Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big drain cleaner test 2021. Here we present all the drain cleaners we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best drain cleaner for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a drain cleaner.




Summary

  • Drain cleaners break down the blockage so that it can be flushed away.
  • In addition to cleaning products, there are other alternatives that you can use to unclog your drain.
  • As long as you use a drain cleaner correctly, you will save yourself high repair costs in the long run and can keep your pipes clean.

The Best Drain Cleaner: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a drain cleaner

What is a drain cleaner?

A drain cleaner is a cleaning agent that you can use to clean blocked pipes. It is also the name given to certain devices that you can use to unblock drains using negative pressure.

In the bathroom as well as in the kitchen, food residues, dander, hair and leftover care products can block the drain. This makes it more difficult or even completely impossible for water to drain. Most of the time, the blockage also smells very unpleasant.

Tools cannot always reach places where there is a blockage, the cleaning agents simply reach these places and can work there.

Depending on how dirty the drain is, you can look for a household cleaner. Generally, there are two types of cleaners, which we explain below. You should not only pay attention to how intensively you want to clean, but also to the area of application.

Keep in mind that the thorough cleaning of your drain usually takes some time, so take this time to achieve a good result.

In the kitchen as well as in the bathroom, the sink is a common place for a blocked drain.(Photo: Free-Photos / pixabay.com)

Where can I use the cleaner?

There are several options for using a drain cleaner in your household. However, a cleaner or cleaning tool is usually needed in the bathroom, toilet and kitchen. This is where the drains are located and where the pipes quickly become dirty.

Examples:

  • Washbasin Bath, shower, bathtub (care product residues, hair, dander)
  • Sink (food residues, small waste residues, etc.)
Did you know that especially in old houses the drains often work badly?

Pipe aerators can help prevent blockages. With a little skill and the right tools, you can also install a pipe aerator yourself.

How much do drain cleaners cost?

You can buy a drain cleaner for just a few euros. Regardless of whether you go to your local drugstore or whether you prefer to order online, the prices do not differ much.

Depending on which manufacturer and which size you choose, you can buy a cleaner for between 2.00-15.00 euros.

Advantages and disadvantages of drain cleaners

Here you will find the advantages and disadvantages of a drain cleaner. These points can help you decide whether you want to clean the blocked pipes yourself or whether you want to have it done by a craftsman.
Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Usually very efficient
  • Easily available
  • Reaches hard-to-reach places
  • Cheaper than a handyman
Disadvantages
  • Wrong use can damage pipes
  • Inorganic drain cleaners pollute the environment

What are the alternatives to drain cleaners?

The alternatives to clean your pipes can be an extra helper at home.

Hexler

There is the possibility to install a Hexler in the drain of the kitchen dishwasher. At the push of a button, this hexler hexes the food residues in the drain pipe so that they can simply be flushed away with (hot) water. This prevents blockages. However, the purchase of a Hexler is not cheap and relatively expensive.

Suction bells

In contrast to cleaners, a suction cup is very helpful, especially in the case of heavier contamination.

We know the suction bell especially for the wounding of clogged toilets. This problem often occurs with toilets in old buildings, as the pipes there are usually even older and narrower than in modern buildings. These are particularly susceptible to blockages.

The targeted pumping with the suction bell creates a vacuum that sucks the dirt towards the suction bell. This allows the water to drain away again and you can remove the blockage.

Drain cleaner brushes

These are particularly suitable for a slight blockage in the bathroom caused by hair and care products. However, if the pipe is completely blocked, the brushes are not effective enough without a cleaner. In addition, these brushes do not always reach the point of blockage.

Therefore, you should rather use them as a supplement to the cleaning or for cleaning in between.

Cleaning is basically good, but you should always pay attention to the amount recommended by the manufacturer and not overdo the dosage of gels and granules. Inorganic drain cleaners work by decomposing the mass with the help of chemical oxidation. Therefore, plastic parts in the pipe or parts of the pipe can be damaged.

