The best drain cleaners

21 October 2021

Products for unblocking pipes, other conduits and drains are readily available in stores. There are so many designed for sinks, bathtubs and other fixtures that it’s hard to choose the right one. Which one works best and will help you solve your problem once and for all? Read on to find out the answer.

Drain cleaners

There are different types of drain cleaners:

  • Natural
  • Chemical
  • Pressure-based
  • Mechanical

Natural drain cleaners

Hot or boiling water is a natural drain cleaner, as are preparations that include white vinegar and baking soda. Both have the advantage of being an environmentally friendly and non-hazardous solution that won’t damage your plumbing. CMMTQ recommends the following formula for unblocking pipes (link in French only):

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Pour ¼ cup of this mixture into your sink, bathtub or shower. Wait a few minutes, then add 1 cup of boiling water.

Chemical drain cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners are available in DIY stores and on the cleaning supply shelves of grocery stores. Chemical drain cleaners are toxic, corrosive and highly polluting, and if used incorrectly, they can even damage your piping.

Pressure drain cleaners

Pressure drain cleaners force air into the blocked pipe or conduit to move the material causing the blockage. If used improperly, they can make the material completely obstruct the pipe or block a valve.

Mechanical drain cleaners

Plumber’s snakes are mechanical drain cleaners. They are a cable that can be inserted into a blocked pipe or conduit to push down or lift the material causing the blockage.

Whether to use a drain cleaner or call a plumber

If none of these drain cleaning methods has succeeded despite several attempts, it’s time to hire a plumber. Do the math. Sometimes people buy all kinds of tools and products to unblock a pipe and then realize in the end that they still need a plumber. They would have wasted less time and money by contacting a plumber to do the job at the outset!