How Does Drano Work to Unclog Drains?

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How Does Drano Work to Unclog Drains?


Drano is a clog remover for sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and dish disposers. Harry Drackett invented Drano in 1923 by combining sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate, sodium chloride and aluminum. When added to water, the different sodiums dissolve, and the sodium hydroxide warms the mixture. The result is heat that dissolves hair, soap scum, and other debris. Bristol-Meyers bought Harry Drackett's company in 1965, and S.C. Johnson bought the company from Bristol-Meyers in 1992. Today, Drano has five products for unclogging drains. They are Dual Force Foamer Clog Remover, Max Gel Clog Remover, Liquid Clog Remover, Build Up Remover and Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover. Each product has a function for specific types of clogs.


Dual Force Foamer Clog Remover is foam that fills the whole pipe, coating the walls and dissolving all material. Hot water helps flush the debris out of the pipes once the product breaks down the debris. Max Gel Clog Remover is a thick gel that clings to clogs long enough to clear the clog. The gel works best in standing water because it moves through the water to the drain. It's safe for all pipes. Liquid Clog Remover is an inexpensive product that Drano has had on the market for 20 years. It works best on minor clogs in the bathroom or kitchen. Build Up Remover is a once a month preventive cleaner that is safe for all drains. It contains natural enzymes and bacteria. It is the only Drano product safe for the toilet. Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover is for kitchens without garbage disposals. It works with cold water to eliminate grease clogs and other debris.


Hair causes most clogs, which settle near the beginning of the drainpipe in the vertical section called trap A. Max Gel Clog Remover works best for hair clogs. Clogs, which are located in the middle of the drainpipe or curved area called trap B, are probably foreign objects. Drano will remove some material around the object, but a plumber will need to remove the object. If the drain continues to back up, a plumber may need to remove the debris with a snaking device.

When using Drano, avoid contact with the eyes and wash hands after handling the products. Seek medical attention, if the products are ingested.


Pauline Gill

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.