Especially in the kitchen, plastic pipes are mostly used under the sink. Although there are drain cleaners that are gentle on the pipes, you should not exceed the dosage and check whether the cleaner is suitable for the material. Otherwise, there is a risk that the cleaner will partially decompose the pipe, causing it to leak and develop holes.

If you do not want to take any risks, use organic cleaners, as plastic is not biodegradable, an organic cleaner will not harm your plastic pipes.

Produktbild

You can use vacuum to remove a blockage. They are mainly used for clogged toilets.

Decision: What types of drain cleaners are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, drain cleaners can be divided into the following types:

  • Inorganic drain cleaners
  • Organic drain cleaners
  • Drain cleaner tool

Below we describe both types in more detail and go into advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes inorganic drain cleaners and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

These cleaners are also called chemical drain cleaners. This is because they consist of caustic chemicals that remove the blockage and dirt in the pipe. They work by dissolving the blockage through highly effective chemical reactions.

Advantages
  • Powerful effect
  • Granules highly concentrated
  • Effective as a gel for bumps
Disadvantages
  • Chemicals pollute environment
  • Dangerous if used carelessly

Due to the use of chemical substances, inorganic drain cleaners are a burden on the environment and health. That is why you should always wear gloves when cleaning. It is also important to ventilate the room sufficiently so that you do not inhale too much of the chemical substances.

There are two types of inorganic cleaners: gels and granules. Gels are liquid to viscous and can therefore penetrate into the interstices of a mass due to their nature. Granules are more concentrated than a gel and are therefore suitable for cleaning even in the case of severe blockages.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of organic drain cleaners?

In contrast to chemical drain cleaners, there are also organic drain cleaners. These biological cleaners are environmentally friendly. They work by decomposing the biomass in the drain pipe through enzymes.

Advantages
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Not irritating to skin
Disadvantages
  • Less efficient than chemical cleaners
  • Take longer to work

If you avoid using chemicals when cleaning your house, these cleaners are a good alternative for you. Organic cleaners are also available in gel and granule form. Unfortunately, they are not as efficient and take longer to work than chemical cleaners. Nevertheless, you can achieve a very good result with them, especially with light to medium blockages.

If you are also interested in making your own biological cleaner for your drain, you can find a video about this later on.

What are the features of a drain cleaner tool and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The tool (usually made of plastic with a rubber disc to cover the drain) can be used with or without an additional cleaner. It is simply pressed onto the drain to create a vacuum with pumping movements.

It is helpful to be able to hold the rubber cap under water. You also need to block any other drains with a cloth or similar so that you can work more effectively.

Advantages
  • Can be used with or without cleaner
  • Environmentally friendly
  • No additional costs
Disadvantages
  • Physically demanding
  • No preventive effect

If you remove the tool after the vacuum has built up, it will pull the blockage and the water you have covered the rubber attachment with downwards. If the blockage is severe, you will have to pump several times. However, it may be possible to unblock the drain without using any other tools.

However, it takes a bit of practice to press firmly while pumping strenuously at the same time. A second person to help hold the drain is usually an advantage. This type of drain cleaning, however, cannot have a lasting effect to prevent further blockages.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate drain cleaners

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate drain cleaners. We hope that this will make it easier for you to decide which features of wipers are most important to you.

Differences can be found especially when looking at these individual features:

  • Effective time
  • Efficiency
  • Application
  • Range of application
  • Health risk

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Effective time

Since there is a wide range of drain cleaners, they also have different working times.

Organic cleaners are not as intensively concentrated as chemical ones and therefore usually take a little longer to have a good effect. However, you can simply leave the cleaner to work overnight.

Chemical cleaners do not take as long as biological cleaners, but you must be careful not to exceed the recommended exposure time.

You should make sure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions for the soaking time of the cleaner. Otherwise, the chemical agents can decompose parts of your pipes. You should also pay attention to an appropriate dosage.

If you follow the instructions, the risk of pipe damage or insufficient cleaning is reduced.

