There’s nothing like a clogged drain to throw a wrench into your day. Whether you’re unable to do the laundry or you can’t take a shower, a clogged drain is a real hassle. The best way to get rid of it and prevent future clogs is to use the best drain cleaning tools available.
Fortunately, there are plenty of high-quality tools to help you clear out your drain. They range from inexpensive, manual tools that you can use for occasional clogs up to professional-grade power augers designed for heavy-duty commercial use.
Keep reading to learn more about different drain cleaning tools, their effectiveness, and buying guide. Let’s dive in.
Different types of drain cleaning tools
There are two main types of drain cleaners: manual and chemical. While choosing the best drain cleaner is often a matter of personal preference, some situations call for one type over the other.
Manual Drain Cleaners
Manual drain cleaners come in handy if you’re uncomfortable using chemicals on your drains. They are designed to be put down the drain by hand and then pulled back once the pipe is unclogged.
And good thing, manual drain cleaning tools pose no risk of damaging your home plumbing evident with chemicals which could lead to expensive repairs. Here are the common manual drain cleaning tools available in the market today. Keep these tools under the laundry sink or in your basic home tool kit so they’re always on hand.
Drain Snake or Auger
This is a flexible shaft with a crank handle and a corkscrew-shaped end. It’s the standard drain-cleaning tool for minor clogs since it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to find. It works by drilling into the clog and pulling out the offending material. It works well with long, straight pipes and relatively thin blockages.
Here is our top pick for drain snakes available on Amazon.
Don’t call a plumber – this drain clog remover tool is all you need. The flexible and durable coils easily snake through pipes to clear an obstruction. The easy-to-grip handle makes rotations quick and straightforward. Environmental friendly ABS material is safer to use than other products.
One of the basic draining tools, yet most effective, is the plunger. Most homes have at least one in their bathroom. It is a rubber cup-like structure with a wooden handle attached to it. When pressed against the drain opening, it creates pressure that can dislodge clogs and get things moving.
Here is our top pick for the best and most reliable plunger on Amazon.
Quality construction and an innovative design set Korky Telescoping above other plungers. The patented star plunger, dual flange seal, and X-prong base give it improved plunge power to handle clogs in toilets, sinks, and tubs — even septic tanks! The beehive design lifts clogs for easy removal.
Chemical drain cleaners
The next line of defense against blocked drains is chemical drain cleaners. They are usually effective in clearing out simple blockages. They rely on caustic chemicals that react with the dirt and water in the drains to dissolve obstructions.
Most chemical cleaners are in liquid form, while a lower percentage is in granular form. Here is the reliable and powerful liquid drain cleaner as per our research.
Forget all the rest. Drano Max Gel Clog Remover formula is clinically proven to kill tough clogs fast. This thick gel clears clogged drains in as little as 7 minutes, leaving pipes clean and flowing freely.
The secret is in an enzyme formula that breaks down grease and permanently dissolves hair, soap scum, and other organic buildups. Drano Max Gel Clog Remover is safe for garbage disposals, bathrooms, kitchens, and other drains like laundry sinks, toilets, and any plumbing with a drain.
What to consider when buying drain cleaners
Buying drain cleaners and other cleaning supplies should be taken seriously. You’ll have to do your research on the best cleaning supplies and products, in general, to get the most out of every purchase.
Talking of research, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Suitability for the drain
Before you go shopping for drain cleaners, you need to consider the type of clog you have. Is it a partial clog or a complete one? If you have a partial clog, liquid drain cleaners will do well.
Similarly, manual drain cleaners can work great for you if you are dealing with complete blockages.
Nature of the blockage
If your drain is blocked by grease, soap scum, hair, or other organic matter, acid-based cleaners will do the work for you. They are cheap and safe for ceramic toilets as long as they are used in proper dilution ratios.
However, if mineral deposits like calcium and iron block your drain, alkaline-based cleaners can effectively remove them without corroding your plumbing system.
The primary purpose of a drain cleaner is to remove clogs and clear the pipes. Many products claim to do this, but they often fail to deliver, leaving the user with an even bigger clog than before and a big hole in his pocket.
So be sure to read reviews of the product you are considering and customer views to be certain that it will keep its promises.
What is the best tool to unclog a tub drain?
A plunger is the best tool to unclog a tub drain. Plungers create a sealing effect that builds pressure within a bathroom or kitchen sink, forcing clogs upward through the drain. A significant concern when using a plunger is that it could create more damage if the clog recurs.
How do you unclog a drain if a snake doesn’t work?
You can try plunging it with a plunger. If that doesn’t work as well, you can remove the P-trap under the sink to clean it out. Finally, if none of these options work, call your plumber.
Can a drain snake make a clog worse?
The snake can dislodge the clog by pulling it further down the pipes creating a more extensive blockage in other sections of the plumbing system. The biggest risk is it can destroy your lines and cause serious leaks when in contact with your pipes.
How do you know if the clog is cleared?
If your water is flowing down the drain again and not slow to drain, that’s a good sign it’s clear! However if the clog won’t budge or you just want to be sure it’s properly cleared and there’s no pipe damage, contact a plumber with drain camera technology to inspect it.
You don’t need a plumber to solve every plumbing problem if you have the right tools for the job. After all, like most things, preparation is critical when tackling a challenging, DIY project. You should always make sure you have the necessary tools and supplies before taking on the job.
Founder of HandymanGuides.com and self-proclaimed “Mr. Fix-It”, Mike has countless years of experience building and tinkering with everything under the sun. He works as a local repair guy near Santa Monica, CA and when he’s not spackling drywall, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters.