Does Bleach Unclog Drains? Should You Use This Method At All?

Does bleach unclog drains? Or does Clorox unclog drains?

Using bleach to remove clogs is among the top 5 hacks most people would actually recommend. What is more, if you are on TikTok [1], you have probably alreday seen some of the biggest influencers out there pouring a mix of bleach and dish soap down their drains to remove clogs.

Sure thing, you already have some bleach in your home so why wouldn’t you try this trick right away? Actually, nothing is as it seems and you might want to dive deeper into this topic and learn more about bleach in the first place.

That is why we are here – to explain does bleach help clogged drains, should you just pour beach down the drain without any thinking or is there a catch, and what should you use bleach for, if not for removing the drain clogs.

Does Bleach Unclog Drains?


In a nutshell – not really. You can use bleach for killing germs, deodorizing, and sanitizing your drains, which might reduce the chance of forming a clog. How do you do that? Pour a cup of bleach down the drain, then follow with a bucket of hot water. However, once the clog is there, bleach won’t do much.

Some of the things that are most likely to cause drain clogs – washcloth bits, toothpaste, and some foods are, so said, immune to bleach. Bleach simply can’t eat through some of these, which is, we know, a little bit confusing but let us explain our claim in detail down below.

Bleach is made of chlorine-based compound sodium hypochlorite and water [2], and it is a powerful cleaning solution when mixed with other cleaning agents. For instance, the bleach you use to wash your clothes is much weaker than chlorine and bleach does great when it comes to cleaning swimming pools, but still, can’t help with clogged drains.

However, what is the exact reason why bleach can’t be used for unclogged drains? As we mentioned above, bleach is one of the ingredients of the most efficient drain cleaning agents, meaning – you just can’t rely on bleach alone but use it with other ingredients to unclog your drains.

Here’s an interesting fact – bleach can dissolve hair! Hair is acidic, bleach is basic, and basics can dissolve anything with acidic properties. Once bleach gets into contact with hair (provided this is not a major hair+grease clog), it will eat through it in about half an hour. And, if you’re currently trying to fight a drain clogged with hair.

Is It Okay To Pour Bleach Down the Drain?


It is okay to pour bleach down the drain as long as you use it carefully and properly. As an example, pouring bleach down your toilet, if you are on a septic system, can damage it long-term. That is because your septic system needs bacteria [3] to break down waste while bleach kills this bacteria. If the breakdown of solid waste is paused, you may experience a major clog or, even worse, this waste will spill out into your yard.

On the other hand, when you mix other cleaning fluids with bleach and pour them down the sink, this can create toxic gasses within your pipes. These gasses can get back and contaminate the air in your kitchen and your home.

Going back to TikTok and mixing bleach and dish soap… Mixing the two can be particularly dangerous because there is ammonia in dish soap. When bleach mixes with toxic chloramine gas, it creates fumes that could harm you if you inhale them.

If your drains are corroded or a bit old, using bleach might not be the wisest move to make. Bleach can even make new drains corrode if you use it too often and leave it on for too long.

But, if you still want to use bleach to sanitize your drains, always use eco-friendly bleach and use it every once in a while – the less often the better. The second most important thing to do is to ventilate the room after pouring bleach down your drains.

Can Bleach Unclog Shower Drain?


Bleach can unclog minor shower clogs. Pour one cup of bleach (do not dilute it) down the drain. Wait for around 20 minutes to 1 hour maximum (if you are fighting a major clog). Waiting for any longer than 1 hour could make your pipes corrode. Once you think the clog is gone, turn on the faucet and let hot water dilute and neutralize the bleach. Just in case the clog is still there, hot water could also help with unclogging it.

Does Clorox Unclog Drains?

No, Clorox doesn’t necessarily unclog drains. Clorox is just another name for bleach sold by an American company under the same name. It doesn’t contain any other ingredients that could boost its power. It’s just – this company is so widely popular that people think regular bleach is inferior to Clorox, while there is no difference between these products.

What to Use Instead of Bleach to Unclog Drains?


  • Snake

The simplest and fastest way to remove a clog is to use a snake. You can use this method without worrying about whether you would damage the plumbing.

  • Plunger

Plungers make it super-easy to pull out anything that is causing the clog in your drains. Just like you would use a plunger to unclog your toilet, you can also use its vacuum suction to unclog any other blockage.

  • Dish Soap

Mix some dish soap (Dawn dish soap seems to be the best option when it comes to grease or fat blockages) with lukewarm water, pour it down the drain, follow up with hot water, and there is a great possibility you’ll remove that nasty drain in one-two-three.

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar

Using baking soda and vinegar is a budget-friendly option for removing drain clogs, and, typically, way more efficient than using bleach. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow with a cup of vinegar. Alternatively, you can use a mix of baking soda and ¼ cup of bleach.

Either way, you’ll produce a fizzing reaction that should make the clog disappear within several minutes. We highly advise you never mix vinegar and bleach, because doing that can create a strong reaction in the pipes and potentially damage them.

  • Commercial Drain Cleaner

If nothing helps, you can always give a commercial drain cleaner a try. Most commercial drain cleaners are formulated in a way they don’t cause corrosion to pipes, which makes them a safe option.

Is Drain Cleaner The Same As Bleach?

No, drain cleaners and bleach are two different things. Drain cleaners typically consist of bleach besides other ingredients. However, mixing bleach and drain cleaner in the same ratio could be dangerous. Some drainage cleaners contain acids that, when mixed with bleach, can produce poisonous gasses so be careful.


The answer to the question does bleach unclog drains is – no, it can’t (most of the time).

You can use bleach occasionally to keep your drains sanitized, and only under the condition that your pipes arent’ corroded or old while there’s very little chance it will remove anything besides minor clogs in your pipes.