Drano is a chemical product used to eliminate common household clogs, such as hair, soap scum and gunk, trapped in drains and pipes. Although the product's website claims that Drano is safe to use in most household pipes, refrain from using Drano in toilets; the plumbing configuration of a toilet doesn't lend itself to liquid clog removers, notes the website. Before you use Drano to unplug an obstruction in the washing machine drain, try to eliminate the clog without it.
Drano is a liquid or gel clog remover, depending on the product you choose, that works to dissolves obstructions in drain pipes, including those of washing machines. The solution works best on blockages caused by lint, soap scum or dirt. Don't use Drano's liquid clog remover by itself to eliminate a washing machine drain obstruction caused by an article of clothing. Either eliminate this type of clog manually or use Drano Snake Plus, which comes with an 18-inch flexible snaking tool to enter a washer's drain pipe and dislodge the lost clothing from the pipe.
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How Drano Works
Pour the entire container of Drano into the washing machine's drain. Consult the washing machine manual for instructions on locating the drain on your specific washer model. It will usually require that you remove the washtub. Let the solution sit in the drain pipe for at least 30 minutes to allow time for the solution to dissolve and unplug the blockage. Flush the drain pipe with hot water to completely eliminate the clog from the pipe.
From time to time, a small article of clothing can get wedged between the inner and outer washtubs and find its way to the washing machine drain. When this happens, water will be slow to drain or won't drain at all from the washtub, depending on the extent and location of the obstruction. Rather than use a Drano product to remove the clog, see if you can reach it and retrieve the lost item on your own. Refer to the washing machine manual for clog removal instructions.
Drano's product website neither confirms that Drano is absolutely safe for all washer drains nor specifies how to use the product to clear washing machine blockages. While the website claims that Drano is safe to use in most types of household drain pipes, such as plastic, metal and PVC, don't use it unless you first contact the manufacturer to confirm it won't harm your washing machine drain pipe. Contact a plumber if you're unsure about whether or not to use the product, or if you're unable to locate the obstruction to have him remove it for you.
Christie Gross has been writing since 1998. Her work writing public policy platforms for elected officials nationwide has been featured in national and local newspapers under various client pen names. Gross has a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware.