The Best Drain Cleaner for Tubs: Including Safer Alternatives

Updated by Lynda Stevens

I noticed my bathtub no longer drains as quickly as before. I had a suspicion that the drainpipe is already full of residue and scum, so I asked a plumber friend for some recommendations.

He gave me a few options, but he also told me to search online before I make a decision. I did extensive research about my problem because, as much as possible, I no longer want to use harsh chemicals.

I rounded up four drain cleaners based on reviews, and tried each one of them. I want to find out which among the four is the best bathtub drain cleaner for me. Check what I discovered.

I choose Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener because of its potent, odorless chemical that unclogs my tub drain efficiently. However, because it’s an active hydroxide, I had to take precautions because it’s a health hazard.

Our Best Bathtub Drain Cleaners Are:

ProductDetails
1.Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener

  • 99% pure lye beads, food-grade, biodegradable, industrial strength
  • Cleans out cesspools, septic systems, grease traps, and drains safely
  • Doesn’t contain water, dyes, or needless fillers
  • Odorless, non-acid formula suitable for plastic pipes, chrome trim, and delicate fixtures
  • Available in 1 lb., and 2, 5, and 55 gallons
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2.XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener

  • Innovative technology clears out blockages without emitting toxic gases
  • Biodegradable, non-flammable, odorless
  • No burning, sharp after smell
  • Non-corrosive
  • Meets environmental safety standards
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3.Instant Power Hair and Grease Drain Opener

  • Suitable for drain clogs caused by grease and hair
  • Safe for all types of pipes, including PVC pipes
  • Overnight treatment of the drain dissolves clogging material efficiently
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4.Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Cleaner

  • A high-density chemical solution that liquefies dense drain blockages
  • Dissolves oils, grease, soap scum, hair, paper products, and baby wipes easily
  • Doesn’t damage pipes and septic systems
  • Odorless, non-irritating to the skin, and non-flammable
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Check Current Price

 

1. Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener

I tried the Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener because it has many positive reviews. I wanted to find out if it works for my bathtub drain.

I discovered that it’s pure lye, which is the best drain cleaner for tub because it’s an efficient hydroxide. It can dissolve anything that can cause blockage in the bathtub. Moreover, this chemical is even a useful ingredient in soap making.

I like that, even though lye is a powerful chemical, it’s odorless, unlike other cleaning material I’ve used to clean my bathroom. Moreover, it doesn’t leave any residue but can eliminate stinky odors caused by the blockage. I also like that it’s biodegradable, and I also discovered that it doesn’t emit fumes or irritate the skin.

This product is safe for all fixtures and pipes because it’s non-acidic. However, if you plan to use it, you should read the label first. You can’t mix it with hot water, because the mixture will turn to wax and damage your pipes.

If there’s one flaw that I can think of, it’s not a fast-acting solution to clogged bathtubs; however, it’s worth the wait because it will remove any blockage in your drain.

Specs

  • 99% pure lye beads, food-grade, biodegradable, industrial strength
  • Cleans out cesspools, septic systems, grease traps, and drains safely
  • Doesn’t contain water, dyes, or needless fillers
  • Odorless, non-acid formula suitable for plastic pipes, chrome trim, and delicate fixtures
  • Available in 1 lb., and 2, 5, and 55 gallons

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Easy to use, as long as you follow the instructions
  • Clears slow-moving and clogged drains

Cons

  • One 1-lb pack is good for two uses only
  • Hazardous, so it requires strict compliance to instructions

If you’re searching for a bathtub drain cleaner that works, you may try the Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener. It’s 100% pure lye, so it dissolves anything that blocks your drain.

Moreover, it’s odorless and won’t trigger your allergies. However, it’s a dangerous chemical, so you have to ensure that you follow the instructions strictly to avoid any accidents.

Overall Rating: 4.3

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2. XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener

I also tried the Xionlab Safer Drain Opener and discovered that it could dissolve grease and hair quickly. The chemical solution efficiently clears away scum or residue from my bathtub drain.

I read the label and learned that it’s not suitable for food particles, plastics, and paper, so I didn’t use it for my toilet bowl and kitchen sink. I had to buy another product for my other drainage issues.

The gel liquid didn’t splash around when I poured it down the tub drain. I learned that it would remain the pipes for a few days to prevent scum buildup.

I also like that it’s biodegradable, so I don’t add to the problems of the environment. It doesn’t have any poisonous chemicals that can pollute the water or damage the drainage system. I didn’t even notice any burnt after-smell.

However, I find this product costly. I searched online for other products and discovered that they’re cheaper than this Xionlab Safer Drain Opener.

