How to Use a Drain Cleaner – Step by Step

In this post, we’ll go over a number of tips on how to use a drain cleaner to unblock a slow moving drain. Check out the best drain cleaner available – either enzymatic, acoustic, acidic or basic.

Whenever you’re bathing or cleaning dishes and start noticing that water in your drain is backing up, it’s highly probable that there is a buildup of food (peels and vegetables), oils, and hair down in the pipes. So, let’s get down to the dirty business.


  • Ensure that there is good ventilation & make sure you wear some goggles and gloves to protect yourself if the drain cleaner happens to be acidic or acoustic. Ensure you keep your kids, pets, faces and hands away from the cleaners such as Drano.
  • Avoid splashing the cleaner and don’t squeeze the cleaner containing bottle & when you’re done with the cleaner bottle, replace its cap back and then discard it safely – don’t reuse the bottle.

how to use drain cleaner

How to Use a Drain Cleaner – Step by Step

1. Remove the drain cover

First, you’ll need to remove the drain or pipe cover to allow you easy access to the pipes that has been blocked. If you’re using a drain cleaner like Drano you’ll not need to re move some of the stagnate water in the sink or bathtub. Therefore, it’s always wise to consider if the drain cleaner you’re eyeing will work in such conditions.

2. Try using the Plumber’s snake

Now before we go ahead and use the drain cleaner, you’ll need to remove some of the hard to break drain clogs using a plumber’s snake. So, get the drain snake down the pipes and when you feel some resistance, rotate the snake in an anticlockwise direction to trap some of the dirt, debris and hair. Finally, bring up the end of the snake and remove the trapped debris.

3. Next, it’s time for the drain cleaner – Open the cleaner carefully

Now, open your drain cleaners slowly and carefully making sure that you don’t spill or splash it on the walls or the floor. Note, to open the drain cleaner, you’ll need to turn the bottle cap in an anticlockwise direction.

4. Next, pour the cleaner down the clogged drain

Now, without squeezing the bottle, pour the drain cleaner into the blocked drain. However, ensure that you carefully read the label instruction on the usage guidelines. This will allow you to safely, easily and cost-effectively undertake the unblocking task.

For the Drano cleaner, you’ll require to pour about 16 oz. of the liquid, which is about half of bottle contents. However, if the drain is fully blocked, you’ll need to pour the whole 32 oz. of the drain cleaner into the clogged drain.

5. Its break time!

Now, leave then drain cleaner to do its magic for about 20-30 minutes. However, ensure you get directions regarding the appropriate wait time from the label instructions.

If it’s an enzymatic, the enzymes would be eating up the clog contents and multiply fast to clear the whole mess in that short time. Obviously, if it’s acoustic or acidic, heat and bubbling would help drain the blockage.

6. Finally, pour hot water

The last step we’ll take it to pour hot water down the drain and flash down the whole mess. Check if the water is draining easily now. If not, repeat with the drain cleaner and maybe leave it overnight to break down the oils, fast, hair and grease.

11 Replies to “How to Use a Drain Cleaner – Step by Step”

  1. I love your tips about using a plumber’s tools like a snake. That makes sense if you have hair stuck in the drain. I’ll have to consider your tips so that I can get my drains unclogged.

  2. This is some really good information about drain cleaner. It is good to know that it would be smart to think about using a plumber snake. It might also be smart for me to hire a plumber to fix really huge clogs that I can’t get rid of.

  3. My sister noticed that her drain is clogged and she wants to have them cleaned to prevent problems. It was suggested here that when planning to use a drain cleaner, she should use gloves and let the chemical soak. Furthermore, it’s recommended to hire professional plumbers when in need of deep drain cleaning.

  4. Drain cleaning seems like a gross thing to have to do. It seems like a good thing to get a professional to do that for you. After all, you want to get the drains cleaned by someone who knows what they are doing.

  5. I like your tip to use a plumber’s snake to clean the drain. I need to unclog the drains in my house because they are starting to smell. I think I will stick with using a professional service this time around.

  6. I like that you said that after pouring a drain cleaner you need to pour hot water to help dissolve the liquids. My friend drain is clogged and he said he needed to repair it but he hasn’t had the time to do it. I’m going to help him look online for ways to help him unclog it.

  7. Thanks for the tips on how to use the drain cleaner. My mom has a drain that is clogged an won’t stop. It could be really nice for her to get it fixed by a professional.

  8. I appreciated that you said that you should remove the cover. I noticed my drains are clogged. I think it will be good if I find a service to help me.

  9. I like that you suggested pouring hot water down the drain to flush all the chemicals. My sister told me that her drain was starting to smell. I’m going to share with her this information and help her get a professional in case she requires more tools.

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