Here’s Why You Should Never Use Drano to Unclog a Toilet

When you have a clogged toilet, it can be tempting to reach for a bottle of Drano to take care of the problem. After all, it works great on your kitchen sink and bathtub, why not use it for the toilet? Well, there's a very good reason you shouldn't use Drano for toilet clogs – it can permanently damage your toilet. We'll explain.

Why Can't I Use Drano in My Toilet Drain?

Drano uses chemicals that work similarly to lye to dissolve whatever is clogging your pipes and drain. However, it doesn't magically clear clogs. It sits at the site of the clog as the chemicals slowly work to dissolve it. While this is happening, the Drano is causing a chemical reaction that generates heat. While this is not typically a problem for the drains in your sink and tub, if you use Drano in your toilet it can:

  • Soften PVC pipes.
  • Damage old and corroded pipes.
  • Crack the porcelain bowl in your toilet. If this happens, you would potentially need to replace the entire toilet.

Using Drano in the toilet can also hurt you. For example, let's say you used Drano and the clog isn't going anywhere, so you decide to try plunging it. While doing so, you run the risk of accidentally splashing the sitting Drano on your skin, which could cause a burn. If you decide to double down on your problem by using another chemical cleaner to attack the clog, it could mix with the Drano and create toxic fumes, which you could accidentally inhale. Yikes! Better to skip the Drano when it comes to toilet clogs.

How to Unclog Your Toilet (Without Drano)

First, try a flange plunger. These are the plungers that are shaped like a bell. Don't use a cup plunger. While it may get the job done, these types of plungers are designed to unclog drains on a flat surface, like your kitchen sink.

If the flange plunger doesn't work, try a toilet auger. Also known as a drain snake, augers extend a spring coil down the toilet to (hopefully) push whatever is clogging your toilet down the drain. However, augers can only go about three feet, so if the drain is beyond its reach, you will need to try another tactic.

If you've got more than one toilet in the house and don't mind waiting, you can try using a drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean(r). It uses naturally-occurring bacteria and enzymes to eat away at the organic waste in your plumbing system. It is safe for your pipes, and won't result in toxic fumes. However, the cleaner normally needs to sit overnight to do its job, so if you need your toilet functioning again fast, this isn't the best option.

At EcoClean, we are experts at unclogging stubborn drains. If you are experiencing a clog in your toilet, we can help fix the problem without damaging your toilet or pipes. Just give us a call at 207.358.3540.