Best Drain Cleaner for Kitchen Sink: My Go-to Options

By

Maria DeSouza

| Published September 20, 2023

A clean sink is essential for sanitation and the prevention of foul odors.

Over time, grease, food particles, soap scum, and other debris can build up in your drains and cause clogs. This can not only make your sink slow to drain, but it can also lead to backups and overflows.

A clean kitchen drain not only prevents potential plumbing issues but also ensures a healthy and pleasant kitchen environment.

The market offers many drain cleaners. So, you must note that harsh chemicals can damage your pipes, while ineffective cleaners will not clear the clog.

Choose a drain cleaner that is safe and effective for your needs.

Best Drain Cleaner for Kitchen Sink – A Comprehensive Review

Are clogged drains causing you frustration?

Look no further! This comprehensive review of kitchen cleaners is here to help you regain smooth-flowing drains.

Based on factors like effectiveness, safety, and price, my cleaning team and I have meticulously evaluated the best drain cleaners on the market.

Continue reading to find the best drain cleaner for your sink and learn how to keep your drains clog-free.

1. Best Overall Drain Cleaner – Drano Max Gel

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FEATURES

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 80 ounces
  • Current price: $9.00

Drano, a well-known brand with a 100-year history, is popular due to its impressive clearing power.

It has consistently been impressed by its gel formulation, which is safe for all plumbing and septic systems.

With its #1 selling status in the market, this fast-acting best drain cleaner delivers impressive results.

Bleach and corrosive ingredients make this caustic drain cleaner an effective grease and soap scum remover.

Its quick action requires minimal effort—simply pour Drano Max Gel Clog Remover down your slow drain.

Moreover, Drano Max Gel Clog Remover is remarkably versatile and safe to use on different drains, including garbage disposals, bathroom sinks, floor drains, clogged toilets, and laundry sinks.

PROS

  • Versatile and safe for various drain types
  • Fast-acting with impressive results
  • Easy to use
  • It is also the best value
  • Trusted brand

CONS

  • Caustic nature may require extra caution when using

2. Best Enzyme Drain Cleaner – Bio-Clean Drain

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FEATURES

  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 2-pound canister
  • Current price:

Bio-Clean Drain Enzyme Cleaner is a powerful solution for stubborn clogs.

This natural and safe drain cleaner has enzymes that break down organic matter, such as hair, food, and grease.

Bio-Clean Drain is a multi-purpose enzyme cleaner suitable for kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs, cat litter pans, and motor homes.

Bio-Clean Drain Enzyme Cleaner is the best drain cleaner for people looking for a safe and effective way to clear a blocked drain.

It’s best to let Bio-Clean Drain sit overnight in a backed-up drain for optimal results.

It also works great for garbage disposals and septic tank maintenance.

PROS

  • Uses natural and safe enzymes
  • Effective in preventing and clearing small clogs
  • Good for garbage disposals
  • Non-caustic
  • Pet-friendly

CONS

  • Enzyme-based cleaners may take longer to work than chemical ones
  • Less budget-friendly

3. Best Budget-friendly Drain Cleaner – Rockwell Labs InVade Bio Drain Gel

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FEATURES

  • Type: Gel
  • Size: 32 ounces
  • Current price: $21

This gel cleaner effectively clears clogs caused by soap scum, gunk, and other organic matter. Its slight citrus scent also makes my clients’ kitchens smell fresh.

Moreover, it does more than just unclogging; it also tackles the issue of pesky drain flies. The citrus oil in the formula eliminates these flies by targeting the eggs they lay in debris within the drains.

The cleaner works for unclogging sugar clogs in soda fountain drip trays too.

This gel cleaner is also safe for septic systems. This is important to me because many of my clients have septic tanks.

The only downside to InVade Bio Drain Gel is that it is less concentrated than other drain cleaners. This means you may need more of it to clear a clog.

Nonetheless, it makes up for its price.

