The 3 Best Liquid Drain Cleaner


Cleaning a drain is no easy task. Sure, to fix a blockage or prevent a future clog from happening, you can — and sometimes should — hire a plumber. That said, the best liquid drain cleaners are a smart alternative for DIY drain fixes. They're affordable and effective at unblocking all types of drains.

When shopping for the best drain cleaner, it's important to know the difference between the types: caustic, oxidizing, and acidic.

  • Caustic cleaners are the easiest to dissolve.
  • Oxidizing cleaners are a bit thicker and use a chemical reaction to break blockages apart.
  • Acidic cleaners are the strongest, but their high acid concentration makes them less safe.

To find what'll suit your needs, you first have to figure out what's blocking your pipes, and you can go from there. For your convenience, I've done a ton of research, scoured drain cleaner reviews on Consumer Reports, and uncovered the three best options. All of them are safe for household use, and regardless of what's clogging your pipes, know this: One of them will work for you. Read on to shop my top three picks on Amazon, then check out the best drain snakes that are sure to take your DIY job to the next level.

1The Overall Best Liquid Drain Cleaner With An Eco-Friendly Formula

Why it's great: The liquid dissolves quickly, so it attacks the area and reduces blockage quicker. It works with drains of all types — from kitchen sinks to toilets — thanks to its enzymatic, higher density solution. However, it's really great for thicker clogs (aka hair in the shower drain). That said, it's safe and biodegradable. The bottle has a dual-chambered design to make pouring easier. Plus, the price, $12 for two 16-ounce bottles, isn't too shabby, either.

What users say: "Fantastic stuff. My bathtub was so bad that when I showered I would be standing in almost a foot of water ... I used half the bottle and within a couple hours the clog was totally gone and no evil odor. I highly recommend."

2A Great Value On A Reputable Drain-Cleaning Product

Why it's great: Drano's Max Clog Remover works just as well, but unlike the option above, it's not recommended for toilets and isn't biodegradable. However, because of its stronger chemical base (aka thicker solution), it's even better at fighting corrosion on both metal and plastic pipes. It has a measuring cup for easy pouring and, though it takes a bit longer to activate, it's a go-to for lots of users.

What users say: "Our bathtub drain pipe has a weird shape so we can't really use one of those handy plastic snake sticks to get rid of clogs ... After treating with a whole bottle (2 separate treatments, 1/2 bottle per time) and using boiled water instead of regular hot water, everything is draining normally again."

3A Safe Solution For Drains That's Worth The Higher Price

Why it's great: Another biodegradable option, this drain cleaner from Xion Lab is the safest solution on this list. It's odorless and thicker than the others. Even better, with a pH of 13, it's less acidic and NSF Registered. The one downside? It won't work on clogs made from food, paper, or plastic. Fear not, it's great for a kitchen sink or a garbage disposal and totally worth the slightly higher price per bottle.

What users say: "My drain had been slow for a very long time. I put the cleaner in it before I went to work and flushed it when I got home. It worked like a dream. I highly recommend this product for slow and clogged drains."

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