10 Best Drain Cleaners for Kitchen Sinks in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
One thing is for sure—there is never a convenient time to have a clogged drain. Whether it is running slow or blocked completely, it needs to be cleared as soon as possible. With so many brands and formulations on the market, how do you know which is best for your pipes, fixtures, and type of clog?
Whether you have a tough clog, are looking for a preventative, or prefer an eco-friendly formula, here is the list of our top ten favorites from our review.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Drano Max Gel||
|Best Value||Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover||
|Premium Choice||Rockwell Invade Bio Drain Gel||
|CLR Clear Pipes and Drains||
|Bio-Clean Drains-Septic Tanks-Grease Traps||
The 10 Best Drain Cleaners for Sinks
1. Drano Max Gel – Best Overall
|Clog Type:||Hair, soap scum, gunk|
|Working Time:||15 to 30 minutes|
In our review, we picked Drano Max Gel as the best overall drain cleaner this year. The gel is easy to use on sinks, garbage disposals, septic tanks, tubs, and PVC. The gel cuts through standing water and will work on tough clogs like hair, soap scum, grease, and other gunk that is trapped in your pipes.
The product is safe for sinks, tubs, septic systems, and pipes but is not recommended for toilets. Pour the gel down the drain, wait 15 to 30 minutes and run some hot water. If the first application does not clear the drain, repeat the process a few hours later.
We recommend you follow all label instructions and warnings, which include keeping the product away from children and pets.
Customer reviews were very positive, and most would recommend this product. Some reported a strong chemical smell.
- Safe for septic systems
- Safe for garbage disposal
- Works through water
- Strong chemical smell
- Not usable in toilets
2. Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover – Best Value
|Clog Type:||Soap scum, hair, grease, food|
|Working Time:||1 hour|
For the best value for the money, we chose Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover. This foaming solution is a budget-friendly option for cleaning all the parts of your pipes, not just the clog. The expanding formula works to dissolve hair, soap scum, grease, and food. It also helps to remove unpleasant odors in your pipes. Once applied, the foaming action will have your drains running freely in about one hour.
The dual-force action is safe for all pipes and garbage disposals, but it is not good for use in toilets or standing water.
Many customers were satisfied with the results and the price of the product. Others reported that it did not clear their clogs.
- Fills and cleans the entire pipe
- Removes odors
- Safe for pipes and garbage disposal
- Long wait time
- Not for use in toilets or standing water
3. Rockwell Invade Bio Drain Gel
|Clog Type:||Drain gunk, sugar snakes, drain flies|
|Working Time:||One week|
Our premium choice for drain cleaners is Rockwell Invade Bio Drain Gel. The gel formula has a pleasant citrus scent and is formulated with natural oils to work in conjunction with the gel to cling to the sides of the pipes to neutralize and prevent clogs.
In addition to the usual clogs from food, grease, and hair, the drain cleaner is also effective for ridding your drains of flies and clearing sugar clogs from soda fountains.
The product is safe for septic systems and will not damage your pipes.
Customer reviews were mixed. Some reviewers reported that the formula got rid of the flies in their drains. Others reported that it did not rid the drain of flies, and some reported that the product made the problem worse. There were also some complaints about the price of the product.
- Clears unusual clogs
- Citrus Scent
- Eliminates odors
- Reviews claim it does not work on flies
4. CLR Clear Pipes & Drains
|Clog Type:||Slow drains, preventative|
|Working Time:||5 minutes|
If you want to maintain your drains and prevent clogs, a once-a-month treatment will help to do the trick. We picked CLR Clear Pipes and Drains as the best preventative drain cleaner for sinks. The formula is environmentally friendly and part of the EPA Safer Choice Program, which is a bonus! If you have a busy lifestyle, follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for monthly maintenance on your plumbing fixtures. It will help to keep your drains running freely so you won’t be faced with a tough clog later.
The CLR Clear Pipes is an excellent option for slow drains, but it is not recommended for tough clogs, however.
CLR can be used in your shower, toiler, sink, and garbage disposal to prevent heavy buildup of oil, shampoo, conditioner, soap scum, toothpaste, shaving cream, food particles, and grease.
Although the CLR Clear Pipes and Drains is not meant for clogged pipes, some reviewers complained it did not work for their clogged pipes or slow drains. The reviews are mixed with some positives on clearing clogs and improving drain flow.
- EPA Safer Choice Program
- Excellent for Maintenance
- Fast working time
- Not for use with very tough clogs
5. Bio-Clean Drains-Septic Tanks-Grease Traps
|Clog Type:||Hair, paper, food, grease, soap scum, gunk|
|Working Time:||Six to eight hours|
In reviewing the best drain cleaners for sinks, we chose Bio-Clean Drains, Septic Tanks, and Grease Tanks for our top pick for the best eco-friendly drain cleaner today. The powder formula safely maintains and cleans drains, pipes, and septic systems. It does not contain any harsh or dangerous chemicals, so it is safe for your skin too.