Specs

  • Innovative technology clears out blockages without emitting toxic gases
  • Biodegradable, non-flammable, odorless
  • No burning, sharp after smell
  • Non-corrosive
  • Meets environmental safety standards

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Exemplary customer service
  • Works well if instructions followed strictly

Cons

  • Not suitable for food particles, plastics, and paper
  • Can cause burns on contact, harmful if swallowed
  • Expensive

If you’re willing to pay more for a drain opener that works, you may try the Xionlab Safer Drain Opener. It works well on hair and grease buildup quickly.

It’s environmentally-friendly and has no burnt after-smell. However, it isn’t suitable for the toilet and kitchen sink. Moreover, you can find cheaper alternatives online and in stores.

Overall Rating: 4.2

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3. Instant Power Hair and Grease Drain Opener

I like the Instant Power Drain Opener because it effectively removed grease and hair scum from my bathtub drain. It’s safe, non-acidic, and ready to use. I didn’t have to mix it with anything before using it.

It’s also cost-effective because one liter can last for more than two uses. It’s also suitable for all pipes and drains because it won’t damage them.

One effective way of using this product is to leave it for a few minutes after pouring down the drain. It won’t damage even PVC pipes. However, you have to follow the instructions on the label to avoid any hazards that the Instant Power may cause due to improper usage.

Specs

  • Suitable for drain clogs caused by grease and hair
  • Safe for all types of pipes, including PVC pipes
  • Overnight treatment of the drain dissolves clogging material efficiently

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No toxic fumes or odors
  • Works efficiently if you strictly follow instructions
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Requires overnight treatment to work effectively
  • Hazardous chemical so requires utmost care in using

I’ve read many excellent reviews about this product, so I tried it to see for myself. I’ve proven that the Instant Power Hair and Grease Drain Opener indeed works.

If you want an inexpensive drain cleaner for your tub, you may try it. Just follow the instructions on the label to take advantage of its power to remove grease and hair scum.

Overall Rating: 4.3

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4. Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Cleaner

Green Gobbler Ultimate works on sinks, toilets, sinks, showers, tubs, and main lines. I like its non-caustic solution, and I want to skip using sodium hydroxide, so I opted for this product as a safer alternative.

Its high-density formula is safe for pipe walls while dissolving obstructions rapidly. I like that it dissolves organic matter, soap scum, paper, oil, hair, and grease easily. However, this best bathtub drain cleaner is expensive.

Specs

  • A high-density chemical solution that liquefies dense drain blockages
  • Dissolves oils, grease, soap scum, hair, paper products, and baby wipes easily
  • Doesn’t damage pipes and septic systems
  • Odorless, non-irritating to the skin, and non-flammable
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Pros

  • Unclogs drains without emitting toxic fumes
  • Huge savings because you don’t need to hire a plumber
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Expensive

If budget isn’t an issue, you may try the Green Gobbler Ultimate Drain Opener because it has a non-caustic formula. It’s safe for your drain pipes, and obstructions dissolve quickly.

Overall Rating: 4.1

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Bathtub Drain Cleaner Buying Guide

Let me update with you some information about drain cleaners. You can use what you learn in case you’ll want to try other cleaning materials for your tub.

Common Materials That Clog The Bathtub Drain

  • Hair: Hair strands can sneak into your drain and sink, and over time, they will block your pipes.
  • Soap scum: Soap residue in the tub drain solidifies and sticks to the pipe walls. Accumulated soap scum can cause pipe blockage.
  • Hard water: Water with minerals or hard water can attach to the pipe walls to form a hard mess that will result in blockage.
  • Dirt, debris, and sand: Over time, accumulated debris, dirt, and sand can cause a blockage.
For instance, if you’ve come from the beach, you may jump into the tub immediately. Water will wash away sand particles and pass through the tub drain.

Types of Drain Cleaners

Enzymatic-Based Cleaners

Enzymatic cleaners use enzymes to break down stains. Amylases break down starches and carbohydrates, proteases work on protein-based stains, and lipases tackle oil-based stains or fats.

Fast-Acting Chemical-Based Cleaners

Chemical-based cleaners are products that you pour into a clogged tub, sink, or shower. They are thick and dense with a foaming action that attacks the clog.

If you use them properly, they can soften and break down the buildup of materials for efficient flushing.

Active Ingredients of Chemical-Based Cleaners

  • Bases like lye or caustic potash
  • Oxidizing agents like bleach
  • Acids like sulfuric acid

Safety Considerations

  • Use the cleaner in an open, well-ventilated area.
  • Pick the right cleaner for your needs because the wrong chemicals can lead to costly repairs.
  • Always read the label for information.
  • Chemical-formulated drain cleaners often have strong odors, so you have to take extra precautions.

Final Thoughts

Slow-draining tubs are a perennial problem for everyone. If you’re having this issue, you may try what I believe is the best drain cleaner for tub, the Comstar Pure Lye Drain Opener.

It’s pure lye, so it effectively solves clogged tub drains. However, you must ensure that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

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