A drain cleaner is simply a liquid chemical substance that effectively unclogs clogged sewer pipes or blocked wastewater drains. The word drain cleaner can also refer to a specialized mechanical device like a plumber’s snake, pipe strainer, drain snake, or similar machine. Regardless of the actual name, drain cleaners are usually cleaners that remove trash, grease, and similar solid materials from pipes. When used properly, drain cleaners should be able to remove almost all contaminants from any type of pipes. Drain cleaners are particularly beneficial to homeowners who attempt to do-it-yourself home repair projects or who have clogged sewers for long periods of time. There are several common types of drain cleaners, but the most popular ones are discussed below.
Alkaline Drain Cleaner: Some alkaline drain cleaners contain a variety of different types of acid or combination of acids. Some alkaline drain cleaners neutralize the effects of acids on pipes. Common alkaline drain cleaners include muriatic, sulfuric, phosphoric, and oxalic acids. Different combinations of these chemicals cause different types of results in drain cleaning systems.
Acidic Drain Cleaner: A regular acid drain cleaner contains a variety of different types of chemicals. The specific chemical is typically selected based on how it will react with different types of sewer pipes and drains. Some common acidic drain cleaners neutralize certain drain pollutants like grease, oil, and similar solid materials. Some acids even digest materials into sludge that can run down drains without any problems at all. Some of these chemicals, including muriatic acid, are environmentally friendly.
Baking Soda Drain Cleaner: Baking soda is an excellent alkaline drain cleaner. When mixed with water, baking soda dissolves many common pollutants found in pipes and drains, such as oil, grease, and similar materials. It can also dissolve chemicals such as anti-septic liquids and caustic chemicals. Most drain cleaners contain baking soda; however, some are designed for use with certain specific brands or types of sink and toilet fixtures. In most cases, you should pour a small amount of baking soda into a sink and then run water through it. This process rids the sink and toilet of harmful pollutants.
Sulfuric Acid Drain Cleaner: A good number of residential households use a special type of drain cleaner that contains sulphuric acid. This chemical is commonly mixed with a small amount of water. When mixed with the correct water temperature, sulphuric acid breaks down various pollutants, including grease, oil, and greasy liquid debris. Because it can also dissolve certain chemicals and plastics, it is often included in a mixing tank.
Disposing of Alkaline Acidic Cleaners: Alkaline acid drain cleaners are made from potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. These chemicals are usually contained in a container known as a drain opening funnel. The funnel is used to inject the chemicals into the drain pipe and to collect the runoff that collects afterwards. Commonly referred to as “scum”, this material eventually makes its way down the drain. However, the efficiency of alkaline cleaners has not yet been proven; so, it is not recommended that you use this type of drain cleaner in your home.