Do Drain Cleaning Sticks Work?

Do Drain Cleaning Sticks Work?

Drain clogs can happen for a number of reasons. But if you constantly have slow drains that seem to clog up with hair and soapy residue, you’re likely looking for solutions to fix them. And if that’s the case, you may have seen commercials for enzymatic drain cleaning sticks and are wondering if they’d work on your sink. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what they are and some possible alternatives.

What are drain cleaning sticks?

Drain cleaning sticks are made by a few different companies, and they’re products that you place down your drain. They release a blend of lye and enzymes which prevent clogs and odors, and they are supposed to be biodegradable and slowly dissolve over time. Most manufacturers suggest you put a new one in the drain every month or so.

The compound inside the stick attacks organic material in your drain, such as oils and hair. The enzymes in the stick are made to kill any odors caused by buildups of those materials. And since they allegedly break down after about a month and wash away, they are safe for plumbing and the environment.

What do customers say?

Drain cleaning sticks seem to get very mixed reviews. Just looking at the Amazon reviews for Sani Sticks, about 46 percent of customers loved it and 20 percent hated it. The average positive review states that the product worked like it was supposed to, but negative ones indicated that the sticks failed to dissolve and clogged the drain more because of where it sat in the trap. Some users also reported that natural products like baking soda and vinegar proved just as effective.

Overall, it may not be advisable to purchase drain cleaning sticks. The reason being that there’s too big a risk that the product won’t dissolve properly. And based on how it sits in the trap, it would only serve to hang on to hair and residue, making the drain slower and more difficult to clean out.

What are some alternatives?

First of all, calling a professional like Snowbridge drain cleaning services could save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run. But if you’d prefer to try some other natural methods first, there are some methods which are a safer bet than drain cleaning sticks.

For example, if you suspect the culprit is soapy or greasy residue, then mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar and pour this solution down the drain. Let it sit for at least an hour, or longer for stubborn clogs. Then flush it down with boiling water. You might also try boiling water by itself at first, as sometimes that’s enough to dissolve greasy buildup.

The second possible alternative is a wet/dry vac. You’ll need to create a tight seal over the drain, so you may need to place your hand around the nozzle over the drain. Then make sure the vacuum is set for liquids and turn it on.

Thirdly, if you’re feeling handy, you can remove the trap from under the sink. Make sure you put a bucket underneath it before you start. And use a plumber’s wrench to loosen the pipe fittings on the U-shaped trap. Once you’ve removed it, you can visually check it for buildup that can be removed by hand or with a small scrub brush.

None of these methods are guaranteed to be effective, as different clogs can require different solutions, but you might find that one of them works for you on minor clogs. And don’t hesitate to call a professional when your plumbing starts to drain slowly — they can clean out your drains faster than any product and you’ll have the peace of mind that it was done right.

Categories: Cleaning

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