mybest
Drain cleaners

Helping You Find the Best

Close
  1. TOP
  2. Home goods
  3. Cleaning supplies
  4. 12 Best Drain Cleaners of 2023 [Tested and Reviewed]
12 Best Drain Cleaners of 2023 [Tested and Reviewed]

12 Best Drain Cleaners of 2023 [Tested and Reviewed]

Drain cleaners can save the day when your shower or kitchen drain has slime and clogs. They can be separated into chemical-based and enzyme-based products and are sold by a variety of companies, including Green Gobbler, Bio-Clean, and Drano, who is known for their Max Gel Drain Clog Remover. They also come in gels, powders, tablets, and other forms, so it can be confusing to find the right product.

We've compared 12 bestselling drain cleaners available online and tested them to recommend the best drain cleaners for you.


We tested each product for the following:

  • Clog-Dissolving Power (Bathroom Drains)
  • Clog-Dissolving Power (Kitchen Drains)
  • Adherence to Pipe Walls
  • Ease of Use
  • How Quickly It Works

Which product ended up being the best of the best? In our buying guide, we'll also tell you how to pick the best drain cleaners on your own, so read on for more shopping tips.

Last updated 08/30/2023
Kohei Itabashi
Guide
Head of Everyday Essentials at mybest
Kohei Itabashi

Kohei works on articles covering a variety of daily goods. Since joining mybest, he has mainly overseen men's fashion products, comparing more than 400 items. Currently, he is working on creating helpful content for users, expanding his scope from daily necessities such as detergents and fabric softeners to stationery and interior goods.

Kohei Itabashi's Profile
…Continue reading

How We Tested the Products

Scroll to testing method
We gathered the 12 bestselling Drain Cleaners and put them through rigorous testing.
  1. Clog-Dissolving Power (Bathroom Drains)

    1
    Clog-Dissolving Power (Bathroom Drains)

    We started by testing how well each product dissolves clogs in the bathroom. We filled a graduated cylinder with water, added things that often cause clogging in the shower, and put in the drain cleaner. We waited the maximum time listed in the instruction manual and checked how well the cleaner dissolved the contaminants. For products that need to sit for more than a day, we interpreted that as waiting overnight and let all such products sit for eight hours. We used the following things that cause shower clogging.HairButter (to simulate grease or oils)ShampooConditioner

  2. Clog-Dissolving Power (Kitchen Drains)

    2
    Clog-Dissolving Power (Kitchen Drains)

    We then tested how well each product dissolves clogs in the kitchen. We filled a graduated cylinder with water, added common culprits of kitchen sink clogs, and put in the drain cleaner. We waited the maximum time listed in the instruction manual and checked how well the cleaner dissolved the debris. For products that need to sit for more than a day, we interpreted that as waiting overnight and let all such products sit for eight hours.We used the following things that cause kitchen sink clogging.ButterFlourPastaEgg shells

  3. Adherence to Pipe Walls

    3
    Adherence to Pipe Walls

    If the cleaner adheres to the pipe walls, it can stick to debris easily as well, making it effective at clearing slime and clogs. We checked how well it adhered to the pipe walls by pouring it into a U-shaped pipe. For gels, we also measured how far it reached when poured into the pipe and checked the viscosity.

  4. Ease of Use

    4
    Ease of Use

    If you plan to use the cleaner for regular drain maintenance, you’ll want a product that is easy to use. We looked at the following things to test how easy each cleaner is to use.Whether or not it needs to be measuredIf it can pour out too fast or notHow easy it is to check how much is remainingWhether you have to take precautions during use

  5. How Quickly It Works

    5
    How Quickly It Works

    Cleaning the drain is a hassle and you want to get it done as quickly as possible, so we tested how long you need to let the cleaner sit. We evaluated based on the shortest time listed in the instruction manual, with shorter times being better.

All product tests
were conducted in-house at mybest

Company Facility

Table of Contents

Does a Homemade Drain Cleaner Work Just as Well?

Does a Homemade Drain Cleaner Work Just as Well?

Some people may want to try homemade drain cleaners for environmental reasons or to save money. However, these drain cleaners aren’t as effective as the ones on the market. The difference was readily apparent when we compared them, as commercial drain cleaners easily cleared hair from the pipes. This is your best bet if you want to clear your drain.


This article will show you which commercial drain cleaners clear drains the best. We recommend adding one of these products to your drain-cleaning arsenal.

How to Choose a Drain Cleaner - Buying Guide

Here are the points to remember when choosing the best drain cleaners.

