Is Drano Safe For Shower Drains (Answered!)

Showering in a bathroom with a slow-draining or blocked shower drain is both a nuisance and unsanitary, yet shower clogs happen often. Therefore, knowing what to use to unclog a blocked shower drain is essential, raising the question, “is Drano safe for shower drains?”

Drano is safe for your shower drains, provided you use it appropriately, meaning not letting it sit for a prolonged time. For your fixtures’ safety, pour hot water down your shower drain for 15 to 30 minutes following the application of Drano.

This post addresses everything about using Drano on your shower drain, including safety measures when handling this chemical. Keep reading for Drano alternatives as well.

Why do plumbers say not to use Drano?

Is Drano Safe For Shower Drains?

As mentioned above, using Drano on shower drains is safe as long as you use it correctly. However, since this chemical is highly corrosive, it can lead to metallic and PVC pipes damage after using it to unclog drains severally.

For this reason, the manufacturer prohibits using it on toilets because it will eat up and damage the toilet’s interior. To prolong your pipes’ lifespan, avoid using Drano on your bathtub and shower drains regularly.

The duration Drano should sit in your shower drain varies depending on the severity of the clog. For instance, 15 minutes is sufficient for less severe clogs such as soap scum and paper, while 30 minutes is enough to handle intense clogs like hair.

The Pros and Cons of Drano on Shower Drain

To help you gauge whether Drano is worth using on your shower drain, here are its pros and cons.


  • Easy to use– unclog your shower drain using Drano by putting on protective gear and then pouring the chemical down the drain. After that, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the clog’s severity, then wash it down with hot water
  • It Acts Fast– it only takes Drano utmost 30 minutes to unclog your drains


a) It Can Damage Fixtures

Metallic and PVC pipes, as well as the septic tank, can suffer damage from continuous Drano use. This is because this product contains corrosive chemicals like caustic, sodium hypochlorite, and lye (sodium hydroxide).

Drano can also make shower drains crack and become brittle. On the other hand, it kills good bacteria that help decompose sewage rendering your septic useless.

b) It Can Cause More Clogging

Although Drano removes clogs, it can also worsen an existing clog or create a new one. This occurs if you use too much Drano, then its deposits come loose inside the drain.

c) Health Risks

Drano fumes and deposits can lead to health problems if it comes into direct contact with your eyes, skin, hands, and nose. This is why you are advised to wear protective gear when handling this chemical.

How long to flush Drano with hot water

Drano Alternatives for Unclogging A Shower Drain

Before pouring Drano down your shower drain to unclog it, ensure the drain topper is open because that could be why the water isn’t flowing properly. Also, try reaching for the clog if close enough and visible.

If the problem isn’t fixed after trying the above solutions and you are still hesitant about using Drano, try the following fixes.

1. Boiling Water

Boiling water should be able to dislodge and clear simple clogs. Therefore, try this instant and straightforward solution first, repeating it 3 to 4 times and checking the shower drain for any changes in the water flow.

You can also combine boiling water with dish soap. For this solution, the dish soap loosens the clog while the boiling water dissolves the clog faster. Pour the soap down the shower drain, followed by hot water.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and white vinegar is effective in clearing tough clogs, so consider this natural recipe if boiling water fails. Make this natural cleaner through this procedure.

  • Mix baking soda and white vinegar. A cup each
  • Loosen the clog a bit by pouring boiling water into the drain first
  • Pour the baking soda and white vinegar mix
  • After 15 minutes, clear the broken clogs by pouring hot water into the shower drain again

3. Drain Snake

While this approach is practical, it can get messy, dirtying your shower base and clothes. Also, you will need to buy a drain snake from a hardware or plumbing store.

Usually, drain snakes are made of metal, but you can also access plastic, disposable ones. However, getting one that will serve you for a prolonged time is more economical and convenient.

A drain snake is flexible and retractable and is used to remove clogs by pushing it into the drain and then dragging it back up with the clog attached to it. The 25-inch Hair Drain Clog Remover Tool (View on Amazon) is worth considering if you are looking to buy a drain snake.

How To Use Drano Max Gel In Shower

  • With your palm, carefully push down the childproof cap while rotating it counterclockwise. Do not squeeze the bottle
  • Slowly pour 16 oz of Drano Max gel down your shower drain to clear a slow-running or partially clogged drain and 32 oz for complete clogs or an extremely slow-running drain
  • Wait for 15 minutes or extend the duration to 30 minutes if dealing with a severe problem
  • Pour hot water
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary
What can I use instead of Drano for shower?


Clean the surface or floor immediately if you spill Drano, and keep your hands, children, and face from the drains when using this chemical. Also, avoid using a plunger after or when using Drano Max Gel. (View on Amazon)

Furthermore, don’t reuse a Drano Max Gel’s empty container, and ensure you rinse it and put the cap back before discarding it.

Final Thoughts on Is Drano Safe For Shower Drains?

You can safely use Drano on your shower drains without causing damage. However, always exercise caution and avoid using it regularly because it has corrosive properties.

Also, keep yourself safe by putting on safety gear like gloves and eyewear to avoid inhaling fumes and touching Drano deposits.