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The Best Drain Cleaners

Dmitry Galaganov/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated December 2021

Drain cleaners are an affordable and easy solution to an everyday issue: clogged drains. They help improve water flow in sinks and eliminate smells in the kitchen. These are some of the best drain cleaners you can have on hand.

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  Best Industrial Strength Best Value Set For Hair Blockages Best Natural Choice Also Great
 
  Green Gobbler
Ultimate Main Drain Opener
Green Gobbler
Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover
Drano
Max Gel Drain Clog Remover
Earthworm
Drain Cleaner
Supreme Clean
Probiotic Sink & Disposal Cleaner
 
Our SummaryA powerful drain cleaner that wipes out the organic material blocking your pipes.A well-priced product that helps you clear away nasty drain blockages. A hair-removing drain cleaner that gets right to the clog. A natural solution to clogs that leaves your drain smelling fresh.This nontoxic drain cleaner makes your space smell fresh.
ProsDissolves organic material, non-damaging to pipes, environmentally friendly.Comes with two bottles, dissolves lots of substances, safe to use.Removes hair clogs, thick gel, gets past standing water, safe on pipes.Natural option, safe to use with septic system, nice smell.Uses probiotics, smells nice, nontoxic.
ConsTakes a while to work.Doesn't work on tough clogs.Bleach is main ingredient, bad smell, may need to use entire bottle. Not very strong, may need to use entire bottle in one try.Not great at unclogging.
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The Best Drain Cleaners

A man pours a bottle of drain cleaner down a bathroom sink drain.
Dmitry Galaganov/Shutterstock.com

Clogged and smelly drains in sinks and showers aren’t fun, and manually trying to pull hair from them is even less fun. Drain cleaners are an effective way get your home clean without having to get your hands dirty. Find the right fit for your home and get rid of those nasty clogs.

Buying Guide for Drain Cleaners

liquid going dow n a tub or sink drain.
frantic00/Shutterstock.com

Why buy drain cleaner?

Almost everyone will deal with a clogged or smelly drain from time to time. Drain cleaner is a simple solution to this common problem. Even if it’s just a minor clog, you’ll want to take care of it before it becomes a bigger issue. With so many affordable and effective drain cleaners out there, your home’s drains can stay nice and clean.

What should you consider in drain cleaner?

  • Toxicity: Make sure you aren’t harming your pipes or septic system with too harsh of a drain cleaner. If you’re concerned about damage, go with a natural option or a cleaner that doesn’t contain bleach. This is also a great choice if you have kids or pets.
  • Strength: Drain cleaners come in a variety of strengths. The heavy-duty ones will clean pretty much everything, but they can be more harmful to pipes and smell worse. On the other hand, gentler options may not get rid of all the dirt in your pipes. Finding the right option is all about the severity of your clog and the strength of your pipes.
  • Fragrance: Some drain cleaners get in there and blast away at the grime. Others are simply meant to freshen up the drain and pipes to improve the smell. If you want a product that leaves behind a nice smell as it cleans, look for one with a fresh fragrance.

What should you expect to pay for a drain cleaner?

Drain cleaners are affordable products that won’t break the bank. They’re meant to be used multiple times and purchased repeatedly. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than $30 for a quality product, and you can find powerful cleaners for under $10.

Our Picks for the Best Drain Cleaners

Best Industrial Strength

Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener

A powerful drain cleaner that wipes out the organic material blocking your pipes.

Pros: The Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener is a super-powered drain buster that dissolves organic material and paper, so it will even work in toilets. It features a high-density formula that liquefies nasty drain blockages to improve water flow. It’s both non-damaging to pipes and environmentally friendly. So, while it’s tough on whatever’s blocking your drain, that’s about all it hurts.

Cons: This drain cleaner might take a while to work, especially on tough clogs.

Bottom Line: This drain cleaner can tackle most clogs. You may have to let it sit for a while, but it should be able to tackle whatever’s causing an issue for your drain.

 

Best Value Set

Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover

A well-priced product that helps you clear away nasty drain blockages.

Pros: The Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover gives you two bottles at a great price. It’s designed to dissolve hair, soap, paper, and grease, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty plunging or digging out those nasty substances. It works by lowering the pH levels in your drains quickly to remove what’s backing them up. Plus, it’s safe to use in multiple areas of your home.

Cons: If you have a particularly tough blockage, this might not get the job done.

Bottom Line: Unless you have a really extreme clog, this drain cleaner should help remove it. Plus, at its low price point, it’s worth keeping around.

 

For Hair Blockages

Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover

A hair-removing drain cleaner that gets right to the clog.

Pros: The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover is made specifically to remove hair clogs, but it can do plenty more. It has a thick gel that should quickly dissolve most bunches of hair, powering through water that’s in the way to get straight to the clog. It’s also safe on most pipes and septic systems. Plus, it’s meant to work quickly!

Cons: Although it claims to be safe for septic systems, the main ingredient is bleach, which could be a problem depending on the type of system you have. There have also been complaints about the smell it produces, which isn’t exactly pleasant. And while it should work, you may end up using an entire bottle in one attempt.

Bottom Line: This drain cleaner clears out clogs from hair that slow down your drain. While the smell might not be great and you might have to use a lot of the product, it’s pretty effective. Just follow the directions closely—you’ll need to use hot water to get it to work.

 

Best Natural Choice

Earthworm Drain Cleaner

A natural solution to clogs that leaves your drain smelling fresh.

Pros: The Earthworm Drain Cleaner is a natural option that uses enzymes to unclog drains, so it won’t damage plumbing. It’s safe to use with septic systems and on all your drains, including sinks with garbage disposals. It even features a nice citrus and sage fragrance that leaves your drain smelling fresh. You don’t have to worry about kids or pets getting into it since it’s free of harsh chemicals.

Cons: The downside to a natural product is that it doesn’t pack the punch some other drain cleaners do. While it is effective for some clogs, super-tough clogs might need the entire bottle or something stronger.

Bottom Line: This drain cleaner smells nice, won’t hurt your pipes or septic system, and contains natural ingredients. It’s definitely worth giving it a shot!

 

Also Great

Supreme Clean Probiotic Sink & Disposal Cleaner

A nontoxic drain cleaner that makes your space smell fresh.

Pros: The Supreme Clean Probiotic Sink & Disposal Cleaner harnesses the power of probiotics to clean and freshen up your drains. It’s made to reach deep into your pipes to clear out blockages and leave behind a fresh smell. A nice feature of this drain cleaner is that it continues to clean up to 30 days after you’ve used it. Plus, it’s nontoxic and safe for septic systems. All in all, it’s designed to do the job safely and effectively.

Cons: This product seems to do a better job at improving the smell of a drain than unclogging it.

Bottom Line: This product is a great combination of fresh smells and cleaning power. If you want a safe drain cleaner to make your drains smell better, this is a good option.

Final Thoughts

Drain cleaners are affordable and easy to use, and most people can use a drain-cleaning boost from time to time. Make your home smell fresh and keep the water flowing with one of these drain cleaners.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »

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