Is It Safe To Put Drano In A Garbage Disposal?

No matter whether you're a renter or a homeowner, you'll eventually face the eternal question: Can I fix this myself, or do I need to call a professional? There's a huge spectrum of difficulty when it comes to home repairs, and you never want to risk making something worse while trying to make it better.

Take, for example, a clogged garbage disposal. Maybe yours is 20 years old or it's been working nonstop after that huge holiday feast — and now it won't drain. It's filled with gross water, rendering your sink unusable. Is it worth the money and time to call a plumber? Or can you simply grab a bottle of Drano and let it go to work?

The answer, like most things in life, is complicated. Here's the scoop on how to deal with a clogged garbage disposal, and whether or not you should bust out that jug of Drano.

It's safe to use Drano, but there are some caveats

Before you try the chemical route, give the sink a little time to see if it'll drain on its own. Try running the garbage disposal a couple more times. If you hear abnormal banging sounds when you flip the disposal switch, stop immediately -– there could be a fork or another hard object stuck in the disposal, which could severely damage it. Then it's time to call a plumber.

But let's say you've waited a while, the water level in your sink hasn't budged, and you're pretty sure there isn't a spork stuck down there. You're ready to use some Drano and call it a day. So what do you need to know?

Drano has several formulas for different issues and types of drains, and the following products are safe to use in garbage disposals, according to SC Johnson, Drano's manufacturer: Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover, Drano Max Build-Up Remover, and Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner. However, the brand warns customers that they should read the instructions very carefully before proceeding. There's one Drano product you should avoid using in the disposal at all costs: Drano Professional Strength Crystals Clog Remover. That stuff is hardcore.

However, just FYI, no Drano products will damage your pipes, whether they're plastic or metal. One formula, Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, actually helps prevent the corrosion of pipes. Drano warns that there are some products on the market that can damage your plumbing system. Avoid any that contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid, and you'll be a happy camper.