1

Chemical Cleaners Beat Enzyme Cleaners in Clear Drains

Chemical Cleaners Beat Enzyme Cleaners in Clear Drains

As we mentioned earlier, drain cleaners are either chemical or enzyme based. Chemical cleaners use sodium hydroxide (lye), sodium hypochlorite (the main chemical in liquid bleach), or other substances. On the other hand, enzyme drain cleaners rely on organic compounds. However, we recommend using a chemical cleaner if your goal is to remove a clog.

Enzyme Cleaners Struggle to Dissolve and Clear Clogs

Enzyme Cleaners Struggle to Dissolve and Clear Clogs

When we tried an enzyme cleaner on a drain clogged with hair and food waste, which are common culprits behind clogs in your shower or kitchen sink respectively, they didn’t dissolve these clogs very well. Enzyme cleaners are very environmentally friendly, but if clearing clogs is your main priority, they aren’t the best option. Furthermore, some enzyme cleaners need to sit for eight hours or more, so it takes a long time to clean your drain.

Many Chemical Cleaners Dissolved Hair and Food Waste

Many Chemical Cleaners Dissolved Hair and Food Waste

Among chemical cleaners, those containing lye or bleach tend to be particularly effective. Lye, sodium hydroxide, breaks down oils and proteins, and bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, dissolves hair. In addition, most of these products only need to be left for 30 minutes or less, so they work quickly. Let’s take a look at which lye and bleach drain cleaners we found to be the best.

up & up Works Fast and Is Easy to Use

up & up Works Fast and Is Easy to Use

Our top recommendation is the drain opener by up & up. This product is unique for combining lye and bleach in one cleaner. It effectively dissolved hair, pasta, and flour that was clogging the drain in the shower or sink. It only took about 15 to 30 minutes to clear the drain, getting the job done fast.


It’s a liquid cleaner, so while you do need to measure out the right amount, unlike powders, you don’t need to worry about it creating dust or having to dissolve it in warm water, so it’s not much of a hassle to use. It strikes a good balance between powerful dissolving ability and ease of use, so if you’re having trouble picking a drain cleaner, give this product a shot.

2

Sticks and Tablets Are Best for Slime Prevention and Frequent Use

Sticks and Tablets Are Best for Slime Prevention and Frequent Use

Pipe cleaners come in four types: sticks, tablets, powders, and gels. We talked about which is best for clearing stubborn clogs above, but we recommend stick or tablet type products for preventing clogs and slime.

Tablets and Sticks Don’t Need to Be Measured, Simply Placed in the Drain

Tablets and Sticks Don’t Need to Be Measured, Simply Placed in the Drain

Many tablet and stick type drain cleaners are designed with regular use in mind, such as once a month or twice a week. They’re easy to use because you don’t need to do any measuring.


They don’t have as much dissolving power as liquid and powder products, so we don’t recommend them for clearing stubborn clogs, but they’re great for drain maintenance to prevent slime and blockages. However, they can only be used with pipes that trap water, such as P traps and S traps.

Gel and Powder Cleaners Have to Be Measured

Gel and Powder Cleaners Have to Be Measured

Liquid or gel and powder cleaners need to be measured each time, making them more of a hassle to use than tablets and sticks, which don’t need to be measured. Many powders need to be dissolved in warm water, so it can be tiring to use them on a regular basis. We don’t recommend using powder cleaners for regular maintenance.

3

Green Gobbler Main Line Opener Is Best for Toilets

Green Gobbler Main Line Opener Is Best for Toilets

Different products can be used in different places. Make sure to check the instruction manual to see if the product can be used where you want to use it before making your purchase. In general, many products can be used in showers, kitchen sinks, and garbage disposals, but there aren’t many that can be used in toilets. If you’re looking for a product you can use for your toilet, we recommend Green Gobbler Main Line Opener, which was our highest reviewed product for use in toilets.

Was the Buying Guide helpful?

12 Best Drain Cleaners Ranking

Here are the best Drain Cleaners we found after testing them. We ranked them after weighting each of our testing specs.
Recommended
Price Performance
Sort
Filter
For bathroom drains
For kitchen drains
Fast-working
Products
Image
mybest Score
Click to purchase
Key features
Ranking spec
Details
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
Adherence to pipe walls
Ease of use
Fast-working
Amount
Type
pH level
Ingredients
Purpose
Percentage of lye
Amount needed to clear a clog
Amount needed to clear slime
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
Minimum amount of time needed to sit
Precautions
1

up & up

Clog Clearing Gel

up & up Clog Clearing Gel 1枚目
4.43

mybest's Top Choice! Clears Stubborn Clogs in Both the Shower and the Kitchen Quickly

4.65
4.29
4.00
3.93
5.00

80 fl. oz.

