Can You Use Drano in Your Toilet?

A plummer uses a plunger to unclog a toilet.

In the middle of a toilet crisis, the tendency is to grab a liquid drain cleaner, like Drano, to flush the system and clear the backup. As one of the oldest and biggest-selling drain cleaners, Drano seems like the perfect solution. However, the reality is that you may create more damage in the long run. Continue reading to discover why this is not advisable and what we recommend to clear a clogged toilet!

What is Drano and How Does it Work?

Manufactured in 1923 by S.C. Johnson & Son, Drano is designed specifically for sinks, showers, and tub drains. Composed of a crystal form of sodium hydroxide (lye) and sodium chloride (salt), along with other chemicals, Drano causes a violent reaction to occur and creates intense heat when the product comes in direct contact with water, which also creates intense heat. Bottom line: for Drano to dissolve the clog in the pipe, the mixture must boil and melt whatever is causing the backup.

Initially, this seems like a great option. However, before we all run out and stock up on Drano, let’s dive into this a bit more. The chemicals in Drano oxidize when combined with oxygen, which leads to the reaction between the clog and Drano chemicals. When Drano sits in a toilet, deep in the pipes, until the clog dissolves, it continues to generate heat. The danger here is that these harsh chemicals can potentially lead to a plethora of problems: a crack in the toilet’s porcelain bowl, the softening of plastic piping (PVC), and corrosion in metal pipes.

Bottom Line: Even Drano says “NO!” to using it in your toilet. Under no circumstances should a liquid drain cleaner be used in a toilet.

If you have plastic pipes, the harsh chemicals in many popular liquid drain-cleaning products can eat away at them quickly. If you have metal piping, chemicals can remain inside the pipes and corrode the metal over time, especially if you use these cleaners frequently.

Alternative Solutions

As an alternative to Drano, try your good old traditional plunger. When a plunger is not enough to clear a clogged toilet, the next option is a toilet auger—this will allow you to reach down to the clog and clear the blockage.

If you continue to have any further questions or feel that the problem might be too big to fix on your own, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will be happy to discuss our drain cleaning and repair services. You can also schedule an appointment, or inquire about any of our other plumbing services.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Twin Cities is the best in the business. Our plumbers have the necessary experience to guarantee your satisfaction with every plumbing repair job. The Punctual Plumbers strive to provide the highest level of competence, unsurpassed honesty, integrity, and consideration with every service call.


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