When your drain is closed, it can ruin your mood because let’s face it, it can stop most kitchen projects dead in their tracks. The stores are full of drain cleaners to help you with this problem, but how do you know which one to buy?
As a general rule, there are two main types of drain cleaners: chemical cleaners and enzyme cleaners, and it’s good to know the difference between the two.
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Chemical Versus Enzyme Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners are very effective at unclogging drains, but over time, they will ruin the pipes because of the harsh chemicals. While these are alright for occasional use, most experts recommend against using them all the time.
Enzyme drain cleaners, on the other hand, are natural cleaners and use live bacteria to eat away at the items clogging up your drain, including hair, grease, fat, and so on.
Enzymes work on two types of substances: live organisms such as mold and mildew, and organic substances such as food particles and hair. The bacteria eat away at these substances then reproduce, which spreads the “good” bacteria through your plumbing system.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Enzyme Drain Cleaners?
Enzyme drain cleaners work very well on most clogged drains and can even be utilized in the tub, urinals, and even the plumbing system in a boat, RV, and so on. They are also fairly inexpensive, in part because they only use natural ingredients.
In addition, many enzyme drain cleaners add essential oils and other natural ingredients to give them a nice scent and help eliminate odors in your kitchen or bathroom. But do these drain cleaners have any disadvantages?
Although not huge, there are two main disadvantages with enzyme drain cleaners. The first is that they tend to work much slower than chemical drain cleaners, mostly because the results depend on the flow of water through the pipes.
This means that if your pipes are so clogged that the water is barely flowing through them, it could take several hours to finally have clear, clean drains.
The second disadvantage, although not that serious, is that you still have to protect your skin and eyes when using enzyme drain cleaners. Yes, they are nontoxic, but that doesn’t mean they cannot irritate your skin and eyes.
This is easily taken care of because all you do is cover your eyes and wear gloves before starting to clean your drains. Better safe than sorry, right?
Making it Easy on Yourself
To increase the timespan in between each unclogging, there are things you can do. First, you can use small strainers over the drains in your kitchen or bathroom so that harmful material gets caught there instead of in your drains.
Although not pleasant to clean out, it’s more convenient to clean out these strainers than it is to use a drain cleaner, and if you do so regularly, your pipes will usually get clogged a lot less often.
Another thing you can do is take some needle-nose pliers and occasionally remove the hair and other substances from your drain so that it doesn’t have a chance to build up and become a nuisance.
If you do both of these things regularly, you’ll find that your drains don’t get clogged nearly as often, saving you both time and money in the long run.
Finding the Right Enzyme Drain Cleaner
If you’ve decided to give enzyme drain cleaners a try, there are a few things for you to keep in mind. First, spend some time reading the labels so that you feel comfortable that this is the safest one you can find.
If you’re allergic to anything, go ahead and check to make sure that item is not included in the cleaner. Many people have allergies to certain essential oils, so you’ll want to check this for sure.
A good enzyme cleaner should be safe on your entire plumbing system and work on the type of drain you need fixed, so if you need the drain in your RV fixed, for example, you’ll need to make sure that particular cleaner can accommodate you.
Finally, check to see how long the cleaner is going to take to work. Choosing a cleaner that takes overnight to work might not be a problem for you, but if it is, you’ll want to move onto another brand.
The important thing to remember is that chemical drain cleaners are perfectly acceptable for occasional use, but if you get clogged drains regularly, it’s best to switch to an enzyme drain cleaner.
Regardless of how many years you use them, enzyme drain cleaners never ruin your pipes because they use only natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals.
If you’re curious about some of the best ones on the market, below are six of them you can consider.
The Best Enzyme Drain Cleaners
1# Flo-Kem Flo-Zyme Drain Opener
|Flo-Kem Flo-Zyme Drain Opener
This is a heavy-duty bio-enzyme drain opener that can easily open up even the most clogged-up drains in your home or office. It takes solids such as grease, oil, and fat and breaks them down into much smaller pieces so they can be flushed down the drain and allow for a drain that works the way it’s supposed to work.
Not only is it great for home kitchen drains, but it can clear up commercial drain traps and even waste treatment plants because it is made for both home and commercial use.
The Flo-Kem drain opener also eliminates any foul odors you may experience when your drain is clogged up, and the white milky emulsion has a very pleasant scent that makes the entire kitchen smell great.
One of the reasons the product works so well is because it contains live bacteria, which help to break down and liquify all of the solids that are clogging the drain in the first place. In fact, it contains over 200 billion live bacteria in every gallon of drain cleaner.
It also comes in a convenient one-gallon container, which means it will last you a very long time. For the toughest drain clogs in your home or commercial facility, this is one drain opener that is guaranteed not to disappoint.
Price: $20.01 (1 gallon)
2# Green Gobbler Enzyme Drain Cleaner
|Green Gobbler Enzyme Drain Cleaner
The Green Gobbler drain cleaner is able to break down and remove not only fats and oils, but also thick grease, paper, hair, and a whole lot more. It is good for both home kitchens and industrial locations and commercial facilities.
Great for sewer lines, grease traps, and septic tanks, this cleaner works fast and efficiently so you won’t have to wait a long time to enjoy clear drains. It is also biodegradable and safe, and it eliminates odors as well as clogs.
