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The 5 Drain Cleaners (2021 Review)

Drain cleaners clear drain clogs without the hassle of calling a plumber. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best drain cleaners on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Drain Cleaner Courtesy Amazon

Drain cleaners remove clogs caused by hair, grease, food, and other materials. To help you select the drain cleaner that’s right for you, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best drain cleaners on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Best Multi-Drain Cleaner: Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner

This drain cleaner clears clogs in nearly any drain around your house in just 15 minutes. Effective for sinks and tubs as well as PVC, metal pipes, septic tanks, and garbage disposals, this drain cleaner is a must-have for any homeowner.

Key Features

  • Comes in an 80-ounce bottle
  • Has a gel consistency
  • Works in showers, tubs, sinks, metal pipes, septic tanks, garbage disposals, and more

What Customers Are Saying

This drain cleaner has over 11,000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. This cleaner received 4- or 5-star ratings from 89% of customers, while 5% of customers left 1- or 2-star reviews.

Satisfied customers said that this drain cleaner removed large buildups in multiple drains around their homes. However, some customers said that the company didn’t always honor its money-back guarantee.

Best For Hair Clogs: FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner

With 360-degree rotation and an 18-inch length, this drain cleaner reaches down deep to get clogs caused by hair without damaging your drain. Made of thin and flexible material, this drain cleaner fights through curves to get hair from even the hardest-to-reach places.

Key Features

  • Comes with five plastic drain snakes and a reusable plastic handle
  • Measures 18 inches long
  • Has a brush-like material on the snake ends
  • Bends to maneuver around corners

What Customers Are Saying

Out of nearly 16,000 reviews on Amazon, this drain cleaner holds an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 stars. Among those reviews, 82% were 4- or 5-star reviews, while 10% were 1- or 2-star reviews.

Customers who left positive reviews for this cleaner said that it removed large amounts of hair that other cleaners couldn’t handle. Others also liked that it worked quickly. However, dissatisfied reviewers said that it pushed some of the hair further down the drain and that it wasn’t sturdy enough to maneuver through tough clogs.

Most Versatile Cleaner: Forlivese 5-in-1 Sink Snake Cleaner

This drain cleaner pack comes equipped with five drain snakes in three styles to ensure that it can tackle any drain or clog you might have. The stainless steel snake with the blue handle is ideal for bathrooms and sewers, while the one with the red handle tackles hair and smaller items. Finally, its three plastic sink snakes have a multi-tooth design to capture obstructions.

Key Features

  • Comes with three plastic drain snakes and two stainless steel drain snakes
  • Measures 20, 24, and 40 inches long
  • Has hooks along the plastic drain snakes
  • Bends to maneuver around corners

What Customers Are Saying

With over 9,000 reviews, this drain cleaner has an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars. It has 4- or 5-star reviews from 80% of customers, while 9% of reviews were rated 1 or 2 stars.

Customers who were happy with this product said that it was easy to use and worked on several types of drains. However, those who left negative reviews said that it didn’t work well with bends and that the advertised lengths of the snakes weren’t accurate.

Best Single-Use Cleaner: Green Gobbler Drain Clog Remover

Coming in five single-use, ready-to-go packets, this drain cleaner takes the guesswork out of unclogging drains. Effective on sinks, toilets, tubs, floor drains, and more, this cleaner is a quick and easy way to remove items blocking your drain. The packets are also paired with drain snakes to double up on the unclogging power.

Key Features

  • Comes in five pre-measured packets
  • Has a powder consistency
  • Has an environmentally friendly and biodegradable formula
  • Comes with five plastic drain snakes
  • Has hooks along the plastic drain snakes
  • Works in showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, floor drains, RV drains, urinals, and more

What Customers Are Saying

This drain cleaner holds an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars from over 8,000 reviews on Amazon. Among the reviews, 82% were 4 or 5 stars, while 10% had 1- or 2-star ratings.

Satisfied customers said that this drain cleaner worked well for its affordable price, especially considering how effective it was with large blockages. However, other customers said that it left an odor in the air or stains on their appliances.

Best For Septic Tanks: Xion Lab Safer, Greener Drain Clog Remover

With innovative technology that fights clogs at the root, this drain cleaner is powerful enough to handle tough clogs without damaging the biological enzymes that keep septic tanks operating. It uses a heavy gel formula that sinks through water to reach the obstruction.

Key Features

  • Comes in a one-quart bottle
  • Has a gel consistency
  • Has a biodegradable and non-flammable formula
  • Works in showers, tubs, sinks, septic tanks, and more

What Customers Are Saying

Over 2,000 customers have reviewed this cleaner on Amazon, giving it an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 stars. Seventy-eight percent of customers gave this product 4 or 5 stars, while 14% gave it 1- or 2-star ratings.

Among the positive reviews, customers pointed out this cleaner’s ease of use, affordability, and effectiveness. Negative reviews said that it was very slow to work and that it wasn’t as effective in tub drains.

Buyer’s Guide

Different drain cleaners have different functions. Before making a purchase, consider these factors to determine which one is right for your needs.

Cleaner Type

Cleaners can either be a substance or a stick that you put in your drain.

Liquid/Powder

There are three types of formulas used to make liquid or powder drain cleaners.

  • Acidic: Acidic cleaners are effective at unclogging blockages caused by toilet paper, hair, grease, food, or similar items. However, they don’t work well in older plastic, steel, or aluminum pipes.
  • Caustic: Caustic drain cleaners are good for removing food, grease, and soap scum from sinks or showers, but they’re not effective in toilets. They’re not recommended for use in pipes older than 20 years either.
  • Enzymatic: Enzymatic cleaners work best when they’re used monthly to prevent clogs from ever forming. Since they typically have non-toxic ingredients, safety equipment isn’t required when you’re using them.

Snake

Drain snakes are long sticks made of plastic or metal that feed into your drain. They usually have hooks or brushes along their bodies to capture the hair or other debris that’s causing the clog.

Blockage Location

Different areas of the home typically require different types of drain cleaners. Some may be better for sinks and tubs, while others work better for toilets. Be sure the drain cleaner you choose can handle the clog you’re trying to tackle.

Clog Type

Food, hair, paper, grease, plastic, soap scum, and even household items, such as pet toys, are some of the materials and items that can get stuck in your drains. Ensure that the drain cleaner you’re purchasing is appropriate for what’s causing your blockage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a clogged drain?

Some common signs include:

  • Slow water drainage
  • No water drainage
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Bad odors

Are there any DIY options to unclog a drain?

Although drain cleaners are relatively affordable and accessible, if you’re in a pinch and need to unclog your drain, there are some DIY methods you could try. Pouring boiling water down the drain is a popular option, but it’s largely ineffective and could be bad for your pipes. Some people also use baking soda and vinegar, but these materials will only work on small clogs.

What safety measures should I take when I’m using a drain cleaner?

If you’re using an enzymatic drain cleaner or drain snake, you don’t need to take any safety precautions. With the other two types of cleaners, wear gloves and safety goggles to keep them from coming into contact with your body.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.