Gel

Alkaline

Sodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, surfactants

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, garbage disposal, septic tank

1-3%

16-40 fl. oz.

-

1-2

15-30 mins.

See full precautions and directions for use on the product. DANGER: CAUSES BURNS TO EYES, SKIN, AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing. Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when handling this product. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Do not ingest, taste or swallow. Use with adequate ventilation and avoid breathing vapors. DO NOT use or mix with other household chemicals. Do not use in toilets

2

Liquid-Plumr Pro Strength

Clog Destroyer Gel

Liquid-Plumr Pro Strength Clog Destroyer Gel 1枚目
4.29

Lacks Viscosity and Doesn’t Adhere Well to Pipe Walls, but Destroys Clogs With Ease

4.29
4.29
4.00
3.93
5.00

80 fl. oz.

Gel

Alkaline

Sodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, cetyl betaine, sodium xylene sulfonate, sodium orthosilicate, sodium carbonate

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, septic tank

1-5%

16 fl. oz.

-

-

7-15 mins.

Keep out of reach of children. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid splashing. Injures eyes, skin and mucous membranes on contact. Do not use with ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners or non–Liquid-Plumr® clog removers, as splashing or the release of hazardous gases may occur. Clean up any spillage immediately.

3

XionLab

Safer Drain Opener

XionLab Safer Drain Opener 1枚目
4.23

Doesn’t Dissolve Food Waste but Great for Hair Clogs

4.65
3.93
4.00
4.29
3.93

32 fl. oz.

Gel

Alkaline

Xanthan gum, alcohol ethoxylate, modified magnesium silicate

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, septic tank

16 fl. oz.

-

-

6-8 hrs.

*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Immediately call a poison center or doctor/physician. IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower and wash with soap and water. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. IF INHALED: Remove victim to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. If still irritated call a poison center or doctor/physician. IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.

4

Green Gobbler

Main Line Opener

Green Gobbler Main Line Opener 1枚目
4.17

Excellent for Clearing Bathroom Drains Quickly

4.29
3.93
4.22
3.93
4.95

1 gal.

Gel

Alkaline

Caustic replacement 5-10%, lauramine oxide 1-5%

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank

0%

Residential main lines: entire bottle, sinks and tubs: one-half quart to one-quart.

-

-

30 mins. to overnight

*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. Hazard statements: May be corrosive to metals. Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye damage. Keep only in original container. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. Wear protective gloves, eye protection. If on skin: Wash with plenty of water. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Immediately call a poison center or doctor.

5

Drano

Max Gel

Drano Max Gel 1枚目
4.16

Effective Against Hair but Not User-Friendly

4.29
3.93
4.07
3.93
4.95

80 fl. oz.

Gel

Alkaline

Bleach, lye

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, garbage disposal

-

16-32 fl. oz.

-

-

15-30 mins.

WARNINGS: DANGER: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. MAY BURN EYES, SKIN, AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES ON CONTACT. Do not use or mix DRANO MAX GEL with any other cleaners or chemicals, as hazardous fumes or a violent reaction may result. If gases are released, leave area immediately-ventilate if possible. Keep container tightly closed and store in locked cabinet. FIRST AID: GIVE IMMEDIATELY. EYES: Rinse immediately with water. Remove contact lenses, then flush eyes with water for 15 minutes. IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Drink a cup of milk or water. Do not induce vomiting. IF ON SKIN: Remove affected clothing. Flush skin with water for 15 minutes. IN ALL CASES, CALL POISON CONTROL CENTER OR PHYSICIAN. Contains sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium silicate.

6

Glisten

Garbage Disposer Cleaner

Glisten Garbage Disposer Cleaner 1枚目
3.75

Good for Weekly Maintenance to Prevent Slime and Odors

3.22
3.93
5.00
5.00
5.00

4 packets

Packet

Acidic

Alcohols, malic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, sulfonic acids, alkyl, sodium salts

Garbage disposal, septic tank

0%

N/A

1 packet

-

2 mins.

IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of water. If skin irritation occurs: Get medical attention. Specific treatment (see information on this label). Take off contaminated clothing and wash it before reuse. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists: Get medical attention.

7

Plink

Fizzy Drain Freshener

Plink Fizzy Drain Freshener 1枚目
3.71

Doesn’t Need to Be Measured, but Will Only Prevent Slime, Not Clear Clogs

3.22
3.93
3.93
5.00
4.98

6 tablets

Tablets

Neutral to slightly acidic

D-limonene, paraffin, lanolin, yellow dye, citral, blue dye

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, septic tank

0%

N/A

1 tablet

-

20 secs.

