Can You Pour Bleach Down the Drain? (Find Out!)
Bleach is an essential cleaning agent in the house. You can use it to clean beddings, disinfect toilets, removing mildew and mold. But can you pour bleach down the drain, especially when dirty or disposing of the bleach?
No, you shouldn’t pour bleach down the drain. This is because bleach has volatile and toxic compounds that are dangerous and need careful handling. When you pour it down the drain, it will react with the compounds on the pipes releasing harmful fumes which can endanger your life or even burst your pipes.
Even though many people like pouring bleach down the drain, there are many reasons you shouldn’t do it. Read on and learn more about this in this informative article.
Can You Pour Bleach Down the Drain?
This is debatable as some people argue that bleach helps unclog blocked drains. However, professional cleaners don’t advise doing this as bleach has harmful compounds that can react with the pipes. Some traces of the bleach can also remain in the sink and react with your cleaning products irritating your skin or throat.
Remember bleach can help you disinfect surfaces while washing, but it is not meant to help unclog drains. If someone advises you to use it for unclogging the drain, you need to think twice. The bleach will damage your pipes and isn’t safe for your health.
However, you can use bleach to clean or deodorize the drain. You need to pour hot water afterward to kill away the germs if you do this.
Is It Harmful to Pour Bleach Down the Drain?
Yes. If you pour bleach down the drain, it will result in a harmful reaction which can be dangerous. Remember, bleach has volatile and toxic compounds that react with the elements along the drain.
So, you need to be careful lest the reaction can harm those around you. This can also lead to the release of harmful fumes, especially if you mix them with other cleaning chemicals. Such a reaction will not help you in any way. But rather clog or spoil your drains or pipes plus kill the useful bacteria on your septic system.
Furthermore, some traces of the bleach will remain on the sink. If you don’t clear away the traces, this can be a risk to other family members who will use the sink afterward without prior knowledge of this. This can cause them harm if they pour alcohol or acid on the sink as the bleach will react with the chemical. So, you need to clean the drain with lots of water if you accidentally pour bleach on it.
The Do’s When You Pour Bleach Down the Drain
If you want to dispose of bleach, it’s advisable not to pour it down the drain. But if someone advises you to use it to clear drain clogs and heed the advice, look for the best way to stop any hazardous reactions.
Note that bleach won’t unclog the drain. Instead, it will damage it, making you incur unnecessary expenses. But if you happen to pour the bleach on the drain, rinse your sink with a lot of water before pouring any cleaning product on it. If possible, dilute the bleach with water before draining it down the drain.
Alternatively, you can let the tap on then slowly pour the bleach down the drain until it’s all over. After all the bleach is over, don’t turn off the tap but allow it to run for some seconds before closing it.
Things you should do while pouring the bleach down the drain include;
- Dilute the bleach with water before draining it down
- Mix the bleach with water and not any liquid. This is because it can result in harmful reactions.
- If you pour the bleach down the drain, ensure you leave the container with no traces. Then cap it back before disposing of the container.
- Put on protective gear like masks, rubber gloves, and eye protection. You’ll be safer with these if this chemical causes a harmful reaction. The volatile compounds on the bleach will also not get into your breathing system.
Can You Pour Bleach on the Septic System?
Pouring bleach on your septic system will not solve any problem on the sewer line. Instead, it will kill the useful bacteria along with the system, making it not work properly. The bacteria on the septic system feed on the waste helping you reduce the unwanted from your household. However, if you add bleach and kill them, the waste will build up and eventually block the system. If this happens for long, your septic system will be damaged, forcing you to do repairs which can be costly.
How Can You Dispose of Bleach?
To avoid harmful fumes in the house and reduce the number of irritations you’ll get from gasses indoors, it’s advisable to dispose of them safely.
You can do this by;
- Gift your friends, neighbors, or other family members the bleach. This will prevent you from pouring the bleach down the drain, which can interfere with the air quality indoors.
- You can also donate the bleach to a nearby organization instead of pouring it down the drain. Identify a local organization like a church or nursing home, then politely request them to take the bleach and make good use of it. You can call them or go and talk to the management and then donate the bleach to avoid affecting the environment negatively.
- Alternatively, you can pour the bleach on your toilet bowl then flush it. This would be a perfect hack if you did pour less amounts of bleach.
The Don’ts When Using Bleach on The Drain
If you decide to pour bleach down the drain, you need not do something for your safety’s sake. They include;
- Don’t close the windows or turn off the fans in the room. This will help do away with volatile compounds from the bleach after reacting with other compounds.
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose while using or handling bleach.
- Never combine bleach with other chemicals or even cleaning products.
- Handle bleach with utmost care while pouring it on the drain to prevent it from splashing all over the place. Bleach can discolor your valuable items, which can be disadvantageous.
- Don’t pour bleach on your sink or shower drain regularly, as it will corrode the surfaces. Your pipes will also get spoiled over time which can be costly to replace.
Will Bleach Help Me Clear Clogs on My Drain?
No. Pouring bleach to clear up the clogs on your drain will be unfruitful. This is because it will not help you dissolve the hair, grease, food particles which cause buildup on the system, causing a blockage. However, it will corrode your pipes, cause violent reactions, or burst the drain pipes.
What Can I Use to Unclog the Drain?
If you want to unclog the drain, it’s good to check on the kind of products you’re to use. You can use various safe alternatives to bleach, like vinegar or salt. However, there is also safe chlorine-free bleach which you can pour down the drain without having any harmful reactions.
The chlorine-free bleach produces hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine gas. Such products also don’t discolor items and are safer to use. You can get these products from various supermarkets. But ensure you read the labels and ask around to get the best brand.
What Happens If Bleach Mixes with Other Elements on The Drain?
When you pour bleach down the drain, some of it will remain on the p-trap. If you don’t thoroughly clean the sink before pouring other detergents or chemicals, it will be harmful.
What Happens If You Pour Ammonia?
If you pour bleach in the drain then add ammonia to the sink, they’ll react and release toxic gasses into the air. The gas produced in this reaction is called chloramine gas, and if you inhale it, you’ll get sick. If no serious action is taken, it can lead to your death.
This gas can also cause eye, nose, or throat irritations. You may also experience difficulty breathing and coughing uncontrollably. Your chest may become painful, and you can also have pneumonia or wheezing.
What Happens If You Add Acid?
If you add acid on the drain, you’ve poured bleach; this can be a disaster waiting to happen. It will cause a volatile reaction, and the end product will be chlorine gas which has harmful effects on human beings. This gas can cause irritations on your eyes, skin and make you have difficulty breathing. You might also be nauseated with pneumonia and even die if no serious action is taken immediately.
Remember, acid can be in your household cleanings products like rust removers, toilet bowl cleaners, and drain cleaners. But the most common acid most people have around the house is vinegar.
Other substances you shouldn’t add to bleach include pesticides, toilet cleaners, acetone, and disinfectants. If you mix any of them with bleach, they’ll interfere with the air quality indoors and can also harm your health.
Some people pour bleach down the drain as they believe it helps unclog blocked sewer systems. However, this doesn’t happen as the chemical can break down the food particles or hair, which causes the blockage. Instead, it will result in the production of harmful fumes which can harm your breathing system or interfere with your skin.
Pouring this chemical down the drain will also damage your pipes, making you incur unnecessary expenses while doing repairs. However, if you happen to pour this substance, wash it with plenty of water and avoid using other chemicals in the same area.