Biodegradable Liquid Drain Cleaners

When there is a problem with the plumbing in your household, it's likely you reach for a liquid drain cleaner before calling a plumber. While liquid drain cleaner is often effective for minor clogs, the chemical-based products can be dangerous not only to your health but also to the environment. Fortunately, there are biodegradable liquid drain cleaner products that are safer to use for both your body and the environment.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Before picking up a chemical-laden drain cleaner, research environmentally safe products.

Of all liquid drain cleaners, chemical cleaners are the most effective for unclogging drains. Their effectiveness is due to their acid-based ingredients, such as sulphuric acid. However, sulphuric acid is dangerous as it will eat away at skin, cause chemical burns and possibly cause blindness if improperly handled or accidentally splashed on the skin or eyes. Because of the dangers associated with chemical drain cleaners, environmentalists have worked hard to create biodegradable, safe-to-use liquid drain cleaners.

Bacteria and Enzyme-Based Cleaner

The most successful biodegradable liquid drain cleaners are those that are created with bacteria and enzymes. Like chemical drain cleaners, the enzymes act as the cleaners, breaking down waste, grease, food and hair that may be clogging the plumbing system. Also, unlike chemical-based liquid drain cleaners, biodegradable drain cleaners allow time for a user to wash off the solution before burns occur. This is because they are not as acidic as chemical solutions such as sulphuric acid.

Safer to Use

"Green" drain cleaners are not only safer for your body, they are also safer for your plumbing system and the environment. When chemical cleaners are flushed down a plumbing system, they may cause damage to pipes due to their acidity. In addition, your waste water may end up in lakes, rivers or streams. Flushing acid-based drain cleaner into the plumbing system may cause these chemicals to end up in the environment, affecting animal and plant life.


Unfortunately, even though they may be safer for people and the environment, biodegradable liquid drain cleaners are not necessarily more popular than chemical cleaners. In fact, sales of "green" solutions pale in comparison with sales of acid-based cleaners. This is likely because chemical cleaners are much more effective at clearing clogs up quickly as opposed to enzyme-based cleaners.

About the Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.