You Should Never Use Drain Cleaner On Your Kitchen Sink. Here's Why

We've all been there. Maybe you poured a bit of grease down your drain or don't have a garbage disposal to help your food scraps get down the drain correctly. Whatever the reason is that your kitchen sink is clogged, you've probably run right out to your nearest grocery store to pick up some drain cleaner to fix the problem. Or even worse, you've had to call a plumber.

Though drain cleaners are a quick and seemingly effective way to get the job done on a budget of little to nothing, they could actually be doing more damage to your kitchen than the clog itself. How is that possible, you ask? Aren't they designed to fix the problem, not make it worse? Well, according to Laura Lee Pokavich, president of Gotelli Plumbing, that's not necessarily true. In a tip given to The Kitchn, she revealed that the "chemicals in liquid drain cleaners tend to be too harsh on PVC and other residential pipes."

Drain cleaner can be detrimental to you and the environment.

Likewise, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing notes that one main reason you should stay away from drain cleaner is its high toxicity level. Drain cleaners — especially those that are cheaper and off-brand — emit unhealthy fumes that can "prove to be fatal if swallowed or inhaled." As such, the site also claims that drain cleaners are bad for the environment (calling it "one of the most harmful plumbing wastes") because the chemical residue left behind in each bottle can contaminate soil and groundwater, which can harm animals and plants.

One of the first ways to never have to use drain cleaners is to keep your kitchen drains clear. And according to American Home Shield, one of the best ways to do that is to be sure to keep grease, coffee grounds, and food out of it. Additionally, Drano suggests slowly pouring hot water down your drain at least once a week to "melt away any fat or grease that may have collected inside your pipes." And, if you don't have a garbage disposal, make sure you use a drain strainer to help keep food from going down the drain.