The natural enzymes will eat through proteins that cause your drain to clog in six to eight hours. Since it is a natural solution, it does not work as quickly as some of the chemical options on the market, but it will cut through grease, food, hair, and soap scum. It is also an excellent option for those of you that do not want to inhale toxic fumes.
Customer reviews are mixed with some reporting no change in the flow of the drain and others finding the product messy to use.
- No toxic fumes
- Good for use on grease traps
- Messy to use
- Longer wait time
6. XionLab Safer Drain Opener
|Clog Type:||Hair, soap scum, lint, fats, oil, and grease|
|Working Time:||Six to eight hours|
One of our top picks for the best drain cleaners this year, we picked XionLab Safer Drain Opener because it is an excellent option for sinks with tough clogs. The gel formula is odorless, so you don’t need to worry about inhaling toxic fumes. And yet, it is powerful enough to clear the toughest of clogs, but it is not recommended for clogs from food particles, plastics, or paper.
You can count on XionLab Safer Drain Opener to rid you of some clogs in as little as two hours, but the tough ones will require the gel to sit overnight. No need to worry about damage to your pipes; the formula is safe for garbage disposals, septic systems, and pipes too. Since a percentage of the sales are donated to organizations fighting to cure drug addiction, your purchase helps to support the cause.
Customer reviews were mixed with some reporting that the product did not work for them. Although, they did praise the company for giving them a full refund.
- Refund if not satisfied
- No toxic fumes
- Supporting a cure for drug addiction
- Not suitable for food particles, plastic, or paper
- Reviews say it doesn’t work
- Long wait time for some clogs
7. Liquid-Plumr Pro Strength Hair Clog Eliminator, Liquid Drain Cleaner
|Clog Type:||Hair, grease, food, fat|
|Working Time:||15 minutes|
One of our top picks for this review is Liquid-Plumr Pro Strength Hair Clog Eliminator for sinks that have a tough clog from hair buildup. The hair clog eliminator will clean slow drains, but it can also clear pipes that are fully blocked from hair. It is also an effective treatment for drains blocked by grease, fat, and food.
It can be used in sinks, bathtubs, and showers. It is safe for pipes, septic systems, PVC plastic pipes, and old pipes.
This product is not recommended for garbage disposals and toilets. We recommend that you read the warning label and follow all manufacturer’s instructions.
Customer reviews were mostly good but there were reports of issues with the caps being loose or broken and product leakage during shipping. There were also complaints about the size of the bottle for the price.
- Formulated specifically for hair blockages
- Safe for tubs, sinks, and shower
- Safe for septic systems
- Works quickly
- Not good for toilets or garbage disposals
- High price for the size
8. Liquid Fire Drain Line Opener from Amazing Products
|Clog Type:||Food, grease, hair, soap scum|
|Working Time:||15 minutes|
We picked Liquid Fire Drain Line Opener from Amazing Products for clogs from hair, soap scum, grease, and food. Liquid fire is formulated with sulfuric acid, so it is potent enough to use on toilets and sink clogs.
According to the manufacturer, it will not damage copper or plastic pipes, but it is not recommended for metals that are prone to corrosion, like galvanized steel or aluminum.
When you purchase this product, be sure to read the warning labels and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid injury or damage to pipes.
Customer reviews were positive about the results but expressed concerns about the dangers if not used properly, and some reported damage to their pipes.
- Clings to pipes
- For use on sinks, garbage disposals, toilets, and floor drains
- Possible damage to pipes
- Erupts violently if not used properly
9. Green Gobbler Drain Opening PACS
|Clog Type:||hair, lint, toilet paper, grease, soap scum, and more|
|Working Time:||120 minutes|
In our review, we picked Green Gobbler Drain Opening PACS as a handy way to clear up a clogged drain. The packs are pre-measured and ready to use, which makes them a convenient alternative to liquids, gels, and powders. There are no bulky bottles to store and no worries about the liquids and gels splashing onto your hands or clothing.
The packets include a tool for dislodging tough clogs. You will need to allow the product to work overnight so it can dissolve the clog before using the handy tool, however.
The odor-free powder can be used in the kitchen and bathroom sink, bathtub, shower, floor drain, and toilet. The packets are also organic and safe for urinals and RVs. The ready-to-use packets are effective for toilet paper, soap scum, body oils, grease, hair, flushable wipes, and much more.
Customer reviews on this product are mixed. There are some reports of multiple applications to clear clogs and longer than specified wait times.