Wash thoroughly after handling. Wear eye protection. Response IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists: Get medical attention.

8

Rockwell Labs

InVade Bio Drain

Rockwell Labs InVade Bio Drain 1枚目
3.40

Container Design Makes It Easy to Use, but Lacks Dissolving Power

3.00
3.57
4.65
4.65
3.93

32 fl. oz.

Gel

Neutral

Bacillus bacteria

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank

0%

4 fl. oz. every other day

-

-

-

*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. If more than an incidental amount is swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. Give one glass of water and do not induce vomiting. Wash hands well water for 15 minutes. Seek medical attention for any persistent irritation.

9

Green Gobbler

Drain Clog Remover

Green Gobbler Drain Clog Remover 1枚目
3.37

You Won't Have to Measure, but It Falls Short Against Clogs

3.22
3.00
5.00
5.00
5.00

5 packets

Packets

Strong acid

Sulfuric acid, sodium salt

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank

0%

1-2 packets

-

1-2

15-30 mins.

See full precautions and directions for use on the product. Causes serious eye damage Wear eye protection, protective gloves. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Immediately call a poison center or doctor.

10

Earthworm

Drain Cleaner & Buildup Remover

Earthworm Drain Cleaner & Buildup Remover 1枚目
3.35

Needs to Be Reapplied for 3 to 5 Nights and Struggles to Clear Clogs

3.00
3.57
4.00
3.93
3.93

64 fl. oz.

Gel

unknown

Decyl glucoside, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, viable culture blend, benzisothiazolinone, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, glycerin

Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank

-

6-8 fl. oz.

-

3 times

Overnight for 3 nights

If accidentally ingested drink large quantities of milk or water and seek medical attention. Avoid direct contact with eyes.

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1
Top Choice Drain Cleaners
No.1 in Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
No.1 in Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
No.1 in Fast-working

up & upClog Clearing Gel

mybest Score
4.43
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
4.65
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
4.29
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.00
|
Ease of use
3.93
|
Fast-working
5.00
Clog Clearing Gel Image 1
Clog Clearing Gel Image 2
Clog Clearing Gel Image 3
Clog Clearing Gel Image 4
Clog Clearing Gel Image 5
Lowest price
$5.89
Amount80 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsSodium hypochlorite, sodium hydroxide, surfactants
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
1-2

mybest's Top Choice! Clears Stubborn Clogs in Both the Shower and the Kitchen Quickly

This is a chemical drain cleaner that combines lye and bleach. In addition to the bathroom and the kitchen, it can be used in a variety of places including overflow drains, and with septic tanks. This drain cleaner has superb dissolving power, almost completely breaking down hair, flour, and pasta, so it’s very useful for unclogging kitchen sinks and shower drains. In addition, it only needs to sit for 15 to 30 minutes.


However, it needs to be measured each time you use it. It also has a wide mouth, making it easy to spill by mistake, so it’s a little hard to handle. On top of that, it’s not very viscous and had trouble adhering to the pipe walls. That being said, it eliminates stubborn clogs in a flash, so this is our top recommendation for people who want to clear the drain as fast as possible.
pH levelAlkaline
Percentage of lye1-3%
Amount needed to clear a clog16-40 fl. oz.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit15-30 mins.
PrecautionsSee full precautions and directions for use on the product. DANGER: CAUSES BURNS TO EYES, SKIN, AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and clothing. Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when handling this product. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Do not ingest, taste or swallow. Use with adequate ventilation and avoid breathing vapors. DO NOT use or mix with other household chemicals. Do not use in toilets
View all
Was this Ranking helpful?
No.2
No.1 in Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
No.1 in Fast-working

Liquid-Plumr Pro StrengthClog Destroyer Gel

mybest Score
4.29
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
4.29
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
4.29
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.00
|
Ease of use
3.93
|
Fast-working
5.00
View on Amazon
Clog Destroyer Gel Image 1
Lowest price
$18.99
Amount80 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsSodium hypochlorite, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, cetyl betaine, sodium xylene sulfonate, sodium orthosilicate, sodium carbonate
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Lacks Viscosity and Doesn’t Adhere Well to Pipe Walls, but Destroys Clogs With Ease

This is a chemical drain cleaner that combines both lye and bleach. It can be used with any septic system, PVC, plastic, steel, and old pipes, and garbage disposals. It destroyed the clog of flour and butter we used in our tests and mostly dissolved the pasta as well. It was relatively effective against hair, too, so we think it can be used in the bathroom and kitchen alike. In addition, it gets the job done in seven to 15 minutes, so it works very quickly.


