Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Drain Cleaners

By Brian on June 12, 2024


If you’re dealing with stubborn clogs in a commercial setting, commercial drain cleaners are often the go-to solution. These powerful products break through severe blockages and ensure smooth operation within restaurants, hospitals, apartment complexes, and other commercial properties.

Here’s what you need to know right away:
Commercial drain cleaners are designed for tough clogs.
They are safe to use when handled correctly.
Professional-grade options can reduce the need for frequent maintenance.

Why They Matter

Maintaining clean and functional drains is crucial for any business. Clogged drains can lead to unsanitary conditions, foul odors, and interruptions to daily operations. Using reliable commercial drain cleaners like those offered by Goodway can save time, reduce maintenance costs, and prevent health hazards.

How They’re Used

You can find commercial drain cleaners in liquid, gel, or even foam forms. They’re typically poured directly into the drain and work by dissolving blockages, such as grease, hair, and other debris. It’s important to follow the product instructions carefully to maximize effectiveness and ensure safety.

By understanding the basics of commercial drain cleaners, you can make informed decisions that keep your business running smoothly and hygienically. Continue reading to dive deeper into the types, mechanisms, and benefits of these essential products.

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Understanding Commercial Drain Cleaners

Commercial drain cleaners are powerful solutions designed to tackle tough clogs in high-usage environments like restaurants, hospitals, and apartment complexes. Understanding their types, chemical compositions, and mechanisms can help you choose the right one for your needs.

Types of Commercial Drain Cleaners

  1. Caustic Cleaners: These contain substances like sodium hydroxide (lye). They generate heat to dissolve grease and organic matter. Ideal for kitchen sinks and grease traps.

  2. Oxidizing Cleaners: These include chemicals like bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and peroxides. They release oxygen to break down organic material. Suitable for clearing hair and food particles.

  3. Acidic Cleaners: These are powerful and often contain sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. They are effective against tough clogs but must be handled with extreme care. Best for industrial settings where quick results are needed.

  4. Bio-Enzymatic Cleaners: These use natural enzymes and bacteria to break down organic waste. They are environmentally friendly and safe for regular maintenance.

Chemical Composition

The effectiveness of a commercial drain cleaner largely depends on its chemical composition:

  • Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH): Commonly found in caustic cleaners, it reacts with water to produce heat, which helps dissolve grease and organic matter.

  • Sodium Hypochlorite (NaClO): Found in oxidizing cleaners, it breaks down proteins and other organic materials by releasing oxygen.

  • Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4): Strong acid that can dissolve almost any clog, but it’s highly corrosive and should be used with caution.

  • Enzymes and Bacteria: Used in bio-enzymatic cleaners, these break down organic matter without harsh chemicals.

Mechanism of Action

Different types of commercial drain cleaners work through various mechanisms:

  1. Dissolving Clogs: Most drain cleaners work by breaking down the materials causing the blockage. For example, caustic cleaners break down fats and grease, while oxidizing cleaners target proteins and carbohydrates.

  2. Heat Generation: Caustic cleaners like sodium hydroxide produce heat when they react with water. This heat helps to melt grease and soap scum, making it easier to flush them away.

  3. Bio-Enzymatic Action: Enzymatic cleaners use naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes to digest organic waste. This method is slower but safer for the environment and plumbing systems.

Safety and Precautions

Given their potent chemical compositions, it’s important to handle commercial drain cleaners with care:

  • Always wear gloves and eye protection.
  • Ensure proper ventilation when using strong chemicals.
  • Never mix different types of cleaners, as this can cause dangerous reactions (e.g., mixing bleach with acid can produce toxic chlorine gas).

Understanding these aspects of commercial drain cleaners can help you choose the right product and use it effectively and safely. Next, we’ll explore the specific benefits of using these powerful tools in your commercial setting.

