what to do if Drano doesn't go down
Kristina Davis

Do you have any idea what to do if Drano doesn’t go down? What alternatives are you thinking of?

Are there other processes and methods that can result in the same success that Drano offers?

Don’t worry, because, in this guide, I will be enumerating some of the options you can get in case Drano isn’t cooperating in solving your drain problems.

If Drano isn’t going down the drain, you can use a plunger to force it out, household ingredients, or you can snake your drain.

Reasons Why Drano Won’t Go Down Drain

why drano wont go down

If you think that there is only one reason why Drano is not going down the drain properly, don’t worry, I thought of that as well.

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However, upon careful review and consideration, I found that there are a few reasons why this is so – these include, but are not limited to:

There’s Still or Standing Water

In using Drano, you have to make sure that the drain is free from any content – even water.

The reason why it’s not going down could be because there is still water – Drano wouldn’t be too effective in this case.

The Clog is Deep Down the Pipes

clogged pipes

Another reason, which is a bit more complex and complicated is because the clog or the culprit why it’s not going down is deep within the piping system.

It could be almost near the vent or close to the drainage system already.

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The Chemicals in Drano Aren’t the Solution to the Blockage

Last, and most definitely not least is because the chemicals found in Drano aren’t effective in dissolving whatever’s blocking the drain.

Even though it’s a world-renowned product, by the laws of physics and chemistry, it wouldn’t be able to dissolve everything – and that’s where the problem will be.

What to Do If Drano Doesn’t Go Down? 3 Easy Alternatives

three easy alternatives

You may have considered Drano to be your go-to solution, but there are times when it wouldn’t work.

So, here are 3 of the alternatives I experienced using over the course of owning a home.

Solution #1: Plunge It All Out

The first solution is the most obvious one – and it probably is something you thought of even before you decided to use Drano.

Plunging has been one of the most, if not the most common solution to clogs and blockages in toilet bowls, shower drains, kitchen sinks, and even outdoor drains.

It’s as simple and as straightforward as that!

You simply have to use a plunger to force any clogs down the drain and to free the pipes from anything that’s blocking it.

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plunged out

Here’s a quick and brief process on how to use a plunger:

  1. Ensure that there is standing water.
  2. Position and angle the plunger over the drain directly – make sure that it’s straight.
  3. Allow it to latch onto the surface.
  4. Work it down until you feel the pressure move.
  5. Pull it back up slowly to release the pressure.
  6. Continue doing this until you see the standing water flow.
  7. You’ll know that the clog is gone if the flow of water returns to normal.
You’ll find many types and shapes of plungers in retail shops and stores – what I recommend is the accordion plunger because it is flexible and has been effective for almost every drain.

Solution #2: Use Natural Household Ingredients

household ingredients

The next solution you can try would be to use natural household ingredients.

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One thing I loved about household ingredients is the fact that I didn’t have to go outside to purchase them – they were in my pantry and laundry areas!

It’s rare not to have these ingredients in a household, so, trust me when I say that you have them in yours, too.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution

For this method, you’ll need baking soda, vinegar, and a splash of hot water.

Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Clear the area from still or standing water.
  2. Pour about ½ cup to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain.
  3. Let it sit for at least 1 minute.
  4. Pour the proportionate amount of vinegar.
  5. Cover the drain.
  6. Flush with hot water after 5 minutes.
NOTE: You will hear fizzling or gurgling as vinegar reacts to baking soda – this is the key to this process.

Borax + Salt and Hot Water

borax salt and hot water

Another household staple you can use would be the combination of borax, coarse salt, and hot boiling water.

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Compared to other types of chemicals, using borax is gentler and smoother because it is not as toxic as other compounds.

So, what you want to do is to remove or get rid of standing water on the drains. Then, pour ½ a cup of Borax down the drain.

Then, sprinkle in coarse salt, and then follow it up with about 500 ml of boiling water.

This should be all good in about 20 to 25 minutes. After this, rinse it with hot water, and repeat the process if necessary.

Borax is not bleach. Many people have the misconception that Borax is similar to bleach, but it is not. 

Most households have a backup supply of borax to take care of mildew, stains, and molds in the vicinity.

Hot Boiling Water and Dish Soap

dish soap

The next solution would be by using dish soap and hot water.

The idea is simple – you know how dish soap is formulated to remove grease, dirt, and even oils in your utensils? That’s how this works.

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What you want to do is clear the area from still or standing water.

What I usually do is cover up the area to warn people not to use it – it should not be used for at least an hour.

Then, pour dish soap down the drain. About ½ cup of dish soap will do.

Wait for a few minutes, and then what you want to do next is pour hot boiling water to get movement and flush the soap and all other stubborn debris down the drain.

You might have to do this multiple times as some stubborn dirt is difficult to remove. 

In repeating the process, though, you want to make sure that there is no still water even down the piping system.

Solution #3: Snake Your Drain

snake drain

Last, and most definitely not least is drain snaking. Drain snaking is what most professional plumbers do as the initial troubleshooting step.

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Line snaking is simply the process of inserting a “drain snake” or a thin steel rod with an auger head that’s used to destroy whatever’s blocking or clogging the drains.

Drain snakes are available at various hardware stores and shops and you won’t have to pay a fortune for them!

They’re cheap, they’re easily available!

Homemade Drain Snake

In case you can’t find one, you can create a homemade drain snake.

a homemade drain snake
  1. Take a coat wire hanger and straighten it using pliers.
  2. When you’re straightening it, shape it in a spiral position.
  3. Then, for the auger head, create a zigzag pattern.
  4. If you can attach another piece of steel wire to it, better.

What you want to do is to insert the snake down the drain and break up all stubborn scum and debris that could’ve been stuck along the inner lining of the pipe.

NOTE: What I usually do is pour dish soap and hot water first before snaking. This is to soften the dirt attached to the inner lining.

Don’t lose hope when you see that Drano won’t go down drain. These alternatives have been proven and tested!

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All Solutions Aren’t Working, What’s the Next Step?

the next step

There would really be instances where any of these wouldn’t work – don’t worry, I’ve had some of my own, too.

For this, what you want to do is contact your local professional plumber to help you.

Inform your plumber that you’ve attempted to use Drano, as well as perform all other alternatives, but to no avail, it’s still not working properly.

Do this if you are cornered and don’t know what to do to make it work any longer.

The Bottom Line

So, if you’re constantly worried about what to do if Drano doesn’t go down, try out a few alternative solutions.

The best part about this is you wouldn’t need to purchase any expensive machinery or equipment!

You can arrange them right in the comfort of your own home!