However, it lacks viscosity, which prevents it from cleaning off debris that clings to the pipe walls. We didn’t find it very user-friendly, as it needs to be measured, it’s difficult to check how much is remaining, and it has a wide mouth, which makes it likely to come gushing out if you’re not careful.

pH levelAlkaline
Percentage of lye1-5%
Amount needed to clear a clog16 fl. oz.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit7-15 mins.
PrecautionsKeep out of reach of children. Harmful if swallowed. Avoid splashing. Injures eyes, skin and mucous membranes on contact. Do not use with ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners or non–Liquid-Plumr® clog removers, as splashing or the release of hazardous gases may occur. Clean up any spillage immediately.
View all
No.3
No.1 in Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)

XionLabSafer Drain Opener

mybest Score
4.23
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
4.65
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.93
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.00
|
Ease of use
4.29
|
Fast-working
3.93
Lowest price
$20.98
Amount32 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsXanthan gum, alcohol ethoxylate, modified magnesium silicate
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Doesn’t Dissolve Food Waste but Great for Hair Clogs

This product comes in a recycled plastic container and is very environmentally friendly. They claim it’s less dangerous to humans than chemical drain cleaners because it doesn’t contain bleach or lye. It has to be measured out, but the container is translucent, making it easy to see how much is left, so we gave it a good rating for ease of use.


In addition, it also performed well in the bathroom clog-clearing test, as it took out all the hair and is perfect for unclogging the shower drain. However, it’s not very effective at dissolving things that cause clogs in the kitchen sink. It also takes six to eight hours to work, so it’s not ideal for people looking for a fast-acting product. In addition, it’s not very viscous, so it struggles to remove debris adhered to the pipe walls.

pH levelAlkaline
Percentage of lye
Amount needed to clear a clog16 fl. oz.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit6-8 hrs.
Precautions*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Immediately call a poison center or doctor/physician. IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower and wash with soap and water. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. IF INHALED: Remove victim to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. If still irritated call a poison center or doctor/physician. IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Do NOT induce vomiting.
View all
No.4

Green GobblerMain Line Opener

mybest Score
4.17
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
4.29
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.93
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.22
|
Ease of use
3.93
|
Fast-working
4.95
Lowest price
$23.98
Amount1 gal.
TypeGel
IngredientsCaustic replacement 5-10%, lauramine oxide 1-5%
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Excellent for Clearing Bathroom Drains Quickly

Green Gobbler Main Line Opener can be used with septic tanks and for a wide range of drains, including kitchen sinks, showers, garbage disposals and toilets. It comes in a one-gallon jug, which is about 10 uses. It dissolves hair very effectively, so it’s ideal for clearing shower drains. It only takes 30 minutes to work, so you can clear your drain quickly.


However, it doesn’t dissolve food waste very well, so we don’t recommend using it in the kitchen. In addition, it’s not very viscous and struggles to clean the pipe walls. The wide mouth causes the liquid to gush out at times and it’s difficult to tell how much is left in the container.

pH levelAlkaline
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clogResidential main lines: entire bottle, sinks and tubs: one-half quart to one-quart.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit30 mins. to overnight
Precautions*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. Hazard statements: May be corrosive to metals. Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye damage. Keep only in original container. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. Wear protective gloves, eye protection. If on skin: Wash with plenty of water. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Immediately call a poison center or doctor.
View all
No.5

DranoMax Gel

mybest Score
4.16
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
4.29
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.93
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.07
|
Ease of use
3.93
|
Fast-working
4.95
Lowest price
$8.59
Amount80 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsBleach, lye
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, garbage disposal
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Effective Against Hair but Not User-Friendly

The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover is a chemical drain cleaner. In addition to the 80-ounce size we tested for this article, it also comes in a smaller 32-ounce size. It only takes between 15 and 30 minutes to clear the drain, so it’s a fast-acting cleaner. It dissolved most of the clogged hair in our test, so we found that it’s very effective for bathrooms.


On the other hand, it wasn’t effective against kitchen clogs other than flour, so it’s not the best product for that job. It’s also not particularly viscous, so it isn’t the best product for clearing debris off the pipe walls. You need to measure it out when you use it and can’t check how much is left easily, so it’s not exactly user-friendly.

pH levelAlkaline
Percentage of lye-
Amount needed to clear a clog16-32 fl. oz.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit15-30 mins.
PrecautionsWARNINGS: DANGER: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. MAY BURN EYES, SKIN, AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES ON CONTACT. Do not use or mix DRANO MAX GEL with any other cleaners or chemicals, as hazardous fumes or a violent reaction may result. If gases are released, leave area immediately-ventilate if possible. Keep container tightly closed and store in locked cabinet. FIRST AID: GIVE IMMEDIATELY. EYES: Rinse immediately with water. Remove contact lenses, then flush eyes with water for 15 minutes. IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth. Drink a cup of milk or water. Do not induce vomiting. IF ON SKIN: Remove affected clothing. Flush skin with water for 15 minutes. IN ALL CASES, CALL POISON CONTROL CENTER OR PHYSICIAN. Contains sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium silicate.
View all
No.6
No.1 in Adherence to pipe walls
No.1 in Ease of use
No.1 in Fast-working