How Commercial Drain Cleaners Work

Commercial drain cleaners are powerful tools designed to tackle stubborn clogs. Here’s how they work:

Dissolving Clogs

The primary function of a commercial drain cleaner is to dissolve clogs. These cleaners contain strong chemicals that break down materials causing blockages. For instance, Instant Power Professional Bio-Enzymatic Commercial Drain Maintainer uses enzymes to break down grease, food particles, and other debris. This process ensures that the clog is dissolved and can be rinsed away, keeping your drains clear and functional.

Heat Generation

Some commercial drain cleaners work by generating heat. When the chemicals in these cleaners react with water, they produce heat. This heat helps to melt and break down substances like grease and fat that have solidified in the pipes. For example, when you pour a liquid drain cleaner down a slow-draining sink, the heat generated can help to break up the clog more effectively.

Bio-Enzymatic Action

Bio-enzymatic drain cleaners use natural enzymes and bacteria to digest organic waste. These cleaners are eco-friendly and safe for your plumbing. They work by introducing enzymes that break down organic materials such as fats, oils, and grease into smaller, water-soluble molecules. This action not only clears the clog but also helps prevent future blockages by keeping the pipes cleaner.

Instant Power’s Enzyme Drain Cleaner is a great example of this. It uses powerful enzymes to clear clogs without harsh chemicals, making it safe for pipes and the environment.

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Understanding how commercial drain cleaners work can help you choose the right product for your needs. Whether it’s dissolving clogs, generating heat, or using bio-enzymatic action, these cleaners are essential for maintaining clear and functional drains in commercial settings.

Next, we’ll explore the specific benefits of using these powerful tools in your commercial setting.

Benefits of Using Commercial Drain Cleaners


Commercial drain cleaners are designed to tackle tough clogs quickly and effectively. They use powerful chemicals or enzymes to break down grease, food particles, and other debris that cause blockages. This means less downtime and fewer disruptions to your business operations.

For instance, the Instant Power Professional Bio-Enzymatic Commercial Drain Maintainer uses enzymes to dissolve clogs without harsh chemicals. This ensures that your drains remain clear and functional, reducing the need for frequent cleanings.


Using a commercial drain cleaner can save you money in the long run. Regular maintenance with these products can prevent costly emergency repairs and reduce the need for professional cleaning services.

According to Forbes, the average cost of hiring a plumber to snake a drain ranges from $125 to $300. By using a commercial drain cleaner, you can avoid these expenses and keep your drains running smoothly.

Preventative Maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of commercial drain cleaners is their ability to provide preventative maintenance. Regular use can prevent clogs from forming in the first place, which helps to maintain a smooth and efficient drainage system.

For example, Go Pro Plumbing highlights that regular professional drain cleaning can eliminate stubborn clogs and unpleasant odors, extending the lifespan of your drains. This proactive approach can save you time, stress, and money in the long run.

Using commercial drain cleaners as part of your maintenance routine ensures that your plumbing system stays in top condition, reducing the likelihood of unexpected issues and costly repairs.

Next, we’ll look at how to choose the right commercial drain cleaner for your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Commercial Drain Cleaner

When it comes to selecting a commercial drain cleaner, making the right choice can prevent headaches and save money. Here are the key factors to consider:

Factors to Consider

  1. Type of Clog:
  2. Grease and Oil: Enzymatic cleaners are effective for breaking down organic materials like grease and oil.
  3. Hair and Soap Scum: Acid-based cleaners can dissolve hair and soap scum efficiently.
  4. Food Particles: For food-related clogs, a bio-enzymatic cleaner might be best.

  5. Drain Material:

  6. PVC or Plastic Pipes: Avoid highly acidic or basic cleaners as they can damage plastic.
  7. Metal Pipes: Stronger chemical cleaners can be used but always check the compatibility.

  8. Frequency of Use:

  9. For regular maintenance, opt for milder, bio-enzymatic cleaners that are safer for frequent use.
  10. For emergency clogs, a more potent chemical cleaner may be necessary.


Using commercial drain cleaners requires strict adherence to safety guidelines:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Always wear gloves and safety goggles. Some cleaners can cause serious skin and eye irritation.
  • Ventilation: Use in well-ventilated areas to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place away from children and pets. Clearly label the containers to prevent accidental misuse.