PROS

  • Pocket-friendly cleaner
  • Pleasant slight citrus scent
  • Kills drain flies
  • It can be used on sugar clogs

CONS

  • Less concentrated than other drain cleaners

4. CLR Clear Pipes & Drains Clog Remover and Cleaner

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FEATURES

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 42 ounces
  • Current price: $15

This product is a preventative maintenance product that helps to dissolve crud buildup in pipes. It is safe for all pipes and septic systems and fragrance-free.

This powerful product dissolves various buildups like oil, soap scum, kitchen waste, and more, keeping your drains flowing smoothly.

I use CLR Clear Pipes & Drains once a month in all of my clients’ kitchens.

It is very easy to use. Simply measure 2 ounces of the product and pour it down the drain. In most cases, the clog will be cleared within minutes.

For garbage disposals, simple overnight treatment is all it needs.

While it is perfect for regular maintenance, remember that extremely tough clogs may require a more heavy-duty chemical cleaner or professional cleaning.

PROS

  • Suitable for regular monthly maintenance
  • Safe for all pipes and septic systems, and fragrance-free
  • EPA-certified cleaner
  • It is also pet and environment friendly

CONS

  • Reliable for clog prevention only, not good for heavy declogging

5. Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver

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FEATURES

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 458 ml (each bottle)
  • Current price: $25

I highly recommend the Green Gobbler Drain Cleaner as the Best Eco-friendly Drain Cleaner.

This powerful liquid dissolves hair, toilet paper, flushable personal care wipes, soap scum, and other things that may cause clogs within your pipes.

The packaging is user-friendly with pre-measured applications, making it effortless to use without measuring.

This enzymatic cleaner contains a proprietary blend of eco-friendly ingredients that effectively clears clogs caused by toilet paper wads, cotton swabs, hair, lint, grease, and soap scum.

It can be used on kitchen and bathroom drains, tubs, garbage disposals, showers, and toilets. It is safe for all kinds of pipes, including plastic and copper, as it is non-corrosive.

PROS

  • Green Gobbler offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • User-friendly packaging with pre-measured applications
  • Biodegradable and odorless formula
  • Green Gobbler manufactures many drain cleaners, so you have to double-check each formulation

CONS

  • Lengthy working time compared to the previously mentioned products

6. Omont Drain Clog Remover Tool

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FEATURES

  • Type: drain snake
  • Size: 24 inches
  • Current price: $10.00

I have found that Omont Drain Clog Remover Tool is the premium option for the best drain cleaner.

This tool is made of PP and stainless steel, which makes it durable and long-lasting. It is also flexible, so it can be easily bent to reach those hard-to-reach clogged pipes.

This best drain cleaner option has six tools, including stainless steel and five plastic drain cleaner tools.

The plastic drain cleaner tools are great for catching hair and other debris. The stainless steel cleaner that comes with it is better for breaking grease clogs.

It is an effective and safe way to unclog drains.

PROS

  • Effective at clearing clogs
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Flexibility allows easy bending to reach and clear hard-to-reach clogs
  • Effectively catches hair
  • Chemical-free drain cleaning option

CONS

  • Not as easy to use as chemical cleaners
  • Can be messy

Comparison of Top Drain Cleaners

As a long-standing member of Onix Cleaning Services, I’ve witnessed firsthand the consequences of a clogged drain.

A reliable drain cleaner is essential to swiftly and effortlessly clear clogs. However, clog dissolvers vary in effectiveness, eco-friendliness, safety profiles, and price.

Let’s compare our top drain cleaners in depth based on these factors.

Comparing Effectiveness

Among the mentioned drain cleaners, and in my experience, the most effective is the “Best Overall Drain Cleaner – Drano Max Gel Clog Remover.”

Drano Max Gel has consistently proven its clearing power and efficiency in tackling tough clogs caused by grease, hair, and other debris.

Its gel-based formula quickly dissolves blockages, restoring smooth flow in sinks and drains.

Additionally, it is safe for all plumbing and septic systems, making it a reliable go-to option for various clogging issues.

Comparing Eco-Friendliness

Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver is the most environmentally friendly choice.

Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver is formulated with eco-friendly ingredients, making it a safer alternative to chemical-based clog dissolvers.