GlistenGarbage Disposer Cleaner

mybest Score
3.75
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.22
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.93
|
Adherence to pipe walls
5.00
|
Ease of use
5.00
|
Fast-working
5.00
Lowest price
$9.97
Amount4 packets
TypePacket
IngredientsAlcohols, malic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, sulfonic acids, alkyl, sodium salts
Purpose
Garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Good for Weekly Maintenance to Prevent Slime and Odors

This product is separately packaged in the exact amount you need for each use. It’s recommended that you use it once a week, and it comes in a pack of four, or about a month’s supply. You don’t need to measure it out and you only have to wait for the bubbles to dissipate, which takes just one to two minutes. It contains ingredients that foam easily, so by pouring hot water down the drain, you can give it volume that helps it adhere to the pipe walls and clear off debris.


However, it struggled to dissolve hair and food waste, so we don’t expect it to clear stubborn clogs and we don’t recommend it for that, but it’s great for weekly maintenance to prevent slime and odors.

pH levelAcidic
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clogN/A
Amount needed to clear slime1 packet
Minimum amount of time needed to sit2 mins.
PrecautionsIF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of water. If skin irritation occurs: Get medical attention. Specific treatment (see information on this label). Take off contaminated clothing and wash it before reuse. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists: Get medical attention.
View all
No.7
No.1 in Ease of use

PlinkFizzy Drain Freshener

mybest Score
3.71
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.22
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.93
|
Adherence to pipe walls
3.93
|
Ease of use
5.00
|
Fast-working
4.98
Lowest price
$5.48
Amount6 tablets
TypeTablets
IngredientsD-limonene, paraffin, lanolin, yellow dye, citral, blue dye
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Doesn’t Need to Be Measured, but Will Only Prevent Slime, Not Clear Clogs

This is a tablet-type drain cleaner that gives off a gentle lemon scent when used. It only takes 20 minutes to work and all you have to do is place the tablet in the drain, so it’s very easy to use.


However, it completely failed to dissolve hair and barely dissolved food waste, so we don’t think it will do a good job clearing stubborn clogs. Also, because it’s a tablet, it doesn’t adhere to pipe walls and clean them off. While it’s easy to use, don’t expect it to clear difficult clogs. This product is better off being used for maintenance twice a week to prevent slime and odors.

pH levelNeutral to slightly acidic
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clogN/A
Amount needed to clear slime1 tablet
Minimum amount of time needed to sit20 secs.
PrecautionsWash thoroughly after handling. Wear eye protection. Response IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists: Get medical attention.
View all
No.8

Rockwell LabsInVade Bio Drain

mybest Score
3.40
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.00
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.57
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.65
|
Ease of use
4.65
|
Fast-working
3.93
Lowest price
$15.76
Amount32 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsBacillus bacteria
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
-

Container Design Makes It Easy to Use, but Lacks Dissolving Power

This product uses microbes that eat debris clogging your drain and contains citrus oil, giving it a pleasant fragrance. It’s a highly viscous liquid, helping it adhere to pipe walls and clean them. While you do need to measure out the correct amount to use, its translucent container lets you easily see how much is left. It also has a small-mouth opening, making it easy to avoid pouring more than you want.


However, it couldn’t dissolve hair or butter at all and left most of the food waste as well, so it’s not ideal for tackling tough clogs. It also needs to be left overnight, which isn’t ideal.

pH levelNeutral
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clog4 fl. oz. every other day
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit-
Precautions*See full precautions and directions for use on the product. If more than an incidental amount is swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. Give one glass of water and do not induce vomiting. Wash hands well water for 15 minutes. Seek medical attention for any persistent irritation.
View all
No.9
No.1 in Adherence to pipe walls
No.1 in Ease of use
No.1 in Fast-working

Green GobblerDrain Clog Remover

mybest Score
3.37
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.22
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.00
|
Adherence to pipe walls
5.00
|
Ease of use
5.00
|
Fast-working
5.00
Lowest price
$19.99
Amount5 packets
TypePackets
IngredientsSulfuric acid, sodium salt
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
1-2

You Won't Have to Measure, but It Falls Short Against Clogs

This drain cleaner comes in individually wrapped tablets and can be used in the bathroom, kitchen, and even the toilet. As such, you don’t need to go through the hassle of measuring how much you need. It bubbles up quickly, helping it stick to the walls of the pipe and take down grime stuck to them. On top of all that, it only takes 15 to 30 minutes to work.


