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Why You Shouldn’t Use Drano In Toilets – Do This Instead

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

If you have ever encountered a blocked toilet, then chances are you have used chemical products to combat the problem.

But what if we told you that chemicals are the last thing you should use?

One of the most popular products for blocked drains is Drano, which is commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms.

Drano (see also ‘Will Drano Unclog A Dishwasher?‘) is seen as one of the best products for blocked drains and pipes.

However, this does not mean that it is suitable for all problems, as toilets are very different from kitchen sinks. 

So why shouldn’t you use Drano in toilets? Well, that’s what we’re here to look at.

In this article, we have compiled some important information concerning the use of Drano and the impact it can have on your toilet

Can You Use Drano For A Blocked Toilet?

It’s no secret that Drano is a powerful drain cleaner. However, this does not mean that it should be used to combat a blocked toilet. 

When a toilet becomes blocked, the cause can be attributed to items that should never have been flushed in the first place.

This includes things such as diapers, sanitary napkins, dental floss, and wet wipes. Toilets can also become blocked when the septic tank is full and backed up (see also ‘How To Fix A Toilet Backing Up Into A Bath/Shower‘). 

On the other hand, when a bathtub (see also ‘How To Clean And Get A Bathtub White Again‘) or kitchen sink is blocked, the reason can be attributed to substances such as soap scums, leftover food, hair, and kitchen grease.

Drano is able to break down these substances, as it contains active ingredients such as bleach and caustic, which work to combat the blockage by generating a decent heat. 

This is the main reason why you should never use Drano on a blocked toilet, as the heating elements are powerful enough to fracture the toilet bowl and soften the drains.

This can also result in a dangerous solution that has been known to burn and irritate human flesh. 

Because of this, it is advisable to use other methods to unblock your toilet, which include enzyme-based drain cleaners and manual tools.

However, if you would still prefer to use a Drano product, then you can purchase their max build-up remover, which has been specially formulated for blocked toilets. 

However, it is important to note that this particular solution is more of a precaution than a final solution, as it can only break down the initial block.

Beyond that, you will need to use manual methods to drain the toilet. 

Why Shouldn’t You Use Drano In Toilets? 

Drano works to unblock the pipes by breaking down the substances used to block them.

It is able to do this because it contains bleach and caustic, which are active chemicals that produce a powerful source of heat.

For this reason, Drano should never be used to unblock a toilet, as the heat is strong enough to fracture the basin and melt the materials used in the drains. 

In most cases, toilets are built with an s-shaped part called a trap, which helps to siphon the water and create the flushing effect.

The trap also contains a small amount of water, which reduces the chances of sewer gasses entering the bathroom. 

In contrast to the average sink, the toilet trap is made from the same material as the toilet itself, which means it is made from a kind of porcelain.

This material is more susceptible to the chemicals found in Drano, as the heat produced by the solution can make the porcelain expand and fracture. 

Of course, there are other dangers associated with the use of Drano. For example, if the chemicals are unable to unblock the toilet, you may resort to using a plunger to drain the bowl, which could result in the chemicals splashing on your arms and face.

Drano can be dangerous when it comes into contact with human skin, which is another reason why it should be avoided. 

Drano also comes with the drawback of being particularly cruel to the toilet drain pipes, especially those made from metal and PVC.

In some cases, the chemical reaction is enough to weaken the metallic pipes and deform the plastic.

Because of this, the risks of using Drano outweigh its various benefits. 

What Can You Use Instead? 

There are numerous ways to unblock a toilet, with some methods being easier than others.

If your toilet is blocked, then you can use alternative chemical products and manual tools, which are cost-effective and understandable. 

1. Plunger 

When it comes to tackling a blocked toilet, one of the best tools in your arsenal is the toilet plunger, which remains a popular choice among homeowners. 

Toilet plungers can be purchased for between 10 – 20 dollars and remain an essential part of any bathroom.

For the best results, we do recommend purchasing a bell-shaped plunger, as these offer more suction and a better yield.

However, this does not mean that you should grab the plunger straight away, as you will need to drain the toilet first before you can start using the tool.

Once most of the water has been removed, you can use the plunger to tackle the source of the block, which should allow you to solve the problem. 

If you don’t own a toilet plunger, then you can always purchase one from your local hardware store.

Even though there are other ways to unblock a toilet without having to use this particular tool. 

2. Auger 

Otherwise known as a toilet snake, an auger is what you should use if the plunger is unable to tackle the block.

These tools usually measure between 3 – 6 feet in length and work to pull out the block or cut it into smaller pieces. 

In contrast to a plunger, which uses indirect suction, augers confront the block head-on and can be inserted into the trap or drain.

If the block is deeper than the auger can reach, then you will need to call in a professional, as most plumbers possess motorized versions that can reach up to 100 feet. 

However, this does not mean that augers do not come with their drawbacks, as the tools have been known to scratch the inside of the bowl.

Because of this, we recommend that you use the tool carefully, so as to avoid any unwanted scratches that may occur on the inside of the toilet. 

If the augur is unable to overcome the blockage, then you will need to use another method to deal with the problem. 

What Other Products Can You Use? 

Dealing with a blocked toilet can be a complicated situation, especially when you are left with only a handful of options.

While we do not recommend using chemical solutions to combat the issue, it is possible to use other products than have been specially formulated for the purpose of unblocking toilets.

These include substances such as enzyme-based cleaners and other less corrosive liquids. 

In some cases, homeowners will even resort to using muriatic acid to deal with the problem, which is something we do not recommend.

Once the acid has been added to the water, it will dilute and cause a chemical reaction, which could result in a small explosion or serious burns to the arms, face, and eyes. 

When using acid, there is also a chance that the chemical will remain in the toilet bowl after the block has been dealt with, which could also lead to a disastrous reaction.

If you have tried unblocking the toilet yourself with little success, then it is probably time to call in a professional plumber to finish the job. 

Final Thoughts 

Drano remains a powerful drain cleaner for kitchens and bathrooms. However, this does not mean it should be used to combat a blocked toilet.

Instead, you should use other products or manual tools, which will allow you to remove the blockage without causing damage to the drain and pipes.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases. When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, many homeowners turn