Its enzymatic action effectively breaks down organic things like grease, hair, and food particles, clearing clogs without harming the environment or your plumbing system.

Comparing Safety Profiles

The Best Eco-friendly Drain Cleaner – Green Gobbler is the safest choice.

Green Gobbler Clog Dissolver is made with eco-friendly ingredients, free from harsh substances.

CLR Clear Pipes & Drains Clog Remover and Cleaner is also a good choice for safety profiles.

It is EPA-certified, meaning it has been tested and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is also safe to use in a garbage disposal unit.

Comparing Prices

Rockwell Labs InVade Bio Drain Gel is the most affordable drain cleaner among the options listed.

Rockwell Labs InVade Bio Drain Gel offers great value for money with its 32-ounce bottle, which provides multiple uses and considerably reduces the price per use.

However, it’s worth noting that while it’s highly effective for drain cleaning, it may be less preferred for extreme septic system maintenance.

Experts’ Recommendations and Opinions

To assist you further in making informed decisions regarding drain cleaners, I’ve gathered insights from fellow plumbing professionals and experts in the field.

These recommendations are based on real-world experiences and hands-on expertise, ensuring you receive approval from those dealing with drain issues daily.

Plumbing Professionals’ Favorite Drain Cleaners

When it comes to clearing drains effectively, plumbing professionals rely not only on a drain cleaner but also on the best drain cleaning equipment.

Combining these trusted solutions and advanced drain cleaning tools ensures unparalleled results.

Drain cleaner tools help enhance the effectiveness of a chemical or enzyme cleaner by providing deeper reach and more thorough cleaning.

In this round-up review, the preferred drain cleaner combination frequently used by plumbing professionals includes Drano Max Gel and Omont Drain Clog Remover Tool.

NOTE: Plumbing professionals may need more advanced drain cleaning equipment for extremely tough clogs (especially on septic systems).

Experts’ Tips on Choosing a Drain Cleaner

Choosing the right drain cleaner is crucial for maintaining a clog-free sink and a healthy plumbing system.

Considering these expert tips, you can confidently choose a drain cleaner that suits your needs.

1. Identify Your Pipe Type

There are two main types of pipes: PVC and metal.

  • PVC pipes are the most common type of pipe in homes today. PVCs are corrosion-resistant, more affordable, and easy to install.
  • Metal pipes (e.g., copper or cast iron) are more durable but prone to corrosion. Copper pipes have more resistance to corrosion than cast iron pipes, but they cost higher.

PVC pipes can warp or soften with certain chemicals, while metal pipes can corrode or develop holes.

Some cleaners are safe to use with both PVC and metal pipes.

2. Prioritize Safety

A chemical substance can pose health risks to users, damage pipes and fixtures, and adversely affect the environment.

These harsh ingredients can also irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs.

There are several safe and effective alternatives to chemical ones, such as enzyme cleaners, baking soda, and vinegar.

Nonetheless, using septic-safe drain dissolved or cleaners is fine if you prioritize safety.

3. Avoid Overusing

Drain cleaners can be effective but can damage your pipes and worsen the clog.

Chemical drain cleaners can corrode your pipes, making them more likely to leak or burst. In severe cases, they can even dissolve your pipes altogether.

Using a clog cleaner can break up the clog, pushing the clog further down the pipe. 

Constant exposure to chemical dissolves is dangerous, especially because you use them in the kitchen.

4. Consider Preventive Properties

Experts discourage relying solely on the preventive properties of drain cleaners for several reasons.

These cleaners may mask underlying issues, lead to chemical buildup, pose environmental and health risks, and become costly in the long run.

Safer alternatives, such as preventive habits and routine maintenance, offer more sustainable and effective ways to avoid a clogged sink.

Addressing root causes and seeking professional help ensure healthier septic systems in the long term.

5. Set Your Budget

A predefined budget helps you compare and evaluate options efficiently, prevents impulse purchases, and ensures cost-effective choices.

Drain cleaners come in a wide price range, so set a budget before you go for an Amazon spree.

While certain drain cleaners prove more effective, their efficacy might come at a higher cost.

This tip also allows you to achieve long-term solutions and avoid overspending on inferior products.

6. Consider Seeking a Professional Cleaning Service

Professionals have the experience and training to choose the right drain cleaner for your clog.

Cleaning Services can offer expert assessment and customized solutions. Their services save time, assure safety, and provide long-term maintenance.

Additionally, professional cleaners prioritize eco-friendly practices and can be cost-effective in preventing major plumbing issues.

Onix Cleaning Services utilizes advanced equipment and safe methods.

Natural Solutions to Clean Your Kitchen Sink Drains

Natural solutions are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners when maintaining clean and clog-free kitchen drains.

Natural solutions and eco-friendly methods offer a range of benefits — from effectively clearing clogs to minimizing harm to the environment and your plumbing system.

Homemade Mixtures

Using homemade mixtures for cleaning kitchen drains is an effective and eco-friendly approach.

Here are some popular homemade mixtures you can try.

  • Baking soda and vinegar – To clear pipes, pour 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. The chemical reaction creates a fizzy solution that aids in breaking up clogs.
hands of a woman pouring vinegar and baking soda into the kitchen sink
  • Salt and boiling water – To dissolve debris and grease causing the clogged drain, pour 1 cup of salt and 1 quart of boiling water down the drain.
  • Lemon juice and baking soda – These ingredients can freshen your drain. Pour 1/2 cup of lemon juice and baking soda down the drain; the fizz will help remove odors.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap – Clear clogged drains by pouring 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of dish soap down the drain.

Embracing homemade mixtures saves money and reduces your reliance on harsh chemical cleaners.

Plus, they are odor-free!

Eco-friendly Methods

In addition to using homemade drain cleaner mixtures, you can practice many eco-friendly methods to keep your kitchen drains clean.

These simple and easy-to-do methods are what we usually recommend for our clients to try.

  • Avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain – These substances can solidify and cause clogs. Instead, scrape grease and oil into a jar or container and dispose of it properly.
  • Use sink strainers – They catch food particles before they enter the drain, preventing clogs from forming.
  • Flush your drains with hot water regularly – Hot water helps dissolve existing clogs that may be building up in your garbage disposal drain pipes.
  • Schedule professional drain cleaning every few years – This is a good way to remove any built-up debris and prevent tougher clogs from forming.

Safety Concerns While Cleaning Kitchen Sink Drains

As a kitchen cleaner, I’ve always emphasized to my clients that the key to clearing out a clog with a drain cleaner is to follow the directions exactly.

The best drain cleaner can be made of harsh chemicals. If you overuse or use them incorrectly, they can damage your pipes.

Precautionary Measures to Take

Using the wrong cleaner can cause major headaches. Certain cleaners can harm your plumbing, damage your septic systems, and cause severe burns upon skin contact.

So before you use a cleaner, kindly observe these things:

  • Use Protective Gear
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Avoid Mixing Chemicals
  • Hot Water Handling
  • Preventive Maintenance

Products to Avoid

When cleaning kitchen or bathroom sink drains, I cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding chemical drain-declogging agents that use lye or acid.

These acidic drain cleaners are not only harmful to your health but can also contaminate standing water and cause damage to PVC piping.

When using cleaners with acid or lye, wear gloves and a mask, and ventilate the room.

Store these drain cleaners safely, away from children’s reach.

Preventive Measures to Keep Kitchen Sink Drains Clean

Preventive measures play a crucial role in preserving the efficiency and longevity of your plumbing or septic system, ultimately saving you from costly repairs and potential inconveniences.

Regularly following preventive measures is the most effective way in maintaining a clean kitchen drain 24/7.

Regular Maintenance Techniques

Maintaining a clean and clog-free sink is crucial for a hygienic and smoothly operating kitchen.

Follow these five regular maintenance techniques to ensure a squeaky-clean sink:

  • Flush with boiling water weekly to dissolve grease and food particles in the drain.
  • At least once a month, pour the best drain cleaner down the drain to keep it clear and odor-free.
  • Ensure that you also clean and empty the filters regularly.
  • Avoid pouring grease, oil, and fats down the drain. Collect and practice correct garbage disposal.
  • Inspect your drains regularly for signs of clogs — especially for standing water in your tub or sink.

