Informational Guide

Is It Safe to Put Drano In a Garbage Disposal?

Can you put Drano into garbage disposals? We answer the question and break down each step for you so you can safely unclog your disposal.

by Josh Mitchell

When your garbage disposal gets clogged, there are a couple of different options that can help you loosen and eliminate the clogged materials. Not every garbage disposal or clogged garbage disposal has the same requirements.  

We break down each step for you so you can safely unclog your disposal at home. We will also answer all of your questions in this guide, including, "Can you put Drano in a garbage disposal?" 

The short answer is that yes, you can use Drano to unclog your garbage disposal. However, it is not recommended by most plumbers because it isn’t an effective long-term solution and can damage your drain. Drano is a company that makes chemical products that clean out clogged drains; however, the chemicals are harsh.  

People who inhale the fumes can experience pain and discomfort. Drains can also be damaged because Drano is caustic and can erode pieces of your drain pipe.

Drano uses a chemical called sodium hydroxide, which is a caustic soda that creates a burning reaction in your drain. This can help by “burning” up whatever has created the clog, but it can also burn holes in your pipes.  

Drano in disposal

Can You Put Drano In A Garbage Disposal? (Why Plumbers Don’t Recommend It) 

Plumbers recommend not using Drano with your garbage disposal. Drano's products are not safe for garbage disposals, with the exception of one product: Drano Kitchen Crystals.  

Drano Kitchen Crystals can be put down your garbage disposal; however, plumbers advise against using this product because of its erosive nature. If you put Drano Kitchen Crystals down the garbage disposal, there is a chance that you could irrevocably damage your pipes.  

Damages Existing Plumbing 

The existing plumbing in your home can be damaged through the use of Drano. The pipes, the connectors, and the other pieces of your plumbing system can be damaged with the use of Drano.

When your existing plumbing system is busted by Drano, then the only solution is to replace each damaged part. This can be costly to the homeowner.  

Dangerous For Your Skin, Eyes, And Lungs 

Drano is dangerous for your skin, your eyes, and your lungs. The fumes from the product can cause long-lasting irreparable damage as well as smaller sensitivity symptoms.  

Septic Tank Damage 

Drano can also damage your septic tank. If you have a septic tank as part of your home plumbing system, then using Drano can cause septic tank damage. The bleach and aluminum present in Drano can cause erosion of the tank and its parts. When this happens, replacing your septic tank is the only option. 

Drano Is Unpredictable  

Drano is an unpredictable product, which means that when you combine it with other products or other plumbing equipment, it isn’t clear what will happen. The chemicals can combine to cause corrosive damage to your garbage disposal and pipes.  

drano down sink

Safe Ways To Unclog Your Garbage Disposal (Without Using Drano) 

There are safe ways to unclog your garbage disposal. The first option is to use a snaking tool or plunger tool to physically loosen the clogged area. These are tools that plumbers often use but can be purchased inexpensively on their own.  

Simply position the snake or plunger down the garbage disposal and gently push, yank, and twist. This should loosen up the materials that are clogging the disposal and allow you to pull them out. You can then flush the remaining pieces by running hot water through the disposal from the sink.  

The second is to use safer chemicals. Baking soda is one of the safer chemicals that you can use to unclog your drain. We recommend boiling water and then running it through your drain system. Following the boiled water, you can add a ½ cup of baking soda to your pipes and pour it down.

From here, add 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water. Let your pipes sit for approximately 10 minutes before running warm water down the garbage disposal for another five minutes.  

How do you unclog a garbage disposal with standing water?

This depends on the size of the clog. If it is a small clog, then we recommend running cold water and attempting to flush the material while running the garbage disposal. 

If this doesn’t work, it’s time to turn off the disposal and shut off the water. This is where we recommend using the above methods: snake or plunger tool, and safe chemicals.  

unclog sink

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can Drano make a clog worse? 

Yes, Drano can make a clog worse. What can happen with Drano is that the material is caustic and can burn off pieces of your drain pipe. If this happens, the clog becomes worse as pieces of drain mold with the existing clogged materials.  

What happens if you leave Drano for too long? 

Leaving Drano in your drain for too long can create holes in your drain pipe. Giving the chemical too long to sit gives it time to erode more of your pipes and create additional problems. The longer the chemical exists there, the more damage it can create.  

Will baking soda and vinegar unclog a garbage disposal? 

Yes, baking soda and vinegar can unclog a garbage disposal. This is one of the home methods that can help you unclog your drain while using gentle materials. We recommend using a mixture of ½ baking soda to ½ vinegar. Let the solution sit in your drain for approximately ten minutes before running hot water down the drain for 3-4 minutes.  

What happens if Drano doesn't drain? 

If Drano doesn’t drain, then it is time to call a plumber. The best way to clear Drano if it will not drain is to use mechanical methods. Plumbers are adept at using mechanical tools to force Drano to drain.  


Conclusion

Yes, you can put Drano in your home garbage disposal, but you should be careful and try other solutions first. Drano can damage your garbage disposal as well as cause problems with your skin and eyes. 

There are better methods available for cleaning your drain. Drano should be used as a last resort.  

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.

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