is drano safe for shower drains

Is Drano Safe for Shower Drains?

You have likely come across Drano in your search for a solution for a clogged shower drain, and for a good reason. Drano is known to be effective in unclogging drains caused by everything.

However, despite the effective and positive outcomes and its popularity in many households, safety is a big concern. Many people often ask if Drano is safe for shower drains or not.  

Drano is highly corrosive and can damage metallic and PVC pipes after regular use, especially on the same drains. There is a valid reason why the manufacturer prohibits its use on toilets because it will entirely eat up and damage the toilet’s interior. 

Therefore, it makes sense to ask if your shower drains will suffer a similar fate.

Well, let’s find out.

Is Drano Safe for Shower Drains?

Shower drains are susceptible to clogs resulting from soap, dirt, hair, and other substances washed off whenever you take a shower. This is why it’s crucial to maintain your bathroom regularly and adequately. 

There are many solutions to this problem, including baking soda, drain snake, hot water, plunger, and vinegar. However, can you use Drano without damaging your drains?

You can safely unclog your shower drains with Drano, but don’t use it frequently for the sake of your pipes. Additionally, don’t rush to pour in Drano whenever you feel your shower drain is clogged. 

Inspect your shower drain for visible obstructions as objects like hairs can be seen on the drain’s surface or in a shallow area. If you see such clogs, remove them immediately and see whether that resolves the issue.

You should also check if your drain has a closing or stopping mechanism that is common in modern shower drains. It stops water from draining whenever you want, and it’s quite prevalent in shower drains for bathtubs.

If the drain doesn’t offer enough space for the water to flow, open the stopper. The majority of shower stoppers have a separate portion placed in the middle that you must unscrew to open the drain.

If the closing or stopper system closes accidentally, it can prevent water from draining. 

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How Does Drano Work To Unclog Your Shower?

Drano is a chemical cleaner that clears blockages through dissolution and decomposition of the masses clogging your drains. It’s safe for use on clogged bathtub and shower drains, laundry sinks, bathroom sinks, garbage disposals, and kitchen sinks, but not toilets. 

This product constitutes lye, sodium nitrate, bleach, salt, and aluminum. 

Drano creates a chemical reaction that produces heat when you pour it down the drain. The lye decomposes physical substances in the pipes, while aluminum reacts with lye raising the temperatures to the near-boiling point speeding up decomposition.

Moreover, lye creates a soapy substance that dissolves the blockage and provides space for water to drain the clog away.

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Drano will clear clogs in your shower drain within 15 minutes, but you can extend the time to about 30 minutes. Make sure to flush the pipes using hot water to push the clogs down and help prevent new blockages from forming. 

Drano isn’t ideal for persistent and repeated clogs. Consider contacting a plumber in such cases for a reliable solution that won’t damage your pipes. 

You should also remember this Drano is only a temporary fix, and the chemical is not friendly to the environment. 

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Reasons Not To Use Drano On Your Shower Drains

While Drano is effective in unclogging your shower drains, there are compelling reasons not to use it. These are:

It’s Corrosive

Beware that continuous use of Drano on your drains can corrode, soften, or break the pipes because it works by producing heat. It can also eat away the glue holding the pipes together, leading to a potentially expensive leak. 

It’s Harmful To The Environment

You can successfully use Drano on your shower drain without ruining your pipes, but the water must go somewhere after leaving the pipes. The chemical can negatively affect the environment once it enters your town’s sewer system. 

 Health Risk

You will suffer irritation if Drano comes into contact with your eyes and skin, while the fumes can harm your lungs. You will need to avoid using your shower for 24 hours after unclogging it with Drano. 

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What To Use Instead Of Drano To Unclog A Shower Drain

If you are not sure about using Drano to unclog your shower drain, here are some excellent methods to use instead.

Hot Water

if the clog in your shower drain isn’t hard to break, boil a pot of water and pour it down the drain. Do this 3 to 4 times, then try draining the shower to check if it worked. 

Try this simple method before trying other ways if it doesn’t work.

Natural Cleaners

You can make an effective natural DIY cleaner from baking soda and vinegar. Create the cleaner by mixing a cup of baking soda with a cup of vinegar.

Loosen the clog by pouring hot water down the drain, followed by the mixture. After that, let it work for about 15 minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain again to wash away the broken clogs. 


A  plunger is designed explicitly for unclogging, so use it on your shower drain. All you need to do is put the plunger on the shower drain, push it up and down aggressively to break the clogs, then watch if the water drains.

A Drain Snake

Before trying this method, you should know that it can make your shower base and clothes dirty and requires the use of a drain snake. This plumbing tool is quite useful since it is effective for unclogging drains. 

You can readily find this tool in a hardware or plumbing store for about 30 dollars, and it is a valuable tool to have in your home in case you need it. It is available in disposable plastic and metallic versions. 

Unclog your shower drain by pushing the drain snake down the shower drain, and it will drag the clog back up. Remove the clog once the snake is fully out, then pour hot water down the drain to check if it’s wholly unclogged. 

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How to Prevent Clogs In Your Shower Drain

Prevention is the best way to keep your shower drain clogs free and operating efficiently. You can achieve this by trying these ideas.

  • Pour a mixture of 1/3 cup of baking soda and vinegar down the drain once every month.
  • Attach a tub strainer or drain screen over your shower drain to capture debris, loose hair, and other objects. Ensure you empty it frequently.
  • Pour boiling water into your shower drain once every week to dislodge substances like debris, soap, and grease, before they create a clog. 
  • Brush your hair before showering
  • Don’t pour wastewater down your shower drain. 

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Drano will have your shower draining water efficiently if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it to unclog your shower drain. While you can fix your drain yourself, call a plumber if the problem persists.

A plumber will assess the situation to find a solution that will work efficiently for your shower drainage problem. Moreover, they will provide a long-lasting solution. 

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