Important: Never mix different types of drain cleaners. For example, combining a bleach-based cleaner with an acid-based one can release toxic chlorine gas.

Environmental Impact

Many traditional commercial drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. Consider these eco-friendly options:

  • Bio-Enzymatic Cleaners: These use natural enzymes to break down clogs and are biodegradable.
  • Low-Flow Toilets and Fixtures: Reducing water usage can help prevent clogs and lessen the need for frequent cleaning.

Some municipalities offer rebates for using environmentally friendly products, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

By considering these factors, you can choose a commercial drain cleaner that meets your needs while ensuring safety and minimizing environmental impact.

Next, we’ll explore the common applications of commercial drain cleaners in various settings.

Common Applications of Commercial Drain Cleaners

Commercial drain cleaners are essential for maintaining the plumbing systems in various settings. Here are some common applications:


Restaurants are notorious for drain clogs. From grease to food particles, the kitchen drains face a lot of abuse. A powerful commercial drain cleaner can dissolve grease and food waste, ensuring smooth operations.

“Regular use of this product keeps drains clear and reduces the costs of frequent grease trap pumping,” says a from Go Pro Plumbing.


Hospitals need to maintain a hygienic environment, and clogged drains can be a major issue. Hair, soap scum, and other debris can block bathroom and shower drains. Using a dual-hydroxide formula cleaner can dissolve hair and create heat to melt grease, making it a great choice for hospital maintenance.

Apartment Complexes

Apartment complexes often have shared plumbing systems, which means one resident’s clog can affect many others. Regular use of commercial drain cleaners can prevent blockages and maintain smooth drainage throughout the building. This is especially important for older buildings that might have outdated plumbing systems.

In summary, commercial drain cleaners are indispensable in settings like restaurants, hospitals, and apartment complexes. They help maintain hygiene, prevent costly repairs, and ensure smooth operations.

Next, we’ll discuss safety and precautions when using commercial drain cleaners.

Safety and Precautions When Using Commercial Drain Cleaners

When using commercial drain cleaners, safety is paramount. These powerful chemicals can be hazardous if not handled correctly. Here’s what you need to know:


Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Wearing gloves is essential to protect your hands from chemical burns. Make sure the area is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling fumes. If you’re using a liquid cleaner, pour it slowly to prevent splashing.

Pro Tip: Never mix different types of drain cleaners. Combining chemicals like sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid can produce dangerous reactions, including the release of chlorine gas.


Store commercial drain cleaners in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep them out of reach of children and pets. Use original containers with labels intact to avoid confusion.

Important: Make sure the storage area is separate from food and other household items to prevent accidental contamination.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Using the right personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial. Here’s what you should have:

  • Gloves: To protect your skin from burns and irritation.
  • Safety Glasses: To shield your eyes from splashes.
  • Masks: To avoid inhaling harmful fumes.

Quick Tip: If you accidentally spill the cleaner on your skin, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice if irritation persists.

By following these safety measures, you can use commercial drain cleaners effectively and safely.

Next, we’ll explore alternatives to chemical drain cleaners.

Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can be effective, but they aren’t always the best choice for every situation. Let’s look at some alternatives: enzymatic solutions, mechanical methods, and professional services.

Enzymatic Solutions

Enzymatic drain cleaners use natural enzymes and bacteria to break down organic materials like grease, food particles, and hair. These cleaners are eco-friendly and safe for your plumbing. They work slower than chemical cleaners but are less harmful to the environment and your pipes.

Example: The Instant Power Enzyme Drain Cleaner is a popular choice. It uses powerful enzymes to clear clogs without harsh chemicals, making it safe for regular use.

Mechanical Methods

Mechanical methods involve using tools to physically remove blockages. Here are some common options:

  • Plunger: A simple tool for minor clogs in sinks and toilets.
  • Drain Snake: A flexible rod that can reach deep into pipes to dislodge obstructions.
  • Hydro-Jetting: Uses high-pressure water to clear stubborn clogs and clean the pipe walls.

