What Drain Cleaner Is Safe for Garbage Disposal? (Use These Ones)

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What Drain Cleaner Is Safe for Garbage Disposal?

Garbage management is necessary to maintain proper health and sanitation and achieve environmental conservation.

An improper garbage disposal system can lead to drainage and sewer pipe clogging, causing catastrophic overflows of sewage…. Chemical drain uncloggers help manage sink drain clogs, but are they safe for garbage disposal?

The safest drain cleaners for garbage disposal are those that don’t contain any corrosive materials…. Sani sticks are a great way of avoiding clogs while deodorizing the drains…. However, Drano products, except the granulated ones, seem to be a good choice in case of blockage.

In this article, we quest to find out the best/ ideal drain cleaning techniques for garbage disposal…. We’ll also look at several existing drain cleaners in the market.

We will analyze how they work, their effectiveness, and their shortcomings to evaluate their suitability for garbage disposal…. Let’s dive right in.

Drain Cleaners: What Are They?

Drain cleaners refer to chemical products used to remove clogs on pipes to maintain regular flow in drainage pipes and sewers…. There are several chemical-based drain cleaners, including caustic, acidic, oxidizing, and enzymatic drain cleaners.

These clogs occur occasionally and can range in severity, from a casual blockage of the sink by food or vegetables to a complete blockage of drain causing floods and overflow…. Drain cleaners are chemicals that can remove or ease the clog and maintain normal flow.

Some popular brands in chemical drain cleaning include Drano and Plumr.

How Do Drain Cleaners Work?

Drain cleaners react with the blockage materials…. Depending on the active ingredient of the drain cleaner, say alkaline, acidic, or oxidizing, it dissolves, produce propulsive gasses, or disintegrates the clogging substances which flow via drainage pipes.

Precautions When Using Drain Cleaners

Using chemical cleaners can be dangerous…. For instance, using acidic cleaners to unclog steel pipes could lead to a reaction that instead corrodes and damages the piping system.

In addition, you should be careful when dealing with caustic cleaners as they may absorb moisture in the piping…. This aspect results in a drying effect that makes the cleaner solidify and block the pipes instead…. It is advisable to always place the caustic drainer as close as possible to the clogging material to mitigate such occurrences.

Although some drain cleaners have deodorizers, reactions with the clogging substances may produce pungent smells…. In addition, during the reaction of chemical cleaners with the blocking substances, the response may result in the emission of heat.

Such an exothermic reaction raises the temperatures that could damage the plumbing system, as in the case of Polyvinyl Chloride drains…. There’s always a chance of hot water jetting out on the other end of the drain due to the reactivity and causing damage…. Always ensure that all the chemical drainers have exited the drains.

In certain instances, remnant chemical drainers could accumulate slowly in the piping system, exposing in the event of mechanical intervention…. That’s why you should never mix several drain cleaners…. Their chemical constituents may react, leading to the production of harmful gases.

Can You Use Sani Sticks in Garbage Disposal?

Sani sticks are a safe option for garbage disposal and protect drainage pipes against clogging…. Each strand acts as a deodorizer and helps maintain unclogged drainage…. The sticks are inserted into the drainage sink and contain enzymes that act upon clog-instigators in the piping, easing flow.


SANI 360° Sani Sticks Drain Cleaner and Deodorizer | Non-Toxic, Enzyme Formula to Eliminate Odors and Helps Prevent Clogged Drains | Septic Tank Safe | 48 Count, Lemon


Sani sticks offer more clog-preventative solutions and deodorizers than unclogging blocked pipes…. They come with various scents, including lemon, rose, and lavender, to rid your pipes of any odor…. They offer an enzymatic solution to prevent clogs in the pipes and in an environmentally friendly way.

Can You Use Drano in a Garbage Disposal?

Drano products are caustic-based chemical cleaners that contain sodium hydroxide as an active de-clog ingredient…. Drano products are affordable, easy to use, and effective even for the most stubborn of clogs. 

Drano products are suitable for garbage disposal…. That’s because the kitchen crystals are a granulated caustic cleaner containing aluminum contents that react with the water, releasing hydrogen gas and releasing a lot of heat in unclogging.