Efficiency

Cleaners differ not only in how long they work, but also in their concentration and therefore how efficient they are. Some drain cleaners will only help you with a light blockage when the pipe is not completely blocked.

In both chemical and biological cleaners, granules are more efficient than gels and are better suited for heavier soiling.

If you have a complete blockage of the pipe, you should work it with a chemical granulate, use a plunger and if this does not help, call in an expert.

For blockages that still allow water to pass through, a gel or biological cleaner will also do. Therefore, do not necessarily buy the most aggressive drain cleaner, but the one that suits your pipe and the degree of blockage.

Abfluss in Waschbecken

Always wear gloves when using granulate or gel cleaners. That way you won't accidentally get a finger in your eye. (Photo: Semevent / pixabay.com)

Use

Most cleaning agents are applied in the same way. They are put into the tube, left untouched for a while and then rinsed off with hot water.

The hot water rinses away the dissolved biological mass and the cleaner.

Did you know that you should not use drain cleaners frequently?

Over time, drain cleaners can corrode the substance of the pipes and cause water damage. Therefore, you should be careful to keep the drain clean and prevent blockages.

Range of application

Not every cleaner can be used in every part of the household.

In the kitchen, the sink pipe is often made of plastic, so a biological cleaner should be used to prevent pipe damage. In the bathroom, on the other hand, the strong effect of a chemical cleaner is sometimes necessary.

When buying a cleaner, check the manufacturer's instructions and the material of the pipes you want to clean of dirt and blockages.

Health risk

As you have already read in this guide, chemical cleaners are made of chemical substances. These can be harmful to your health if you use them without gloves and in an unventilated room.

Skin areas that come into contact with the cleaner may react with irritation and dryness. In addition, inhalation of the substances is often a cause of headaches, nausea and dizziness

Even with biological cleaners, you should wear gloves and ventilate the application area well, but no irritation is to be expected with these.

If you still use a chemical cleaner, protect yourself with clothing and gloves and make sure that fresh air enters the room.

Exciting facts and tips

How do organic and inorganic drain cleaners work?

The cleaners are poured down the drain where you could not reach the blockage with tools. The cleaners break down the mass of biological material into its component parts, which can then be flushed away with water.

The biological matter usually consists of hair, remains of care products, skin flakes, food residues and small waste residues that have got into the drain.

Make your own drain cleaner

If you're struggling with a blockage at home but don't have any cleaner to hand, you can mix your own pipe cleaner with just a few ingredients.

Prevent clogging

There are a few ways to keep your drain relatively clean and prevent a quick clog.

Using a drain strainer in the shower, bathtub or kitchen sink will catch a lot of debris like hair or food particles. This prevents them from getting into the pipe in the first place. You can buy strainers for little money in your local drugstore or supermarket.

Another option is to flush the pipes with hot water from time to time. In the kitchen, this can loosen small grease deposits, and in the bathroom, soap residues can be rinsed away.

The following table gives you an overview of tips on odours from the drain.

Place of use Tips Home remedy
Kitchen As little grease as possible should get into the drain, rinse dirty dishes with hot water before washing them, regularly clean the siphon of the sink and the drain rinse through with 10 l of hot water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (grease-dissolving), in the case of longer pipes rinse several times
Bathroom and WC Clean siphon of washbasin and rinse with hot water, clean strainer inserts vinegar (removes layer of dirt in siphon and drain pipe)
Cellar high-pressure cleaning by a professional company, check plaster cover and have it replaced if necessary regularly check drain shafts and plaster covers

When should you call in a professional

In most cases, dirt and blockages can be removed relatively easily by yourself. However, if you have a severe blockage or a drain that keeps getting blocked, you should seek professional advice. You can easily find a plumber in your area by Googling. In the case of a blockage where the water is not standing but leaking, you can also call a plumber emergency service or, in an emergency, the fire brigade.

Overflowing water can cause a lot of damage if you don't act quickly.

Picture credits: Skitterphoto / pixabay.com

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