However, it can’t break down hair or food waste well, so it doesn’t seem very effective against stubborn clogs. It’s hard to evaluate a drain cleaner highly when it struggles to perform its main job.

pH levelStrong acid
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clog1-2 packets
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit15-30 mins.
PrecautionsSee full precautions and directions for use on the product. Causes serious eye damage Wear eye protection, protective gloves. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Immediately call a poison center or doctor.
View all
No.10

EarthwormDrain Cleaner & Buildup Remover

mybest Score
3.35
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.00
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.57
|
Adherence to pipe walls
4.00
|
Ease of use
3.93
|
Fast-working
3.93
Lowest price
$24.99
Amount64 fl. oz.
TypeGel
IngredientsDecyl glucoside, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, viable culture blend, benzisothiazolinone, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, glycerin
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
3 times

Needs to Be Reapplied for 3 to 5 Nights and Struggles to Clear Clogs

Earthworm Drain Cleaner & Buildup Remover is characterized by its citrus and sage scent. It uses natural enzymes instead of lye or bleach, making it better for the environment. It wasn’t able to break down hair or food waste very effectively in our test, so we don’t expect it to clear clogged drains.


It isn’t very viscous, so it doesn’t adhere to the pipe walls very well, either. We didn’t find it very user-friendly, as it needs to be measured and the container has a wide mouth, meaning you run the risk of having the liquid come gushing out. You also need to keep adding more for three to five consecutive nights, making cleaning your drain a very long chore.

pH levelunknown
Percentage of lye-
Amount needed to clear a clog6-8 fl. oz.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sitOvernight for 3 nights
PrecautionsIf accidentally ingested drink large quantities of milk or water and seek medical attention. Avoid direct contact with eyes.
View all
No.11

Bio-CleanDrain Cleaner

mybest Score
3.33
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.00
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.57
|
Adherence to pipe walls
3.93
|
Ease of use
3.57
|
Fast-working
3.93
Lowest price
$49.95
Amount2 lbs.
TypePowder
IngredientsAmylase, cellulase, lipase and protease enzymes, non-pathogenic bacteria
Purpose
Kitchen drain, Bathtub or shower drain, Bathroom sink drain, Laundry standpipe, Overflow drain, Toilet Garbage disposal, Septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
5 days in a row

Uses Environmentally-Friendly Ingredients, but Struggles to Clear Clogs

Bio-Clean uses their own unique blend of natural bacteria and four kinds of enzymes that they claim eliminates waste from pipes and sewage treatment systems. When we actually tested the product, it didn’t break down hair, oils, or food waste very thoroughly and didn’t seem capable of clearing stubborn clogs in either the kitchen or bathroom.


It’s also not very easy to use, as you need to measure it out and mix the powder with water first. In addition, it has low viscosity and doesn’t stick to the pipe walls, so it struggles to remove dirt and grime from them. While it is environmentally friendly, it doesn’t have much dissolving power and has to sit for six to eight hours.

pH levelunknown
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clog1-3 tbsp.
Amount needed to clear slime-
Minimum amount of time needed to sit6-8 hrs.
PrecautionsMay cause eye irritation, 2B. If in eyes: Rinse with water
View all
No.12
No.1 in Ease of use

Green GobblerBIO-Flow Drain Strips

mybest Score
3.19
Clog-dissolving power (bathroom drains)
3.00
|
Clog-dissolving power (kitchen drains)
3.00
|
Adherence to pipe walls
3.93
|
Ease of use
5.00
|
Fast-working
3.93
Lowest price
$28.21
Amount12 sticks
TypeStick
IngredientsSulfuric acid, calcium salt, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, cellulose, 2-hydroxyethyl ether, lipase, triacylglycerol
Purpose
Kitchen drain, bathtub or shower drain, bathroom sink drain, laundry standpipe, overflow drain, toilet, garbage disposal, septic tank
Number of times needed to dissolve sludge
N/A

Lets You Skip Measuring, but Doesn’t Clear Clogs

These strips are meant to be used for clearing clogs and eliminating odors. They come in a pack of 12 and should be used once a month, meaning you use one pack per year. It comes in the form of a stick, so you don’t need to measure it out. However, we observed that most of the hair, oils, and food waste were still present even after eight hours, so this isn’t the best bet against tough clogs. It also doesn’t clean the pipe walls very well.


