Drano is one of the oldest, longest selling drain cleaners on the market today. Invented in 1923, its original slogan promised “Once every week, Drano in every drain”.
But is that still the case today? And more importantly, is Drano the best solution when your toilet has a clog?
Lets start with the most important, mixing cleaners. Cleaners each have their own chemical makeup to do the job at hand. They are formulated to work by themselves, and handle the job they were designed to do. The problem is as a consumer, we don’t always follow those rules. Do you clean your toilet regularly with bleach? Do you drop one of those toilet tank tablets inside to keep things clean? Drano contains ammonia. Mixing bleach and ammonia will produce a toxic gas called chloramines. Exposure to chloramines will cause a number of symptoms, including eye irritation, chest pain, difficulty breathing, even pneumonia.
The drain designed for your bathroom or kitchen sink is not the same design as that of a toilet. They are each designed for their intended purpose, and each will carry different items back into the system. Drano was intended for sink clogs, meaning it has different characteristics in place to reach the clog. Drano will not sink down into a toilet’s drain as it does with other drains, meaning the chances of Drano reaching the clog is limited at best. And that’s where the real problem can begin. If Drano settles into the water and you later decide to use a plunger, water can splash up onto your skin or even into your eyes.
The Heart Of The Clog
Lets deconstruct the average clog. A sink or a bathtub normally clogs with items like hair, soap scum, skin oils, and possibly food scraps if we’re talking about the kitchen sink. Clogs in a toilet normally contain human waste and toilet paper, possibly wet wipes (which have their own unique set of problems). If foreign objects such as a child’s toy is a part of the problem, it’s a different problem entirely. Draino is designed to work on problems found in drains – hair and soap scum – not in the typical toilet clog.
Your best bet for toilet clogs is to use a funnel cup plunger, since the rounded cup will fit into a toilets drain opening better than other plungers. After you remove the plunger, use a toilet auger to reach down to the clog and retract it with the blockage. Continue to do so until your clog is clear. If you continue to have problems, its time to call in a plumber, as the problem may be deeper than a simple clog.