What's taking my generic drano from working?

The past few weeks, I've been having trouble with a clogged bathroom sink. I bought some pro strength generic drain cleaner at Wal-Mart today, and used it a total of three sessions, and it's not doing much. One good sign is that it's processed the crap I put down the sink to clear it DIY, and the smell of the acid in the cleaner is gone. It smells like water now, but the sink is not drained yet. 

As a side note, I poured some salt down the drain and that did nothing. I put dishwashing fluid down there too, and nothing. 

The water in the sink has turned white and looks soapy/salty and foams up like crazy when you put water in it. Am I doing something wrong?

11 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    All this gunk you've poured down your drain and nothing has gotten better.  For just a couple bucks more than what a gallon of drain chemical costs, you could have bought a drain auger.

    Unlike the drain chemical, you can use the auger many, many times and it won't damage your pipes.

    Quit pouring money down the drain and get the right tool for the job.  Don't forget to also run it up toward the sink, too.

  • 2 months ago

    Do NOT use that crap.  Just a small splash up in your eyes and you will be in big trouble.   Did you remove the trap and clean it?  If not, put a bucket or large bowl under the U-trap under the sink.  Put on some rubber face garden gloves and separate the parts.  Be sure to keep track od the plastic washers position and orientation.  Clean it all in another sink and put it back together.

  • 2 months ago

    fill the sink up a few inches with water and use a plunger.It works every time.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Everything?   Bathroom sink?  Then get under the sink to the drain pipe.  there is a big collar nut near the sink and one near the wall.   Have a bucket with you to catch the water as you UNDO THE NUTS .  They should almost be only hand tight.  Unscrew the 2 nuts and take out the drain pipe and put in the tub or on the back lawn and get a water hose with a nozzle and blast it with water to clean out the pipe.  Now back in the bathroom look down the drain pipe in the sink. Can you see the cabinet floor or the floor?  If not, do you wash your hair in the sink? If you do, there is an "X" piece at the bottom of the sink drain you can touch with your fingers.  That is welded there.  So stick your skinny finger down the drain to the X stop and then curl the finger like a "J" and scratch a leg of the X and continue the drag up the side of the drain into the sink.   (Kind of like picking your nose) You will pull up a wad of hair and shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and soap suds jelly. Do this until you can see the usually chrome X appear. So you got to do the other leg too.

    .  Your homemade Draino is not strong enough to destroy hair(neither is Draino) It burns the skin but the hair is not harmed.  Now you should be able to look down the drain and see the X clearly and the floor underneath.   You washed out the drain pipe so it is clear of obstructions in the P trap, so now reassemble it.

    .  We ain't done yet .  Boil some water in a 2 quart pot(or 2) and once you got a rolling boil take it to the sink and from a height of a foot or two aim just for the drain opening and pour in the hot water so it only goes down the hole and the hot water pounds its way through the plumbing and washes out any further soap scum that just lays in the pipe by melting the soap scum.  After you did that now run just the hot water tap for at least 3 minutes on full blast down the drain(as hot water tank water is not normally scalding hot...(it could be but why as you have to add cold to cool it down to use it.)

    ../ Now you should be good to go.  Use more water from now on to rinse the pipes out after brushing your teeth.  I did the trickle thing and mine would not drain either.  The pipe was filled with gumbo.   The tub is where the hair was. As we all lose hair everyday.

    I did not have a plunger handy nor a drain snake.  Just my brain. Freaking scary.

    That was 10 years ago. Everything still good. Cost=free

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  • 2 months ago

    disassemble the drain.  clear any obstruction found in the trap.  if that doesn't do the job, you need to snake out the drain [while it is disassembled, or, by a plumber, from the vent stack on the roof].  do NOT use any more 'drain cleaner' -- those chemicals can and do end up destroying the drain.  -- grampa

  • 2 months ago

    Number one, if you've tried this multiple times and it isn't working, then you should KNOW you have a deeper clog and that it is not cleared. Get a drain snake. Remove the trap at the drain, by pulling it up, and snake out the entire drain, gently. There is most likely a hair clog in the U-bend of the trap. OR you might have created a worse clog by using dish soap in the drain--which you should not ever use. If your drain still isn't working after snaking it, call a plumber to remove the pipe and remove the clog! 

  • 2 months ago

    im a builder ..i would not use any form of chemicals if they were paying me to use them ..too many times i have been called out and in vast majority of cases its a build up of chemical from those drain unblockers!

  • 2 months ago

    Just about everything.  Salt makes things salty.  That's all iit does.  Dishwashing fluid makes suds.  neither clears drains.  Drain cleaner is the worst waste of money in history.  A snake clears a clogged drain.  Nothing else.

  • T C
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you have some disposable gloves and a large bucket.... I would just remove the trap under the sink.

    The majority of the time the clog is right in the trap.... or if it’s hair, it’s caught on the stopper rod that runs through the tail piece before the P trap.

    You should loosen the trap a bit and let the water drain before taking it off…the gloves are for your hands so you don’t get the drain cleaner on them.

    You should not need any tools to remove the drain parts. 


  • Lili
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Drain cleaner you buy in stores -- even the brand name products -- often isn't really effective. You need a plumber.

    If you've tried it three times and it's not working, call a professional. Do NOT put any more drain cleaner down there.

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