Case Study: A restaurant in Sacramento had recurring grease clogs. They used hydro-jetting to clear the pipes and scheduled regular maintenance to prevent future issues.

Professional Services

Sometimes, DIY methods aren’t enough. Professional drain cleaning services offer a thorough and systematic approach:

  1. Initial Inspection: Professionals use in-line cameras to locate and diagnose the problem accurately.
  2. Drain Cleaning Techniques: Depending on the clog, they might use snaking, hydro-jetting, or roto-rooting.
  3. Post-Cleaning Inspection: Ensures the drain is completely clear and functioning properly.

Quote: “By entrusting this task to a professional, you can avoid the hassle and potential mistakes of DIY methods,” says a Go Pro Plumbing expert.

These alternatives to chemical drain cleaners offer effective solutions while being safer for your plumbing and the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Commercial Drain Cleaners

What types of clogs can be handled by commercial drain cleaners?

Commercial drain cleaners are designed to tackle a variety of clogs. These include:

  • Hair and Soap Scum: Often found in bathroom drains, hair mixed with soap can form a sticky substance that blocks pipes.
  • Food Waste and Grease: Common in kitchen drains, food particles and grease can accumulate and solidify, causing significant blockages.
  • Foreign Objects: Items like small toys, jewelry, and paper products can accidentally find their way into the drainage system, leading to severe clogs.

Fact: Hair and soap scum are among the most frequent causes of drain clogs, especially in commercial settings like apartment complexes and hotels. Source

How often should commercial drain cleaners be used in maintenance schedules?

The frequency of using commercial drain cleaners depends on the type of establishment and the amount of use the drains get. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Restaurants: Monthly or bi-monthly, due to the high volume of food waste and grease.
  • Hospitals: Quarterly, to ensure hygiene and prevent clogs from medical waste.
  • Apartment Complexes: Every six months, to maintain efficiency and prevent buildup.

Tip: Regular maintenance can prevent emergency situations and extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. Source

Are there environmentally friendly commercial drain cleaners?

Yes, there are environmentally friendly options available. These include:

  • Bio-Enzymatic Cleaners: These use natural enzymes and bacteria to break down organic waste without harmful chemicals.
  • Mechanical Methods: Techniques like hydro-jetting use high-pressure water to clear clogs, eliminating the need for chemicals.
  • Professional Services: Hiring a professional service ensures the use of appropriate and eco-friendly methods.

Note: Bio-enzymatic cleaners are particularly effective for maintaining grease traps and preventing organic buildup. Source

By understanding the types of clogs, maintenance schedules, and eco-friendly options, you can make informed decisions about using commercial drain cleaners effectively.


When it comes to maintaining your commercial drainage systems, Go Pro Plumbing is your trusted partner. We understand the unique challenges faced by businesses, from grease trap cleanings to main sewage pipe clogs. Our expertise ensures your drains are always in top condition.

Customer Service

At Go Pro Plumbing, customer satisfaction isn’t just a goal—it’s our promise. We pride ourselves on delivering top-notch service with a team of experts who tackle everything from simple repairs to complex installations. Our commitment to quality workmanship and exceptional customer service sets us apart. As one happy customer, Mike Accer, shared, “Go Pro Plumbing helped me and my family in an emergency situation and got the job done quickly. I will use them again for future plumbing issues.”

Same-Day Service

Emergencies don’t wait, and neither should you. That’s why we offer same-day service, seven days a week. Whether it’s a burst pipe at 2 am or a clogged drain on a Sunday, our quick and efficient response ensures your issues are resolved swiftly. Our stellar track record on platforms like Angi and Yelp speaks volumes about our reliability and dedication.

For dependable, customer-focused plumbing services, look no further than Go Pro Plumbing. Schedule your commercial drain cleaning today and experience the difference of working with true professionals.

By choosing Go Pro Plumbing, you ensure your commercial drainage systems are in expert hands, providing peace of mind and uninterrupted business operations.

Category: Home Maintenance