How Long Can Drano Sit In Pipes? [And How Long To Flush With Hot Water]?

Washing your dishes, taking a bath, or cleaning becomes hard to do with blocked drains, and Drano offers a solution to this problem. However, Drano is also a potent chemical. So how long can you let it sit before flushing hot water? We've done the research for you, and here's the answer to your question:

Experts advise letting your Drano work for at least 15-30 minutes before flushing, depending on the severity of the clog in your pipe. Slow running drains should be left with the product for 15 minutes, while tougher ones should be left for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Drano Max Build-Up Remover should be left for six to eight hours. Doing this helps keep your pipes in working order. 

Using Drano is easy, but how should you use them? Are there things you need to avoid when applying them for clogs? For this, worry no more because we have put together all the answers you need.

photo of a man wearing orange rubber safety gloves plunger a kitchen sink, How Long Can Drano Sit In Pipes [And How Long To Flush With Hot Water]?

Tips For Using Drano

If you have draining issues in your home, using Drano instead of immediately hiring a plumber saves you money. All you should do to use it is to open the bottle, pour the product onto your drain or sink, and let it sit for about 15-30 minutes. Then, after leaving it be, pour hot water.

Drano has different products for specific draining issues, such as:

  • Greasy kitchen clogs - kitchen sink drains typically collect a lot of greases. You can use Drano Kitchen Granules Clog Remover made specifically for this issue.


Click here to see these Drano Kitchen Granules on Amazon.

  • Garbage disposal clogs - if your kitchen or drain has a garbage disposal, the manufacturer advises you to use Drano Max Gel Clog Remover.
  • Bathroom drain clogs - this most likely happens because of hair accumulation. Using Drano Max Gel Clog Remover is best for this issue. 

Check out this Drano Max Gel Clog Remover on Amazon.

  • Drain odor - foul odors from dirt and grease accumulation can be too annoying, so to get rid of the smell and remove the clog simultaneously, try their Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover.

Click here to see this Drano Dual-Force Foamer.

What To Avoid When Using Drano For Pipes

Drano comprises several harsh chemicals, which include bleach, lye, sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, and aluminum. That is why even though Drano offers a quick solution for your pipes, there are three things you must avoid when using it such as:

  1. Don't pour hot water into your drain immediately.
  2. Don't leave Drano in your pipeline for too long.
  3. Don't use Drano too frequently.
  4. Don't use Drano in your toilet.

Following these tips will help you unclog your pipe as well as prevent damage to your pipes.

1. Don't Pour Hot Water Into Your Drain Immediately

close up photo of a kitchen sink drain silver stainless kitchen sink water flushing

Ensure to only flush hot water after using the product for no less than 15 minutes. You will be unable to resolve your clogging problems if you only leave them on for a shorter time.

2. Don't Leave Drano In Your Pipeline For Too Long

Others leave Drano in their pipes overnight or even longer than it. In addition, you may forget to flush hot water and leave it in your pipes for hours or even days. Though it ensures that the clog on your sink, drain, or tub is broken down, this may also damage your pipes. 

Drano products are lightly corrosive as they contain harmful chemicals, except the Drano Build-Up Remover. These chemicals enable you to break stubborn clogs. However, it also damages the interior of your pipes and causes a toxic fume, especially if you leave for too long. 

On the other hand, if you have used Drano Max Build-Up Remover, the manufacturer advises letting it work for six to eight hours before pouring hot water. The chemicals aren't too strong as they don't open clogs and only prevent them from building up over time.

Check out this Drano Max Build-Up Remover on Amazon.

3. Don't Use Drano Too Frequently

Instead of fixing your piping system, using Drano too often can potentially cause permanent damage to it. A single use of Drano will not be harmful. However, pouring them down every time you experience minor clogs can cause more harm than solutions to your problem.

If the clog on your drain or sink returns after using this product, it is best to try another method to clear it instead of using Drano again.

4. Don't Use Drano On Your Toilet

Drano generates heat to break down residue, which is not meant for toilets. This heat can crack the porcelain of the bathroom and soften PVC pipes. In addition, this product is intended to go down the pipe structure of sinks, while toilet drains are differently structured. Because of this, it may not be able to reach the clog on your toilet.

photo of a silver stainless kitchen sink pipe white background

Read this post about what you should do if you have water backing up on your toilet bowl for more information:

Toilet Shooting Water Out Of Bowl – Why And What To Do?

Drano Alternatives For Unclogging Pipes

photo of a man hands fixing the sink drain pipe clogged up sink pipe

Drano offers an easy solution for a clogged drain. But, because its chemicals are too harsh, you may want other alternatives. As grease, hair, and dirt build-up in your pipe can be fixed on your own, try these alternatives:

  • Plunging - make sure to cover overflow openings of a drain with a wet rag before doing this. After, dip five to ten times. If the clog is still present, try plunging the drain several times.
  • Use soap and hot water - you can quickly resolve grease accumulations by pouring one cup of dish soap on the drain. After, pour a pot or a gallon of boiling water.
  • Use baking soda, vinegar, and hot water - pour 1/2 cup of baking soda on the drain. After, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar and a good amount of boiling water.
  • Snaking - you can try to break up a clog with a pipe snake, a coat hanger, or a stiff wire. Snake the drain by putting the wire into it until it hits the clog. Then, you may shake the wire and pull it up.
  • Remove the P-trap - use a large set of pliers, then remove the P-trap by unscrewing the two nuts on either of its sides. Use a bucket to catch any water from your pipe. After, use water or wire to remove the clog.

Can You Use A Plunger After Drano?

photo of a woman using a plunger on the kitchen sink clogged up pipe sink

Never use a plunger after putting Drano into your sink or tub. Plungers are designed to apply pressure to your drain to move the clog out. That is why plunging it after using the product will mean that water and clog will not be the only things moving out of your pipes but the Drano too. In the worst-case scenario, it may splash up and into your face or your eyes.

Can You Neutralize Drano Smell?

If you have Drano spills, the product releases a pungent smell upon use because of its chemicals. This odor then surrounds your area, and it is best to neutralize it because it is toxic to breathe.

To begin, clean any spills or remnants of Drano using a cotton cloth or paper towel. Make sure to protect yourself while cleaning by wearing rubber gloves, a facemask, and protective clothing. Then, pour white vinegar or lemon juice on the area with the spill and let it sit for five minutes. After five minutes, blot the area with paper towels or a cotton cloth.

Make sure to clean the area with a cloth soaked in water and let it dry after. Don't forget to open any doors or windows in your space to help neutralize the smell and dry the area. In addition, you must do this every day until the pungent odor disappears. 

In Closing

photo of a man wearing orange rubber safety gloves plunger a kitchen sink

Using Drano requires a certain degree of carefulness as the product is corrosive. That is why when pouring it down your pipes, make sure to never let it on for longer than 15-30 minutes unless it is a Drano Max Build-Up Remover meant to sit in your pipes for hours.

Using Drano is easy as you only have to pour it down your drain and flush it with hot water after, but for a more effective unclogging effect, use the correct type of Drano. Of course, there are things you must avoid when using the product so that you don't produce any leakage or destroy your piping system, so make sure to remember them. 

Aside from unclogging, if you want to take care of your pipes by insulating them, read this post for more information:

How To Insulate Kitchen Sink And Sink Pipes?

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