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Is Drano Safe for Shower Drains? Pros, Cons & Maintenance Tips

Drano Max Gel

It is not that often that we think about the dirt, hair, and soap scum that builds up in the shower drain. Then one day, you notice the water draining slowly and the greasy backup of conditioner and bodywash in the shower stall. To avoid an expensive plumbing bill, you may wonder if Drano is safe for shower drains. The answer is yes! Drano is safe for shower drains.

However, since Drano contains harsh chemicals, please take precautions before using this product. Read the instructions on the container and avoid getting it on your skin and eyes.

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What Is Drano?

When used properly, Drano is a gel clog remover that is powerful enough to dissolve hair, dirt, grease, and soap scum buildup in your shower drain without causing damage to your pipes. The clog remover foams up and sticks to the dirt and grime in your drain and dissolves it so the drain can run freely.

The product is not only good for shower drains, but it can also be safely used on sinks, tubs, and garbage disposals.

As with any household cleaning product, be sure to follow the directions and read the warning labels.

shower drain cleaner
Image By: NET_Photog, Shutterstock

Can Drano Be Used in the Shower Drain?

Drano is safe to use on metal and plastic pipes if you follow the instructions carefully. If you have a moderate clog from soap scum or paper or a slow-moving drain, let the Drano work for about 15 minutes. For more serious clogs, like corrosion and hair, give the Drano a maximum of 30 minutes to treat the clog.

It is imperative that you flush the drain with hot water once the Drano acts on the drain. It will help to speed up the clearing of the clog and rid the drain of deposits. Be sure to wait at least six to eight hours before using the shower.

Risks of Using Drano in the Shower Drain

Since Drano is formulated with chemicals that contain corrosive properties like sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, and caustic, it poses some risks.

  • Drain Damage: If left in the drain overnight, Drano can damage and corrode the pipes. In addition, PVC pipes can get ruined from continued use of the drain cleaner. To help prevent damage to PVC pipes, use Drano for 15 minutes on moderate clogs and a maximum of 30 minutes on tough clogs.
  • Septic Damage: The chemicals in Drano can kill the bacteria that decompose sewage in your septic system. Without the beneficial bacteria, the septic tank will not work properly. To prevent this problem, use an enzymatic cleaner and do not overuse Drano. Only use Drano for tough clogs.
  • Further Clogging: Using Drano in excess can cause the existing clog to worsen or cause future clogs in the drain. This usually happens if the pipes are narrow or you use Drano too often. Be sure to only use Drano for the specified time to prevent deposits from collecting in the pipes and clogging the drain.
  • Health Risks: Drano is formulated with corrosive chemicals that can be harmful. It can cause rashes, burns, and other side effects if the fumes are inhaled or the product makes contact with the eyes, skin, and mouth.
tiled shower with drain
Image Credit: Brilliant Eye, Shutterstock

It is recommended that you follow all manufacturer warnings and directions when using Drano to prevent illness and injury. The manufacturer may suggest using protective gear like gloves, face masks, or goggles. READ ALL LABELS AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!

Why Take the Risk Using Drano?

  • Drano is safe on pipes: Drano is a concern for your pipes if you let it sit for prolonged periods. The proper time is between 15 and 30 minutes and then flushing the drain with hot water to keep the pipes safe.
  • Drano works on tough clogs: Drano is formulated with enzymes that are effective on tough clogs like soap scum, hair, and paper. It should be used for 15 to 30 minutes maximum and then flushed with hot water. It is recommended that you wait six to eight hours to allow the fumes to dissipate before using the shower.
  • It is fast-acting: After a 15–30-minute acting time and a six to eight-hour waiting period to shower, you should have long-lasting results.
  • Drano is easy to use: No need to call a plumber, gather the recommended protective gear, read the warning labels, pour some Drano into the drain, wait 15 to 30 minutes, and then flush the drain with hot water. Simple as that!
shower drain
Image Credit: Semevent, Pixabay

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Yes, Drano is safe for your shower drain. It is important, however, to follow the directions to avoid damage to your pipes and septic system. It is also recommended that you read the warning label and wear the suggested safety gear when using the product. Otherwise, you could cause damage to your property or cause harm to yourself.

Featured Image Credit: Drano Max Gel (Image Credit: Mike Mozart, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)


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