The water in your home helps you keep your family, dishes, pets and property clean.
And when water comes from the tap like magic, it can be easy to forget that there’s a complex ecosystem of pipes inside your home to make it all happen. Easy to forget, that is, until a drain backs up and starts slowing outbound flow or gets blocked altogether
How do drains get blocked and clogged?
Well, draining water carries dirt, fragments, hair, skin particles, soap, and even food matter along with it. Over time this can build up into a film inside the drain and along the pipe walls. The more it accumulates, the thicker it gets and narrower the space is for the water to move through.
You have a clogged drain.
Drain cleaning is all about removing the gunk to improve your water flow. If you’re facing a backed-up drain, you’ll want a reliable solution and there are a few ways you can tackle this problem, so we’ve put together this handy guide on the best drain cleaners you have to choose from.
Are drain cleaners necessary?
It’s tempting to flush drains with hot water, or even a DIY mixture of white vinegar and bicarb soda, but for stubborn drains you need premium solutions.
At best, untreated blockage will render your bathroom, kitchen and laundry drains unusable or cause an even bigger mess. At worst, you’ll face expensive repair bills when blocked drains damage your plumbing or send water onto your clean floors, carpet or furniture.
Cleaning out drains is also a sanitary issue.
Just try to imagine the mixture of build up down that pipe. Choosing to leave it over time can lead to unpleasant smells and unsanitary backflow.
The key here is to choose an effective approach to drain cleaning.
While cleaning is necessary, some cleaners may not be worth the cost. It’s important to consider the drain you have, how you use it, and what material may be down there and then match a cleaner that is suitable. Otherwise, you’ll be dumping money along with cleaning fluid down the drain.
How to select the best drain cleaner
So what should you look for when choosing a drain cleaner?
There are many different options available, but they can be grouped into a few major types. We’ll break them out to help you choose the best one for your drain.
Acidic chemical cleaners
This is probably the most common type of drain cleaner, coming in liquid form in easily purchased bottles.
They break down the filth down your drain by attempting to dissolve whatever it comes into contact with. As you can imagine, acidic cleaners need safe handling since they usually contain sulfuric or muriatic acid.
While that sounds corrosive, you might actually need to pour a few rounds down the drain (according to the instructions, of course).
Caustic chemical cleaners
These work in a similar way to acidic cleaners but are their chemically constructed counterparts.
They usually contain sodium hydroxide (or lye). While this is great for clearing out gunk from grease or stubborn build up, keep in mind that these can deteriorate any organic or metal materials they come in contact with. This, in turn, might not be great for frequent use in your drain or pipes.
As the name suggests, these liquid cleaners oxidise anything they come into contact with. This works extra great on organic matter (like food clogging a kitchen sink, for example). They usually include bleach or a peroxide and can take a few treatments to clear things up.
If you’re not as keen on dumping chemicals down your drains, you’re not alone.
Many homeowners are wary of the fumes, precautions, and long-term effects of use on their plumbing. Instead, you can use a plumber’s snake that you insert into the clogged drain. This coil progresses through the pipe and can break up or grab onto the build up until the drain is clear again.
Hire a professional drain cleaning plumber
OK, we know this isn’t *technically* a type of drain cleaner, but bringing onboard your local Melbourne plumber guarantees leading expertise and advanced drain clearing tools.
This is especially true if DIY or supermarket-bought cleaners fail to clear your blockage. Consider having a professional assess the situation and fix it for you the right way once and for all. The pros will have CCTV inspection cameras to find the exact cause along with all of the tools to get the job done right.
Dealing with a blocked drain? Keep your money in your wallet and request a fast and FREE quote to find out if we’re right for you
Our recommendations for best drain cleaning agents
There are many different brands, options, and providers within each of these categories, and one quick trip to your local Coles or Woolies can overwhelm you with options.
To help you find the best drain cleaners for your situation, check out the guide below.
Best acidic chemical drain cleaner: CLR Build Up Remover
CLR works best when poured down a drain and left to dissolve build up overnight or during light water usage times. This gives it a chance to thoroughly break down oils, hair, and waste more effectively. While you won’t want to get this (or any other chemicals) on your skin, CLR is considered safe for use in all pipes and contains no additional fragrances.
Great for: Clearing hair and soap film build up
Best caustic chemical drain cleaner: Liquid Plumr Clog Destroyer
While it takes an entire bottle per clogged drain, 15 minutes and a little hot water flush should have your drain clear in no time. This product is safe for all pipes except for rubber tubing. It is also best for sinks and shower or tub drains, and it should not be used in toilets.
Great for: Slow drains without standing water
Best mechanical drain cleaner: FlexiSnake Drain Weasel
If you’re brave enough to explore what lurks below, this kit includes all you’ll need for the job. Simply attach a hook wand to the handle, insert in your drain, and turn the crank. The spinning action will loosen anything it comes in contact with while also attaching to debris like hair. Just be ready with a trash bag to capture what is pulled through when you retract it.
Great for: Disposable, non-chemical clearing
Reed Plumbing are the best professional drain cleaners in Melbourne (and we’re not afraid to say it)
While chemicals and tools can seem straightforward, you may need multiple bottles or trial and error to find the right kind for your clog. What’s more, the project can get a bit messy, complicated, or even reveal a bigger problem.
At Reed Plumbing, we provide the best drain cleaners Melbourne can find, with hands-on, experienced teams and the right products for the job. We take our time to find the exact issue behind your slow drain or clog. We avoid chemical cleaners wherever possible and ensure that any products used in your home are safe for your pipes and your family.
Reed Plumbing and Drainage Solutions is the most reliable service in Melbourne. We’ll get to the bottom of all blocked drain issues for our customers from a quick cleaning to finding tree root intrusion. Our licensed and insured team uses CCTV to inspect and identify blockages while delivering a permanent solution.
Hire a Good Plumber in Melbourne
The factors that make an excellent plumber include a considerable portfolio of services, five stars Google ratings, as well as being easy to communicate with.
At Reed Plumbing and Drainage Solutions, we are fully licensed and certified, have more than 15 years of experience.
We are experts in all areas of plumbing, so give us a buzz and we’ll able to discuss the options with you to find the best solution in the quickest time.