If it goes down the drain, it’s gone, right? Unfortunately, in the backs of our minds, as we rinse the hair down the drain, we all know that’s not true. After a while, a clog will form, and you’ll need drain cleaning help. Before you reach for a bottle of Drano, consider these important things.

Drano is a combination of chemicals that is harmful to the environment, can cause serious chemical burns, and can also eat through your pipes.

Simply put, Drano is a solution of lye, sodium nitrate, sodium chloride (table salt), and aluminum. This combination of harsh chemicals eats away at the organic matter that causes clogs. While it can sometimes be effective on minor clogs, is that something you want to be adding to our water system?

Several things cause clogs, like fat, grease, hair, or putting anything besides waste, toilet paper, and water down a drain. Drano works to decompose these things, clearing the clog. Voila! You’re back in business.

But just when you think you’re in the clear with a cleared drain, a bunch of surprising things could be taking place…

As easily as Drano eats through clogs, it can eat through the pipes. Lye heats up when mixed with aluminum, and this is part of why Drano is effective. Heat can crack porcelain, meaning your pipes or fixtures. If you were to put Drano down the toilet (but don’t…don’t try this at home at all), it could crack the commode. Not only would you need an entire toilet replacement, but you could also end up with thousands of dollars in re-piping on your hands.

As if this isn’t enough to scare you away, it gets worse…

Say you go ahead with the Drano anyway to save money, or because it might work temporarily. The clog inevitably sticks around getting worse and worse, and you end up needing to call a plumber anyway.

Plumbers use a sewer machine to clear clogs. Remember how Drano can eat through your pipes? It can also damage a sewer machine. Any Drano that’s hanging out in your pipes or sewer can get pulled back, giving your plumber chemical burns. It’s so dangerous that some plumbing companies charge an additional fee if they find that you’ve used Drano.

Needless to say, that cheap bottle of Drano can end up costing you way more than you expected. Next time you have a clog, it’s more effective and efficient to just hire a plumber. Our verdict: Drano is no substitute for drain cleaning.

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