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Can You Use Drano® in Your Toilet?

When toilets get clogged, most people automatically reach for Drano. It’s known for quickly and easily removing clogs. While Drano works on some drains, it’s not an effective way of solving your plumbing problems. It can not only damage your toilet but also all of the other drains it’s exposed to. 

How Does Drano Work?

Drano’s primary solutions are sodium hydroxide (lye) and sodium hypochlorite (bleach). The lye is a caustic chemical that generates intense heat when exposed to water. It burns away at and eventually dissolves the clog. The bleach oxidizes the clog—breaking it into chemicals that wash away. 

Drano’s specifically designed for sinks, showers, and tub drains. It can usually clear clogs faster than Paul Bunyan can clear a forest with a single swing of his ax. 

While Drano’s highly effective on those clogs, it also causes more problems than it solves.  

Why Shouldn’t You Use Drano In Your Toilet?

Toilet clogs are usually too dense for Drano to break down. Instead, it’ll remain inside your toilet, damaging your pipes. If the pipes are made of plastic, the lye’s heat will soften them. If they’re made of metal, the bleach’s oxidation process will cause them to rust.  

Drano can also negatively impact the toilet bowl. If the blockage is dense enough, the Drano will stay in the bowl, damaging the porcelain.

Even if the Drano works, you’re still using a corrosive agent on your pipes for as long as it takes to clear the blockage. It weakens the pipes, decreases their lifespan, and leads to leaks. 

While made for other plumbing systems throughout your house, Drano shouldn’t be used on them either, since it weakens all the pipes it’s exposed to.  

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What Should You Use Instead? 

Sometimes, the more traditional methods are still the best. A plunger might provide enough force to break the blockage apart, like Paul and Babe breaking through a logjam. 

If a plunger doesn’t work, you can use a toilet auger—also known as a plumbing snake. By sending a metal cable down the drain, you’ll be able to grab onto a portion of the clog. When you turn and pull the cable back out, it’ll pull apart the clog. With the blockage broken apart, you’ll be able to use a plunger to break the rest of it and clear your drain. 

If the blockage remains after using the auger or if you don’t feel comfortable using one, reach out to a plumber who will unclog your toilet and ensure your pipes are in working order. 


Whether your toilet’s clogged or you’re in need of emergency plumbing, our team is prepared to remove blockages or make repairs. To make an appointment, reach out to us at 612-340-1444.

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