen the clog.
3. Dish Soap and Hot water
If boiling water alone doesn’t work, you should use it with dish soap. In that case, start by pouring dishwashing soap into the drain and following it with hot water. The dishwashing soap will help loosen the clog as the hot water dissolves it faster.
4. Natural Drain Cleaner (Natural Enzymes)
Consider using natural drain cleaners since Drano is not 100% eco-friendly and can damage the bacteria in your septic tank. Even though they may cost more, they are equally effective but are safer than Drano.
One such cleaner is Bio-Clean Ultimate Drain Cleaning Kit (View on Amazon). This cleaning kit is 100% chemical-free and contains natural enzymes that effectively unclog the shower.
5. White Vinegar and Baking Soda
White vinegar and baking soda are great for unclogging the toughest clogs. So, if you cannot do it with hot water or hot water with soap, you should try this approach.
Here’s how to unclog shower drain with vinegar and baking soda:
- Pour a cup of baking soda into the shower drain and let it sit for 5 minutes
- Follow it up with a cup of white vinegar and allow the mixture to act for a few hours
- Pour boiling water after the vinegar-baking mixture, and that’s it
6. Using A Drain Snake
You can also use the drain snake (or the plumbing snake) to reach deep into the shower drain and unclog it.
One perfect choice is the FlexiSnake Drain Snake Cleaner. It’s 18-inch long to dislodge deep-seated clogs and has a 360-degree rotating handle that makes it flexible to use.
People Also Ask
1. Is Drano Max Gel Safe for Shower Drains?
Drano Max Gel is generally safe for the drain. Overall, it won’t damage your shower drain if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. That includes not leaving it in the drain for long and flushing it with hot water after 15-30 minutes.
2. Is Drano Safe for Your Pipes?
Drano is safe in your pipes and won’t damage them provided you don’t let it sit for long hours. Due to its corrosive properties, it’s a good idea to flush Drano with hot water after 15-30 minutes of acting.
3. Can You Put Drano Down a Shower Drain?
Yes! You can use Drano down your shower drain. However, if you are dealing with slow running water, you should let it act for 15 minutes, while if it’s large clogs, you should let Drano work for 30 minutes before flushing.
4. Is Drano Safe for Bathtubs?
You can also use Drano to unclog your bathtub, apart from shower drains. But be careful not to cause spillages to other tub areas as it could cause damage.
Is Drano Safe for Shower Drains? Closing Thought!
Contrary to many controversies, Drano is indeed safe for unclogging your shower drain. The best part is that it has a fast action (15-30 minutes). However, you should not leave Drano to act on your shower drain overnight as it could damage the drains. More importantly, avoid all direct contact with the chemical.