Precautionary Habits to Prevent Drain Clogs

Clogged sinks can be severe, causing inconvenience and costly repairs without the right cleaning service company.

I recommend taking precautionary habits to prevent future clogs from forming.

Here are things you can do:

  • Don’t put anything down your garbage disposal drains that don’t belong there (paper towels, coffee grounds, toilet paper, or hair).
  • If there is standing water, clear it first with a plunger or a drain snake before using any chemicals.
  • If you are uncomfortable cleaning your kitchen or bathroom sink, it’s always best to call a cleaning service or plumber.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this FAQ section, I’ll address common inquiries about the best drain cleaner — a frequently discussed topic during our cleaning service.

What Are the Ingredients to Look For in a Drain Cleaner?

When selecting a drain cleaner, prioritize ingredients like enzymes, natural solvents, and biodegradable substances.

Enzymes effectively break down organic matter, while natural solvents dissolve grease and debris. Stronger drain cleaners may contain sodium hydroxide and bleach for more stubborn or large clogs.

However, use caution when handling drain cleaners with stronger ingredients, as they can irritate the skin and eyes.

Wear protective gloves and eye protection when using such products.

Are Homemade Drain Cleaners Effective for Kitchen Sinks?

A homemade natural cleaner can be as effective as the best drain cleaners.

Natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, or hot water can help break down grease traps, food particles, and debris.

It helps prevent clogs, keeps drains fresh, and avoids stagnant or standing water.

While homemade solutions may not be as potent as commercial cleaners for severe clogs, they offer a safer, eco-friendly alternative for regular maintenance and prevention.

They are a safe and inexpensive option.

Plus, it works just as well as a grease drain opener in preventing grease buildup in drains.

Can Drain Cleaners Damage My Pipes?

Pipe type influences chemical cleaner damage.

Chemical cleaners easily damage plastic and old pipes.

PVCs can warp or soften from the heat generated by chemical use, while metal pipes can corrode and even develop holes in extreme cases.

Chemical drain cleaners damage pipes, especially if you overdo it.

Using drain cleaner too frequently can lead to potential drain pipe damage, and one sign of damage is if it doesn’t flush thoroughly after using the product.

How Often Should I Clean My Kitchen Sink Drain?

After each use, it’s a good practice to rinse off any food debris, wipe down surfaces, and ensure clear drainage by running water on sinks.

A weekly hot water flush also helps prevent clogs buildup from grease and food particles.

For deeper cleaning, the frequency depends on factors like usage patterns, types of food debris, garbage disposals, and past clogs.

While regular maintenance is crucial, scheduling an annual drain cleaning is recommended, even without suspected issues.

Hidden clogs in sewer lines can lead to significant problems if left unaddressed.

Are Eco-Friendly Drain Cleaners as Effective as Chemical Ones?

Eco-friendly drain cleaners can be as effective as chemical ones, depending on the type of clog and the specific product used.

Enzyme-based and natural drain cleaners break down organic waste, clearing minor clogs.

While they may take longer to work than chemical cleaners, they offer a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative.

Chemical cleaners can break down stubborn clogs and harm pipes, the environment, and people.

Nonetheless, the effectiveness of an eco-friendly drain cleaner is commendable for regular maintenance and prevention, while chemical ones may be preferred for specific tough clogs.

Conclusion

After exploring the best drain cleaners for kitchen sinks, it’s evident that diverse and effective choices are available, catering to various needs and preferences.

Drano Max Gel boasts potency but requires caution because it is a caustic cleaner. For eco-friendly options, consider Green Gobbler and CLR Clear Pipes & Drains.

Additionally, Rockwell Labs InVade offers affordability, while Omont’s Clog Remover Tool provides a hands-on approach.

Remember to prioritize safety, adhere to guidelines, and use the products responsibly to ensure a clean and clog-free sink.

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