Liquid-Plumr vs Drano | What’s the Better Drain Cleaner?

Dealing with a clogged drain is a colossal headache for homeowners. You try not to put things down your drain that will cause a clog, but sometimes food particles, hair, and other things get stuck in there anyway. When this happens, it’s usually time to turn to a drain cleaner.

Liquid-Plumr and Drano are two popular drain cleaners, but Drano is definitely better. Drano has a couple more ingredients in its formula than Liquid-Plumr, so it’s more effective at removing grease and oil-based clogs.

If you’re not convinced that Drano is better than Liquid-Plumr, then don’t worry! We’ll walk you through how to use each drain cleaner, their ingredients, and more so you can see for yourself why blank is the better drain cleaner.

What’s the Difference Between Liquid-Plumr and Drano?

Liquid-Plumr and Drano are actually very similar drain cleaners. Each brand offers a similar amount of products and has products designed to do the same things. The difference between them lies in their ingredients.

Both Liquid-Plumr and Drano use the same two main active ingredients: sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite. These chemicals, more commonly known as lye and bleach, are powerful, caustic, and very effective at removing clogs.

However, Drano has a couple more ingredients than Liquid-Plumr, including an ingredient that protects against pipe corrosion and one that eliminates grease and oil. We’ll explore this difference in more detail later in this guide.


Liquid-Plumr is a brand of drain cleaners owned by the Clorox Company. It was acquired by this company in 1962 and was heavily promoted at the time. Drano was the most widely used drain cleaner during this period, and once Clorox began promoting Liquid-Plumr, Drano went from occupying 90% of the drain cleaning market to only 50%.

This brand uses simple but effective ingredients in all its products and fits each drain cleaner with a child-proof cap to prevent spills and accidents. It’s one of the most popular drain cleaners on the market today and is found in most stores.

What Products Does Liquid-Plumr Offer?

Liquid-Plumr has a solid variety of products available. Each of their products are designed to target specific clogs or provide maintenance to prevent clogs. Let’s take a closer look at the products they have available.

Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Full Clog Destroyer Plus PipeGuard, 80 Ounces (00228) (Pack of 6) (Package May Vary)

Clog Destroyer Plus + PipeGuard: The Liquid-Plumr Cog Destroy Plus + PipeGuard is a gel-based drain cleaner that cuts through standing water to quickly reach the clog. This product will dissolve the clog, help prevent new ones, and remove any unpleasant odors. This product also comes in a lemon-scented version.

Liquid-Plumr, 17oz 2-Pack, Clear

Clog Destroyer Plus + Urgent Clear: Liquid-Plumr’s Clog Destroyer Plus + Urgent Clear works to clear away hair, gunk, grease, soap scum, and more within seven minutes. This product uses two gels; one to eliminate the clog and one to get your drain moving quickly again.

Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Clog Remover, Hair Clog Eliminator, 32 Fluid Ounces Total (Pack of 2), Packaging May Vary

Clog Destroyer Plus + Hair Clog Eliminator: This product is specifically designed for removing the toughest hair clogs within 15 minutes. The Clog Destroyer Plus + Hair Clog Eliminator uses a thick gel to coat your pipes and completely eliminate hair clogs.

Liquid Plumber Clog Destroyer with Foaming Clog Fighter - 17 Ounces

Cog Destroyer Plus + Foaming Clog Fighter: The Clog Destroyer Plus + Foaming Clog Fighter is the perfect product for someone dealing with a consistently clogged and slow drain. This product uses two powerful liquids to create a dense foam that eliminates blocks, cleans pipe walls, maintains garbage disposals, and clears clogs.

Liquid-Plumr 42 oz. Industrial Strength Gel Drain Opener (Pack of 2)

Industrial Strength Gel: The Industrial Strength Gel is perfect for the biggest and toughest jobs. This product eliminates hair, grease, and other tough build-ups with a specially formulated gel that doesn’t dilute as it works on clogs.

Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Clog Remover, Full Clog Destroyer, 32 Fluid Ounces (Pack of 2)

Maintenance: Liquid-Plumr’s Maintenance product is perfect for keeping your drains in excellent working condition. It works to prevent build-ups and clogs and is safe to use with most drains.

How to Use Liquid-Plumr

Some of Liquid-Plumr’s products come with different instructions, such as their Maintenance product, but most of them have the same simple steps. But, for most of their products, you can follow these steps:

1. Pour ⅕ (2 cups) of drain cleaner down your drain. Use the entire bottle for tougher clogs.

2. Let it stand for 15 minutes. For drains with standing water, let the product sit until the water is gone.

3. Rinse the drain thoroughly with hot water.

Those three easy steps are all you need to completely clear your drain! However, since some products may have different steps involved, always make sure you read the instructions on the bottle before using Liquid-Plumr products.

What Are The Ingredients in Liquid-Plumr?

Liquid-Plumr only uses a few simple ingredients for its original product. Their original drain cleaner is made of sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and a surfactant. Sodium hydroxide is more commonly known as lye and is a caustic substance. Sodium hypochlorite is also a caustic substance, more commonly known as bleach.

Is Liquid-Plumr Toxic?

Liquid-Plumr is a toxic substance. A substance is considered toxic if it has the potential to poison someone or cause adverse health effects. Since Liquid-Plumr contains both bleach and lye, which are very caustic substances, this is a very toxic substance. You should always be careful when handling this product and never leave it within reach of children or pets.


Drano was originally invented in 1923. The first Drano product was called Crystal Drano, and it quickly became a popular home drain cleaner. This brand released a few other products throughout the 1900s. In 1992, Drano was acquired by the SC Johnson Company.

After Drano joined the SC Johnson Company, several more products were released under this brand. Drano is still considered one of the most popular and effective drain cleaners on the market today.

What Products Does Drano Offer?

Drano has several products available to help homeowners eliminate and prevent clogs. Their products range from liquid and gel-based to dissolvable strips, and they have products to unclog nearly every drain in the home.

Here’s a list of the products Drano currently has available:

Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner for Shower or Sink Drains, Unclogs and Removes Hair, Soap Scum, Blockages, 80 oz

Max Gel Clog Remover: Drano Max Gel Clog Remover uses a powerful bleach-based formula to cut through standing water and eliminate clogs made of hair, grease, soap scum, and more within 15 minutes. It also has an ingredient that helps prevent corrosion in pipes.

Drano Kitchen Granules Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner, Unclogs blockage from Grease or Cooking Oil, 8.8 oz

Kitchen Granules Clog Remover: Inspired by the original Crystal Drano product, the Kitchen Granules Clog Remover is efficient at eliminating the toughest clogs, including those made from grease or cooking oil. The powerful formula works to heat water and melt greasy clogs in the drain.

Drano Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover, 17 fl oz

Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover: This product uses two formulas that create a powerful foam on contact. The Dual-Force Foamer Clog Remover will fill the pipe and thoroughly clean the walls while dissolving any gunk or clogs.

Drano Disposal Strips, Fresh Citrus, 2 Drain Strips, 0.7 oz (Pack of 10)

Foaming Disposal Strips: Drano Foaming Disposal Strips are the perfect way to freshen up your sinks and drains with garbage disposals. These strips use a powerful foaming action to clean the drain, eliminate tough odors, and leave a pleasant citrus scent behind.

Drano Liquid Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner for Shower or Sink Drains Unclogs and Removes Hair Soap Scum Blockages, Multi, 32 Fl Oz

Liquid Drain Cleaner: The powerful liquid formula in Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner is perfect for eliminating clogs and getting slow-moving drains working properly again. It’s best used for kitchen or laundry room sinks.

Drano Max Build-Up Remover - 10115 64Oz Drano Build-Up Rmvr

Max Build-Up Remover: Drano Max Build-Up Remover is a product made for keeping your drains from forming clogs, not removing them. It contains powerful enzymes and active bacteria cultures to keep your drains running smoothly.

Drano Hair Buster Gel, Commercial Line, 16 oz (Pack of 2)

Hair Buster Gel: This product cuts through standing water, blasts through clogs, and begins to eliminate hair-based clogs on contact. The Hair Buster Gel is perfect for use in shower and tub drains.

How to Use Drano Clog Remover?

Many of Drano’s products have specific instructions because they’re designed for a specific purpose. We’re going to take a look at how to use Drano’s most basic product, Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner.

To use this product, follow these simple steps:

1. Pour half the product (32oz) down slow-moving drains. For drains that aren’t moving at all, use the entire bottle.

2. Allow the product to sit. For more difficult problems, wait 30 minutes.

3. Flush the drain thoroughly with hot water.

Always make sure you read the directions on the bottle carefully and immediately clean up any spills or messes. This product contains powerful chemicals, so it’s best to handle it with caution.

What Are The Ingredients In Drano?

Drano has several products, each of which have slightly different ingredients. However, their most basic product- the Liquid Drain Cleaner, sets the base formula for most of their products.

So, here’s a list of the ingredients found in Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner:

  • Water
  • Polydimethylsiloxane
  • Sodium Silicate
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Sodium Hypochlorite

The two main concerning ingredients in Drano are sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite. These ingredients are very caustic, which is why you need to be so careful when handling this product.

Is Drano Toxic?

Drano is considered a toxic substance. It contains sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, and sodium hypochlorite, also known as bleach. These two ingredients are incredibly caustic and can cause harm if ingested or if they come into contact with your skin.

If you accidentally get this product in your mouth or on your skin, you should contact a poison control center immediately for assistance.

Comparison Questions (Liquid-Plumr vs Drano):

Is Liquid-Plumr or Drano More Powerful?