Drano Max Gel Clog Remover, 80 Fl.... Oz (2 Count)


Some Drano products include Snake-Plus, Dual-Force Foam, Max-Gel, Liquid Clog Remover, and Kitchen Crystals…. Except for the latter, all other

The heat could compromise and damage the drainage PVC pipes…. Also, granulated sodium hydroxide absorbs water and could instead block the piping system…. Drano is also aggressive to the skin and toxic to surface water upon contact.

Can You Use Liquid Plumr in a Garbage Disposal?

Liquid Plumr is Caustic-based and contains sodium hydroxide and Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)…. However, Liquid Plumr degrades fast, posing little danger to natural and beneficial bacterial cultures in the septic system. 

Plumr is effective for garbage disposal but is only safe for occasional use as it endangers septic bacterial cultures.


Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Full Clog Destroyer Plus PipeGuard (80 fl oz (Pack of 2))


However, this product is unsuitable for surfaces containing rubber because it corrodes them…. In addition, Liquid Plumr is reactive to ammonia, making it unsuitable for toilet clog and drainages with high urea or ammonia concentrations.

Can You Use a Drain Snake for Garbage Disposal?

Drain snakes are great for garbage disposal, but they require operational expertise to handle the unclogging equipment…. A drain snake refers to a plumbing tool that’s long and flexible, usually coiled. 

Drain snakes unclog stubborn blockages safely and offer a mechanical solution to unclogging drainage pipes.

Drainage snakes are motorized, making it efficient for kitchen dirt and grease-related clogs in the piping around the house, including sewer and drains…. The drainer accesses the sewer drains through access ports around the house’s plumbing infrastructure.

However, using a drain snake would need some technical expertise in operating the plumbing equipment…. So, you have to pay for plumbing services…. In the best-case scenario, one could opt for a rental if they’re skilled, but it’s both expensive and risky.

Can You Use Clr On A Garbage Disposal?

Liquid Calcium-Lime-rust drain cleaner (Clr) is an acidic garbage disposal product suitable for porcelain, fiberglass, chrome, and exterior stainless steel surfaces.

 You can use Liquid Clr on garbage disposal as it effectively unblocks clogged drains within minutes, and its constituents are both septic safe and eco-friendly.


CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover, Blasts Calcium, Dissolves Lime, Zaps Rust Stains, 28 Ounce Bottle


This garbage disposal solution helps unclog drain pipes up to 50feet away from the sink inlet…. It contains no heavy chemicals toxic to useful septic bacteria.

In addition to environmental safety, liquid Clr cleaner doesn’t endanger well-fitted drain pipes within the prescribed application amounts per each use…. However, it’s corrosive for these surfaces, which include: marble, Aluminium, painted surfaces, terrazzo, colored grouts, and cracked tub surfaces.

Can You Use Green Gobbler In Garbage Disposal?

Green gobbler is a safe enzyme-based drain cleaner, effective in a garbage disposal…. Green Gobbler is an enzymatic drain cleaner, making it safe for plastic and copper drain pipes and septic bacteria. 


Green Gobbler Liquid Hair Drain Clog Remover, For Toilets, Sinks, Tubs - Septic Safe, 2 Pack


Green gobbler is an odorless, biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-corrosive solution…. This product contains useful enzymes that effectively remove soap scum, grease, and hair-clogging pipes and is septic safe.

Final Thoughts

Chemical drain cleaners are a fast way to de-clog blocked drainage pipes…. Drano products (except granulate variety) seem to do a great job so far.

However, where possible, Sani Stick prevention and mechanical means such as snake drains are the best practice as they pose little to no environmental exposure to you in the long run.

In addition, if you go the chemical way, take care while dealing with chemical drainers to prevent skin corrosion, plumbing damages, and splutter accidents during the unclogging process.

Preferably, mechanical means should be applied, with chemical means to unclog as the last resort.


You may also be interested in… Which Side of the Sink Does the Garbage Disposal Go On? and Will Garbage Disposal Cut Your Hand?