Why Do People Say You Shouldn't Use Chemical Drain Openers?

Go into any store that has a household goods or cleaning section, and you'll see bottles of drain openers and drain cleaners. Yet, go onto any home cleaning blog, and you'll see warnings not to use chemical drain cleaners, such as the ones in those stores. If those products are sold in so many places, why do so many other people say not to use them? The answers are simple, the cleaner could create more problems than you bargained for, and there are cheaper ways to deal with clogged drains that don't require a plumber's help -- and if the clog doesn't respond to those methods, then you know you need to call a plumber.

It Doesn't Always Work

Drain cleaners don't always work. Commercials promise that they'll dissolve clogs and open up drains, and in many cases, they do work to an extent. But they often don't open up the drain, and you end up with a sink full of dangerous chemicals that won't go away. If you want to try any other methods, then, you have to empty the sink by somehow bailing out the drain cleaner and disposing of it properly. This creates extra problems because chances are, you won't be able to remove all of the drain cleaner. Anything you put down the sink drain in an attempt to dissolve clogs can then mix with the drain cleaner.

It's a Corrosive Liquid That You Don't Want to Mix With Other Things

That drain cleaner itself is mildly corrosive, but it can also contain additional chemicals like bleach. The danger is that you'll add yet another drain cleaner, or other substances like vinegar, and you'll end up combining chemicals that shouldn't be mixed. You then have a bigger mess on your hands because it might be too dangerous for you to empty those out of the sink.

It Could Splatter

Let's say the drain cleaner didn't work, and you had to call a plumber to unclog the drain. Now the plumber has to remove the drain cleaner and somehow get a plumber's snake down the drain plumbing to reach the clog. Unfortunately, all that movement can cause remaining droplets of the drain opener to splatter, and that poses a danger to the plumber. Again, drain cleaners contain corrosive materials. You don't want those getting into anyone's eyes or onto their skin.

You're better off trying to open a drain with milder materials like baking soda and vinegar, and then calling a plumber if the drain still won't open. It shouldn't take long for the clog to go away once a plumber starts to work on it.