- Good for RVs
- Clog dislodging tool included
- Long wait time
- Multiple applications at times
10. Earthworm Drain Cleaner
|Clog Type:||Toothpaste, soap scum, hair, organic material|
Our review found Earthworm Drain Cleaner to be one of our top picks for a drain cleaner that is effective on moderate clogs and an ideal option for preventative drain treatment. It does not contain any harsh chemicals, so it is safer than other brands for children and pets.
The natural enzymes in the drain cleaner make it an excellent option for your kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, showers, and floor drains in the home and in RVs and boats.
The drain cleaner is safe for sinks, drains, and garbage disposals. It will clear slow-running drains and leave them smelling fresh with the sage and citrus fragrance. The formula is also effective in removing buildup to prevent clogs in the first place.
- No harsh chemicals
- Safer for pets and children
- Ideal option for boats and RVs
- Not as effective on tough clogs
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Drain Cleaners for Kitchen Sinks
Drain cleaners are available in three types. They include acidic, enzymatic, and caustic. Each type of cleaner is effective for clogs depending on the location of the clog and the type of pipe, and the type of clog.
In order to properly clear the drain, inspect the drain opening by removing the cover and identifying the location of the clog. If it is near the opening, it is likely to be a clog from things like paper and hair. Deeper clogs are usually from things like grease and food in the kitchen or soap scum and hair in the bathroom.
Acidic Drain Cleaners
Acidic drain cleaners are made up of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid and are effective on tough clogs like hair, soap scum, grease, food, and paper. They are fast-acting and can clear a clog in about 15 minutes. They are safe for the sink, shower, tub, and toilet and are usually safe for metal pipes like copper and newer plastic pipes. They should not be used on pipes that are metal or older types of plastic and any pipes made of stainless or galvanized steel or aluminum.
It is recommended that you follow all safety precautions, read warning labels, and follow the manufacturer’s directions since these cleaners can irritate your lungs and eyes and burn your skin.
Enzymatic Drain Cleaners
Enzymatic drain cleaners are formulated to eat away at clogs. They are best for preventing clogs and are effective in clearing materials like paper and hair but are not ideal for tough clogs from soap scum and grease. Enzymatic cleaners are eco-friendly, a good choice for septic systems, and take about 24 hours to work on a soft clog.
Caustic Drain Cleaners
Caustic Drain Cleaners are highly effective on clogs and can work in as little as 30 minutes. They can clear clogs that are found in bathroom and kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, tubs, and shower drains. They are not recommended for use in toilets, however.
Caustic cleaners are made with chemicals like sodium hydroxide and are safe for newer plastic and metal pipes that are made of copper or stainless steel. Older plastic pipes, metal pipes, or pipes made of galvanized steel, brass, and aluminum chrome can corrode or tarnish so you should avoid using these cleaners on any of these pipes that are over 20 years old.
Drain Cleaner Tips:
- Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s directions and read the warning labels. Follow the directions for proper amounts and wait times. Not adhering to the directions can result in damage to porcelain toilets and melted pipes.
- Never stand in the shower or tub when pouring cleaner in the drain.
- Turn on vents and open windows for ventilation when using acidic or caustic drain cleaners.
- Use caution when pouring cleaner down the drain. Pour slowly to avoid splashing.
- Caustic drain cleaners can etch stone like granite, marble, and stainless steel so avoid contact with these surfaces. To prevent damage and discoloration to surfaces around the drain, some manufacturers will recommend protecting the surface with petroleum jelly.
- To flush the drain be sure to use the recommended water temperature.
- Do not mix the drain cleaner with other cleaners. A chemical reaction could occur and produce an explosion or toxic gas.
In our review for the best drain cleaners, our choice for the best overall is Drano Max Gel for most clogging issues. Our pick for the best value for the money is Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover for use on common types of clogs and is safe for all pipes and garbage disposals too. If you have a bit of extra money to spend, we recommend Rockwell Invade Bio Drain Gel as our premium choice. Good luck with getting those drains cleaned and working well!
Featured Image Credit: onebit, Shutterstock
- 1 A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Drain Cleaners for Sinks
- 2.1 1. Drano Max Gel – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Rockwell Invade Bio Drain Gel
- 2.4 4. CLR Clear Pipes & Drains
- 2.5 5. Bio-Clean Drains-Septic Tanks-Grease Traps
- 2.6 6. XionLab Safer Drain Opener
- 2.7 7. Liquid-Plumr Pro Strength Hair Clog Eliminator, Liquid Drain Cleaner
- 2.8 8. Liquid Fire Drain Line Opener from Amazing Products
- 2.9 9. Green Gobbler Drain Opening PACS
- 2.10 10. Earthworm Drain Cleaner
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Drain Cleaners for Kitchen Sinks
- 4 Conclusion