When your drains are clogged, you don’t want to wait hours to get them cleared and clean, and with the Green Gobbler enzyme drain cleaner, you won’t have to. From starches and proteins to basic sludge, this cleaner gets rid of everything standing in your way of a nice clean drain.
It is specifically made for both domestic and commercial applications, so this is one product that will never disappoint.
Great for cesspools, lift stations, and leach fields, this cleaner breaks down organic material biologically, and it even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
Price: $24.99 (1 gallon)
3# Bioda Drain Cleaner
Bioda drain cleaner not only thoroughly cleans your drains but also offers preventative maintenance so that the pipes are less likely to get clogged again. It is safe for the pipes and thoroughly breaks down oils and fats to clear your drains of debris.
Best of all, it takes care of your pipes each time you use it, and since it is made for both domestic and commercial use, you’ll be surprised by how much de-clogging it can do. It can truly handle tons of different draining problems.
Bioda is also a multipurpose drain cleaner and can get rid of everything in the sinks in your kitchen, bathroom, RV, tubs, sewers, garbage disposals, and boats, to name a few.
It is also able to dissolve and eliminate hair, soap scum, food particles, and so much more. It comes in a one-gallon container that will last for a while, so you’ll get a lot of use out of this one bottle.
Since it breaks down all types of organic matter at the source, you can count on having your drains cleaned and enjoying a much nicer scent afterward. It is just what you need to dissolve tough clogs without using harsh chemicals on your plumbing systems.
Price: $26.38 (1 gallon)
4# Helix Laboratories BioFresh Enzyme Drain Cleaner
|Helix Laboratories BioFresh Enzyme Drain Cleaner
This drain opener and odor eliminator is super-concentrated, so the 32-ounce bottle should last for a while. The product is available in three different sizes and therefore is a money-saver regardless of how often your drains get clogged.
In addition to clogged drains, you can also use it in garbage disposals, urinals, dishwashers, and even in your washing machine. This is a very versatile drain cleaner indeed that also works to protect your drains and keep them in good shape.
BioFresh can also eliminate all types of clogs, thanks to powerful microbes and enzymes, which work hard to break up and dissolve things such as grease, fat, food particles, hair, and a whole lot more.
It works great because it attacks tough clogs at the source and has live bacteria that eat away at the clogs. Since it is concentrated, you’ll only be using two ounces at a time to get rid of your clogged drains.
This is an excellent hard-working product that you can use in your home, commercial kitchen, or industrial facility because it is strong enough to tackle all sorts of problems.
Price: $24.95 (32 ounces) / $44.95 (1 gallon) / $199.95 (5 gallons)
5# Black Diamond Enzyme Drain Opener
|Black Diamond Enzyme Drain Opener
This drain opener is good for getting rid of clogs, maintaining the pipes, and reducing the odds of clogs happening in the future. Made with live cultures that eat away at grease, fat, and hair, to name a few, it is fast-acting and made for both domestic and commercial use.
Super-safe on your plumbing system, this cleaner comes in four different sizes and you can use it on drains, pipes, grease traps, and so much more. It even eliminates any unpleasant odors your clogged drains might be causing.
The cleaner is especially beneficial in a commercial kitchen that must have free-flowing drains at all times because it works fast on all types of clogs so that you can go back to doing other tasks.
It even works on drains in RVs, bathrooms, urinals, and many others, offering a very versatile product that you can use again and again on numerous fixtures. You can also use it as a maintenance treatment to keep your drains clear and clean.
If you operate a busy commercial kitchen, you need this product. In fact, after you use it the first time, you’ll likely wonder how you ever lived without it.
Price: $24.98 (1 gallon) / $58.98 (2 gallons) / $107.98 (4 gallons) / $99.98 (5 gallons)
6# Earthworm Drain Cleaner
|Earthworm Drain Cleaner
All-natural and therefore safe for the entire family, Earthworm drain cleaner is eco-friendly and therefore perfect for homes that have pets or children. It can actually attack and prevent clogs before they happen, and it works on all types of them.
Scented with sage and citrus, this drain cleaner smells great and gets rid of any odors the clogs might be causing. It also contains natural enzymes that are completely safe on your entire plumbing system.
Earthworm products are all made environmentally responsible, so there are never any harsh chemicals used or a dirty residue left behind after you use them.
If you care about the environment but still need a product that is tough on stains and nasty odors, this is the product for you. It eliminates even the toughest stains while being good to your pipes and drainage system.
It is also made in the USA and even removes clogs that are extra-thick and which have been ignored for quite some time. In other words, it is powerful enough to handle anything.
Price: $19.49 (64 ounces)
FAQ about drain cleaning
Chemical vs. Enzyme Drain Cleaners: Which is Better?
If it needs to go as fast as possible, then the chemical is best. In any other way, we would for sure choose the Enzymatic Liquid Drain Cleaner and save yourself from all the chemicals we use way too many of.
Do Enzyme-Based Drain Cleaners Work to Eliminate Tough Clogs?
Also for the tough clogs, the Enzymatic-based drain openers work wonders. You might have to let it sit for a little bit, but then also the tough clogs will be opened up. It is for sure a good environmentally friendly choice to harsh chemicals.
Can I mix different types of drain openers to get faster or better results?
It is not a good idea to start making experiments like this. You will in most cases get worse results than the actual product. You can also end up with a very toxic result when you mix stuff you don’t really know much about.