This product is meant to be used once a month, so it’s not great for clearing clogs and you’re better off using it to protect your drain from slime.

pH levelSlightly alkaline
Percentage of lye0%
Amount needed to clear a clogN/A
Amount needed to clear slimeunknown
Minimum amount of time needed to sitDissolves over 1 week
PrecautionsHazard statements (GHS US): Causes skin irritation, wear protective gloves and eye protection
View all

How We Tested the Drain Cleaners

Drain Cleaners Evaluation

We took some of the top-selling drain cleaners from Amazon, Walmart, and other sites, and tested them to find the best one. Here at mybest, we define that as one with great dissolving power that adheres well to the pipe walls, is easy to use, and works fast.


We tested the drain cleaners for the following things.


  • How well it dissolves clogs in bathroom drains
  • How well it dissolves clogs in the kitchen sink
  • How well it adheres to the pipe walls
  • How easy it is to use
  • How fast it works

Products we tested

  1. Bio-CleanDrain Cleaner
  2. DranoMax Gel
  3. EarthwormDrain Cleaner & Buildup Remover
  4. GlistenGarbage Disposer Cleaner
  5. Green GobblerBIO-Flow Drain Strips
  6. Green GobblerMain Line Opener
  7. Green GobblerDrain Clog Remover
  8. Liquid-Plumr Pro StrengthClog Destroyer Gel
  9. PlinkFizzy Drain Freshener
  10. Rockwell LabsInVade Bio Drain
  11. XionLabSafer Drain Opener
  12. up & upClog Clearing Gel
1

Clog-Dissolving Power (Bathroom Drains)

Clog-Dissolving Power (Bathroom Drains)

We started by testing how well each product dissolves clogs in the bathroom. We filled a graduated cylinder with water, added things that often cause clogging in the shower, and put in the drain cleaner. We waited the maximum time listed in the instruction manual and checked how well the cleaner dissolved the contaminants. For products that need to sit for more than a day, we interpreted that as waiting overnight and let all such products sit for eight hours.


We used the following things that cause shower clogging.


  • Hair
  • Butter (to simulate grease or oils)
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
2

Clog-Dissolving Power (Kitchen Drains)

Clog-Dissolving Power (Kitchen Drains)

We then tested how well each product dissolves clogs in the kitchen. We filled a graduated cylinder with water, added common culprits of kitchen sink clogs, and put in the drain cleaner. We waited the maximum time listed in the instruction manual and checked how well the cleaner dissolved the debris. For products that need to sit for more than a day, we interpreted that as waiting overnight and let all such products sit for eight hours.


We used the following things that cause kitchen sink clogging.


  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Pasta
  • Egg shells
3

Adherence to Pipe Walls

Adherence to Pipe Walls

If the cleaner adheres to the pipe walls, it can stick to debris easily as well, making it effective at clearing slime and clogs. We checked how well it adhered to the pipe walls by pouring it into a U-shaped pipe. For gels, we also measured how far it reached when poured into the pipe and checked the viscosity.

4

Ease of Use

Ease of Use

If you plan to use the cleaner for regular drain maintenance, you’ll want a product that is easy to use. We looked at the following things to test how easy each cleaner is to use.


  • Whether or not it needs to be measured
  • If it can pour out too fast or not
  • How easy it is to check how much is remaining
  • Whether you have to take precautions during use
5

How Quickly It Works

How Quickly It Works

Cleaning the drain is a hassle and you want to get it done as quickly as possible, so we tested how long you need to let the cleaner sit. We evaluated based on the shortest time listed in the instruction manual, with shorter times being better.

For Light Clogs, You Can Try a DIY Drain Cleaner

For Light Clogs, You Can Try a DIY Drain Cleaner

While homemade cleaners can’t measure up to commercial products in terms of effectiveness, they are cheaper and more environmentally friendly, so a lot of people want to try using them. If you want to give one a shot, we’ll tell you how to make a simple drain cleaner at home.


All you need is baking soda and vinegar. Mix together a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar and pour it in the drain. Let it sit for one hour and then pour boiling water down the drain.

Top 5 Drain Cleaners

No. 1: up & upClog Clearing Gel

No. 2: Liquid-Plumr Pro StrengthClog Destroyer Gel

No. 3: XionLabSafer Drain Opener

No. 4: Green GobblerMain Line Opener

No. 5: DranoMax Gel

View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
  1. TOP
  2. Home goods
  3. Cleaning supplies
  4. 12 Best Drain Cleaners of 2023 [Tested and Reviewed]

Search by category

mybest

We connect users with the best tried and true products,
tested by our in-house guides and backed by expert insight.

Copyright mybest All Rights Reserved.