can you use drano in a washer
Kristina Davis

Can you use Drano in a washer to get rid of blockages on the drain? Is it safe to do so?

Being someone with enough household experience; having tried multiple products, I like to say that I will help you by answering this completely and comprehensively.

The quick and easy answer is yes, you can, but that is not a solution to blockages and drains on your washing machine. 

Use a combination of hot water and dish soap, or white vinegar, baking soda, and hot water instead.

Reasons to Consider Why You Would Want to Put Drano Down Washers

put drano down the washer

I don’t know about some people, but personally, I wouldn’t think and consider draining Drano down my washing machine.

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However, based on what I have found, as well as some ideas of people, they think of pouring Drano down their washing machines because of the following reasons:

Drain Overflows

An overflow is an occurrence where the level of liquid exceeds the recommended height inside a particular space.

In washing machines, drain overflow happens when the standpipe or drain hose is blocked or clogged.

This simply means that no air is able to get through it, thus causing the overflow.

NOTE: Overflows can be extremely annoying, especially if your laundry area is indoors.

Washer Drain/Pipe Blockage

a blockage

Pipe or washer drain blockage is the instance where the water from the washer is not escaping the container properly.

And guess what?

This is one of the few reasons why people think about pouring Drano inside their washers.

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It’s effective, yes, but there are other ways to do it.

Washing Machine Drain Cleaning

Just like many other machines, washers or washing machines wear out, too.

They wear out pretty heavily, and one of the most common things that happen is that its piping system gets dirty.

Things such as soap, torn fabric, hair, and other types of stuff could clog it, resulting in a blockage.

They Think it’s “Bleach”

its bleach

And lastly, people categorize Drano in ways like how they categorize bleach.

While partly true, Drano is not entirely made from bleach.

The bleaching material in Drano is just an added factor as to why it functions how it does.

Overall, it would not give you the ideal results that you will get when you use real bleach.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Avoid putting Drano inside the washer with fabrics and textiles because it can damage it irreversibly.

Can You Use Drano In a Washer?

use drano in the washer

So, can you put Drano in a washing machine?

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Yes, you can put your Drano inside a washing machine.

However, it is quite clear that when you do so, you need to make sure that you don’t have any clothes, linen, or other types of fabric – it’s not like you can use it as bleach.

Pouring Drano inside a washing machine is actually done to help clear out debris that could’ve been stuck inside it.

And even if this is the case, a lot of experts still frown upon this idea.

Why? – Because they think that doing so will be bad for both the machine itself and the standpipe it utilizes.

Will Drano Damage My Washer’s Drain Pipes?

will drano damage pipe

Yes and no – it’s kind of complicated, so, let me explain.

Yes, because there’s no actual harm in doing so, especially if you won’t let it sit inside the washer for hours on end. It’ll be like a regular dissolving solution.

It won’t deteriorate the inside of your machine in a few minutes like the way people imagine it to be.

In fact, the way Drano works are that it needs a particular compound or structure for it to react and be put to use.

Soap, scum, gunk, and hair, for instance, are the top things that Drano focuses on.

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And no, because when you pour Drano in with clothes or fabrics present, it can present irreversible damage to your fabrics.

In the event that you really want and have to use Drano inside your washing machine, make sure that:

  • There are no articles of clothing inside
  • No still or standing water is present

How Do You Use Drano For Your Washer’s Drain?

how to use drano

For you not to scour out in the wild any longer, here is how you can properly and successfully use Drano to unclog your washing machine’s drain.

  1. Remove all still or standing water from the entire washing machine (including pipes and drains).
  2. Take the washtub out of the washing machine.
  3. Once done, pour in a conservative amount of Drano down the drainpipe.
  4. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Then, lastly, flush the drainpipe with hot water to eliminate the clog.
NOTE: It’s important to understand that letting it sit for more than 4 hours can damage the entirety of your washing machine’s drain system.

The drainpipe of my washer is located right below it on the backside.

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Yours might be at a different location, so, be sure to check out your washing machine manual first.

What Can I Put Inside a Washer Instead?

put water

If you’re trying to clear a clog or a blockage from the pipe, or if you want to perform pipe cleaning but you don’t want to put your washing machine at risk, here are some alternatives for unclogging or cleaning.

Alternative #1: Hot Water and Snaking

This alternative is what I consider the easiest and simplest because of how basic it is.

For this, you just need about 2 to 3 liters of hot water.

So, what you want to do is to remove the washtub from your washing machine, and then pour hot water into the drain.

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Continue pouring hot water down the drain, and then perform a line snaking to see if you’re able to soften it to let it flush by itself.

NOTE: When I do this, I usually ask for the assistance of another person inside the house to do the pouring of hot water.

Continue doing this until you get the clog out of the way.

Alternative #2: Hot Water + Dish Soap

hot water

Other than hot water and a drain snake, you can also resort to the combination of hot water and dish soap.

This DIY clog solution has been used for generations, and personally, I have tried this, too. It works, yes, but it will take some time to complete.

When I tried it, it took me about an hour to an hour and a half to unclog a drain pipe.

So, what you want to do is to remove all standing water from your washing machine’s drain.

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Then, pour in a generous amount of dish soap down. Flush it with hot water afterward.

Most often than not, it wouldn’t work the first time you try it. Do it multiple times until you see improvement in the flow of water through the drain.

TIP: When you pour dish soap in, make sure you coat the inner linings or the inner edges of the pipe. 

That way, you’ll be able to smoothen gunk, dirt, scum, soap, or any other debris that’s causing the clog or blockage.

Alternative #3: Hot Water + Vinegar + Baking Soda

vinegar and baking soda

For the last alternative, you will need a combination of vinegar and baking soda, and, of course, hot water.

This is one of my favorites because of the satisfaction it provides – it gives a little fizz when baking soda reacts with vinegar.

So, here’s the step-by-step process of how this is done:

  1. Remove all standing water from the washer’s drain.
  2. Then, pour in a generous amount of baking soda.
  3. Let it sit for at least 30 seconds to a full minute.
  4. Afterward, pour in vinegar (1 to 1 and ½ cup would do).
  5. Wait for the fizz to stop.
  6. Flush it down with hot water.
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Similar to the first two alternatives, it will most likely not work on your first try.

If it does, then you’re extremely lucky. So, perform steps 1 to 6 again and again until there’s an improvement.

Final Thoughts 

In case you were asking and curious, can you use Drano in a washer?

Yes, you can! There’s not a rule in the book saying that it’s not effective in unclogging your washer’s drain pipe.

However, most clogs and blockages on washing machines are resolvable with simple homemade remedies.

Nevertheless, there’s no harm in pouring or using Drano down your washers if you do it properly and correctly.