Liquid-Plumr and Drano seem to work using the same two main active ingredients. Each brand uses sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite to dissolve and eliminate clogs.

These ingredients are very caustic, which makes them very effective. Lye (sodium hydroxide) and bleach (sodium hypochlorite) have the ability to burn away organic and some inorganic matter very quickly and effectively.

The difference in ingredients between these two is that Drano also uses a chemical designed to protect pipes from corrosion. Liquid-Plumr doesn’t use this but does use a surfactant, which allows their products to mix with liquid in the drain and clean away clogs easier.

On the other hand, Drano uses sodium silicate, which effectively eliminates grease and oil. Both of these cleaners are powerful, but each seems to be more powerful at dealing with certain clogs.

Drano would be the more powerful option for clogs made of grease, soap scum, and oil. Liquid-Plumr is likely to work better than Drano for clogs made of hair, dirt, and other debris.

Does Liquid-Plumr or Drano Offer A Wider Variety of Products?

Drano and Liquid-Plumr have a very comparable selection of products. Drano has seven specific drain cleaning products, while Liquid-Plumr has six. Two of Drano’s drain cleaning products are specifically dedicated to maintaining drains, and only one of Liquid-Plumr’s products is used for that purpose.

They both have cleaners that specifically target clogs made of hair or grease, and each has products designed to eliminate clogs more rapidly. However, Drano is the only brand between these two that has a product specifically for garbage disposals.

It’s a close call between Liquid-Plumr and Drano, but Drano does offer slightly more products.

Is Liquid-Plumr or Drano More Affordable?

These brands each offer a variety of products and have different sizes available. Comparing price points can be difficult if you’re just looking at the price tags on the shelf, which is why we’re going to break it down for you.

Here’s a table comparing the cost of Liquid-Plumr and Drano by looking at the price per ounce of their liquid drain cleaners:

Product Price Per Ounce
Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner (32oz) $0.34
Liquid-Plumr Clog Destroyer With Foaming Clog Fighter (17oz) $0.78
Drano Foamer Clog Remover (17oz) $0.25
Liquid-Plumr Maintenance (32oz) $0.39

As you can see, Drano’s products are consistently lower than Liquid-Plumr’s. Since both brands use a similar formula, it seems like you’ll get the best deal by buying Drano’s products.

Is Liquid-Plumr or Drano More Environmentally Friendly?

Neither Drano nor Liquid-Plumr is an environmentally friendly product. Both brands use powerful chemicals as their main active ingredients, and these chemicals have been proven to cause harm to aquatic eco-systems.

The use of bleach and lye in cleaners that go down the drain is very unsafe for the environment. These chemicals can make their way into sewage systems and, from there, get into rivers or the ocean. This can take a serious toll on plants and wildlife and even has the potential to contaminate food and water supplies.

Is Liquid-Plumr or Drano Safer For Your Pipes?

Drano has an ingredient in its formula designed to protect pipes against corrosion. All of Drano’s drain cleaning products are safe to use with septic systems, plastic pipes, and metal pies.

Liquid-Plumr doesn’t have the same ingredient as Drano in its formula, but its products appear to be even safer for pipes. On their website, Liquid-Plumr states that their drain cleaning products are safe to use with septic systems, PVC, plastic, metal, copper, and old pipes.

Related Questions:

Is Liquid-Plumr and Drano The Same?

While these two products are incredibly similar, they aren’t the same. Both use sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite as their main active ingredients, but their ingredients differ from there.

Liquid-Plumr uses a surfactant to help their formula mix with liquids in the drain and more effectively eliminate the clog and clean your pipes. Drano uses an ingredient that’s very efficient at eliminating grease and oil-based clogs, and also contains an extra ingredient designed to protect pipes from corrosion.

Why Do Plumbers Say Not To Use Drano?

Due to the incredibly powerful, corrosive chemicals in Drano’s ingredients, many plumbers recommend using it. This recommendation is because those chemicals can cause PVP pipes to melt or break. It can also eat away the glue that holds pipes together and cause toilet bowls to crack.

It’s worth noting that Liquid-Plumr uses those same ingredients. So, if you’re concerned about damage in those areas with Drano, then Liquid-Plumr may not be a suitable alternative for you.

Is It OK To Let Drano Sit Overnight?

Some of Dranos products are safe to leave sit overnight. Their Max Build-Up Remover product can be left in overnight and then flushed with hot water in the morning to thoroughly clean your drain and ensure any clogs have been eliminated.

The Verdict– What’s the Better Drain Cleaner?

Liquid-Plumr and Drano are very similar drain cleaners. They have almost the same number of products and their products are designed to do the same thing. However, Drano’s products are more powerful, more affordable, and Drano has products specifically for use with garbage disposals. If you’re looking for an effective, affordable, and reliable drain cleaner, then you’ll want to stick with Drano products.