8 Best Drain Cleaners for Grease in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
Whether your shower is filling up with sudsy water or your kitchen sink is stuffed up with congealed grease, clogged drains are a real pain in the neck.
They’re unsanitary and just plain not fun to deal with, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Using a drain cleaner to clean out grease, hair, and other clogs can be a cinch if you pick an effective product.
We’ve scoured the web for the best drain cleaners available and reviewed each so you can choose the best product for your situation. Let’s dive in with the reviews below.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Drano Max Gel Drain Cleaner||
|Best Value||Green Gobbler Drain Clog Removing Pacs||
|Premium Choice||Bio-Clean Bacteria Waste Eliminator||
|Pequa Industries Drain Opener||
|Thrift Marketing Drain Cleaner||
The 8 Best Drain Cleaners for Grease
1. Drano Max Gel Drain Cleaner – Best Overall
Drano is a household name for a good reason: the stuff is the best overall drain cleaner you can buy. The gel formula sinks into standing water and seeps down to locate the source of your clogged drain, where numerous caustic chemicals dissolve the clog. Soap scum, congealed grease, hair, food, and nearly anything that can cause a drain to clog are all fair game for Drano’s robust formula. To use, pour a fifth of the bottle in your clogged drain and wait at least 15 minutes. After, pour hot water down the drain to flush the cleaner. Repeat if necessary, but we doubt you’ll need to. Drano is safe for both pipes and septic systems. Its only real con is that Drano might be overkill for minor clogs that you can solve with a plunger, and it’s unsafe for toilets.
2. Green Gobbler Drain Clog Removing Pacs – Best Value
|Type:||Single-use powder packets|
Green Gobbler Drain Clog Removing Pacs are a great option if you’re on a budget and just need to clear a drain quickly. The box comes with five single-use packets and five hair drain snake tools. To use, you open the packet and pour into your clogged drain. After 10–15 minutes, use the included drain snake tool to dislodge clogs or grab out built-up hair physically. The tools aren’t very long, but they’re really handy, considering the affordable price. The other major con of note is that for major clogs, you may need to let it sit overnight. For this reason alone, we’d suggest keeping a box of these around for minor clogs when you don’t want to break out the caustic chemicals.
3. Bio-Clean Bacteria Waste Eliminator – Premium Choice
|Type:||Powder-based enzymatic cleaner|
Unlike other drain cleaners that work by dissolving clogs with acid and other chemicals, this enzymatic cleaner from Bio-Clean is the perfect kitchen drain cleaner. It costs a bit more than other products but breaks down soap scum, grease, hair, food debris, and other organic waste without harsh chemicals. That means no chemicals contaminating groundwater or harming wildlife, which is a big plus. Enzymatic cleaners like Bio-Clean work more slowly than conventional acid-based cleaners, literally eating and digesting the clog overnight. To use, add a tablespoon of powder to a pint of water and immediately pour it down your drain or garbage disposal.
4. Pequa Industries Drain Opener
Although difficult to find in stores, this drain cleaner from Pequa Industries offers heavy-duty drain-cleaning action. It dissolves grease, hair, soap scum, and other common organic waste within minutes of pouring it down your clogged drain. This product is safe for most household drains, including the kitchen, shower, toilet, etc. It works quickly to dissolve clogs when you need them cleared fast, but it contains harsh chemicals. We’d suggest reserving this cleaner for when you need fast-acting, heavy-duty cleaning action.
5. Thrift Marketing Drain Cleaner
When your drains aren’t necessarily clogged but draining very slowly, a traditional drain cleaner might be too much. Thrift Marketing Drain Cleaner is a crystal drain cleaner that helps clear out gunked-up pipes, drains, and even septic systems. Unlike other cleaners, you must mix it with hot water before use. The hot water heats up your pipes and helps the crystals dissolve into your drain, targeting organic gunk that causes drains and pipes to drain slowly. It works great as a monthly maintenance cleanse for your pipes and drains but can’t dissolve full-fledged clogs. Another notable downside is that the product has a strong chemical odor.
6. FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner
A drain snake is the next logical step when enzymatic or chemical drain cleaners aren’t cutting it. This offering from FlexiSnake comes with five refills, all of which have patented micro-hooks. We recommend pouring hot water down the drain before feeding the snake down the drain. Once you reach the blockage, the micro-hooks will dig into and break apart the clogged waste. For hair, the hooks will latch on so you can remove the clump. With an 18-inch length, flexible body, and 360-degree rotation, you can reach the farthest hairballs and remove them with this snake. After, pull the snake out and eject the gunked-up wand into the trash. Like all drain snakes, you must be careful—they may scrape old, corroded pipes or push blockages further into the pipe..
7. CLR Clear Pipes & Drains Clog Remover and Cleaner
Regularly using preventative drain cleaners like this one from CLR will reduce how often your drains and pipes get clogged up. This product contains no harsh chemicals or acids, using bacteria power to break down clogs before they can accumulate and become a problem. Use this product monthly to help stop clogs in their tracks and save yourself the headache of dealing with them later. If possible, let the cleaner sit in the drain overnight to give it time to work. You can use this monthly build-up remover to dissolve grease, toothpaste, hair, food, oil, and more.
8. Rockwell Labs Bio Drain Gel
Rockwell Labs Bio Drain Gel does double duty by cleaning your drains and repelling bothersome drain flies with fragrant citrus oil. The gel sinks through stagnant water and coats the walls to cut through grease, scum, and other organic waste, leaving behind a pleasant citrus scent. The formula utilizes probiotics to digest organic matter, which means it’s both septic-safe and environmentally friendly. Opt for this drain cleaner if you’ve noticed drain or fruit flies in the sink or just to cut through blockages.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Drain Cleaners for Grease
Clearing clogged drains is nobody’s idea of a good time, but it needs to be done from time to time. It’s especially hard to determine which drain cleaner is the best for your situation when there are so many brands jockeying for your attention. The main things to look out for are the type of clog, formula, and plumbing compatibility. Let’s check out why these are so important down below.
Type of Clog
The type of clog depends on the room it’s in. Kitchen clogs tend to be food waste, grease, oil, and paper. In the bathroom, toothpaste, hair, and soap scum are the main culprits. Different cleaners may be designed for different types of clogs, so it’s essential to make sure a product will work for your clog before you buy it.
The most powerful, fast-acting drain cleaners use caustic chemicals like lye, bleach, sodium hydroxide, and sodium hypochlorite. These typically dissolve clogs within just minutes, freeing up valuable time for you. Because they contain dangerous chemicals, they can’t be used in toilets or septic systems. You can find chemical drain cleaners in gel, liquid, and crystal form.
Enzymatic drain cleaners use probiotics and bacteria that eat organic waste within drains and pipes. These take time to work, and most recommend letting it sit in the drain overnight. Unlike conventional drain cleaners, enzymatic drain cleaners are gentle on plumbing and safe to use in septic systems.
Lastly, preventative drain cleaners are designed to be used monthly to preemptively destroy built-up gunk and waste in your pipes. This means you’ll have fewer clogs to worry about in the future, and you’ll save money by not needing conventional drain cleaners.
Chemical drain cleaners can exacerbate corrosion or wear in your pipes, especially if you use too much. In particular, avoid using them in toilets or septic tanks to avoid destroying the beneficial bacteria within that help break down waste. Heavy-duty drain cleaners usually tell you if they’re not compatible with certain types of pipes, so read the fine print and packaging carefully.
On the flip side, enzymatic cleaners are safe to use in any drain. They take advantage of probiotics and bacteria, which eat the organic waste in your pipes and wash away with hot water. Although they take longer to work, enzymatic cleaners are the safest choice for homes with old plumbing.
Drain cleaners are a godsend for cleaning out organic waste like grease, hair, and food. The best we’ve found is Drano Max Gel Drain Cleaner, but Green Gobbler Drain Clog Removing Pacs are great if you’re strapped for cash. Even if those don’t fit the bill, one of the others will surely do the trick and keep your drains clear.