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Can You Use Drano in a Toilet? Facts, Suggestions, & FAQ

shower drain cleaner

It is never fun to deal with a clogged toilet. The easiest way to tell if you have a clogged toilet is when water starts rising up the bowl whenever you flush it. When manual unclogging doesn’t work, it’s tempting to use chemical drain cleaners like Drano to unclog your toilet.

But is this really a good idea? No, it is not suggested. Keep reading as we explain further.

house divider What Is Drano?

Drano is a drain cleaner that combines sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium metasilicate to break down clogs. While it certainly works on sink clogs, is it safe to use for toilet clogs? Well, according to Drano itself, no.

Most toilets are made from porcelain and also contain an S-shaped porcelain trap. This trap is what engenders the siphoning effect that allows us to flush our toilets while maintaining water in the toilet tank.

Chemicals in Drano react with the substances that form clogs and produce heat in the process. While metal drains and fixtures can tolerate the heat, porcelain fixtures cannot. Excessive heat may cause the porcelain trap to crack, rendering it ineffective. If this happens, you’ll have no choice but to replace the entire fixture.

Another reason why you shouldn’t use Drano for your toilet is that it simply won’t work. Most people flush everything down the toilet, leading to massive clogs. While Drano can eat through kitchen waste and grease, it cannot eat through plastic toys or diapers.

Cleaning bathroom sink drain
Image By: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

I Already Put Drano in My Toilet, Now What?

It’s not too late if you’ve already poured Drano down your toilet. If you act fast, you can salvage the situation!

When you pour Drano down the toilet, it flows and sits on top of the clog. You can try to remove the clog ASAP before the active ingredients start reacting. Use a plunger and try to dislodge the clog from the toilet. However, be careful not to splash some of the Drano on yourself or the toilet bowl.

If the plunger doesn’t work, try using a toilet auger to do the same. For clogs that won’t budge, you’ll have to call a plumber.

Can I Use Other Drain Cleaners on My Toilet?

Don’t make the mistake of using any drain cleaner on your toilet. All drain cleaners use the same chemicals that will damage your toilet and your pipes. However, drain cleaners are good for your septic tank system and kitchen sink.

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How to Deal With Toilet Clogs Without Drain Cleaners

There are a few other options you can explore for unclogging your toilet without using drain cleaners. As mentioned earlier, a plunger or toilet auger works fine, but for stubborn clogs, you can try either of the following things.

Removing the toilet

Your best bet for stubborn clogs is to remove the entire toilet and scoop away the clog. This is only possible for drains near the toilet’s trap. If the clog is further down the drain, you’ll need to use a toilet auger.

drain snake
Image credit: Narin Eungsuwat, Shutterstock

Use the cleanout fitting

Another excellent option for unclogging your toilet is accessing the toilet drains via the cleanout fitting. The cleanout fitting is an easy-to-access section of the drain with a cover that you lift to access the drain. Access the drain using the cleanout fitting and use a rod or auger to unclog your toilet.

house divider Final Thought About Drano in a Toilet

While Drano works perfectly for septic tanks and kitchen sinks, you should never use it for your toilet. Instead, consider one of the mentioned solutions for unclogging your toilet. If none of them work, you’ll just have to call in a licensed plumber to help you out.

Featured Image Credit: NET_Photog, Shutterstock


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