If you’re using lye to unclog a kitchen sink, clear the sink first. … Using a plastic spoon, pour a few tablespoonfuls of lye directly into the drain hole. Then, pour in about a quarter cup of water to disperse the lye as far as it can go. Leave it to do its job for a half hour or so then flush the drain with hot water.
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Is it safe to use lye to unclog drain?

Unclog drains with lye. … It is an effective substance for use in unclogging drains and is often one of the active ingredients in commercially available drain cleaners. Lye works because it is caustic and actually dissolves hair and grease, which are the root causes of the drain clog.

How long does it take lye to unclog a drain?

Carefully pour several teaspoonfuls of lye directly into the drain. Pour a small amount of water down after it. Let the lye and water sit and do their work for 30 or 40 minutes, and then pour boiling water down the drain.

Is lye safe for PVC pipes?

Reactions of Lye and PVC Since lye is so basic and caustic, it can harm PVC piping. The chemical should not react with the surface of the PVC piping, but if used incorrectly at high concentrations, it could eat away at a crack or flaw in the piping, causing it to fail.

Is Drano the same as lye?

Drano’s main ingredient is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, a substance that decomposes most organic matter. Hair and grease included. The lye is mixed with small shards of aluminum, creating a strong reaction that generates heat at near-boiling temperatures.

Does lye melt plastic?

Do not use polystyrene, PS, recycling code #6. Although polystyrene is chemically resistant to room temperature lye, it is not resistant to hot lye. Polystyrene is brittle and will shatter easily when dropped or bent.

Is lye better than Drano?

Commercial formulations of lye include extra stuff to make it work faster and more safely. For instance, Drano contains a mixture of lye, aluminum flecks, and sodium nitrate. … The pros of lye are that it’s effective against sticky clog-smears like what you find in kitchen sinks, as well as thick hair clogs in bathrooms.

Is lye safe for galvanized pipes?

But they’re very corrosive to pipes (including galvanized steel, copper, and iron) as well as fixtures and fittings. Lye drain cleaners also release heat (as do acid-based products) that softens and deforms plastic pipes.

How do you dissolve hardened lye?

Caustic soda is alkaline and vinegar is acidic, so it makes sense at first glance to pour vinegar into the drain and let it react with the hardened material to produce a salt that is far less harmful and will dissolve in water.

What does lye damage?

Lye can burn the skin and damage the eyes in the dry or wet form. It also releases fumes, when mixed with water, that can harm the lungs. If swallowed, lye will burn the esophagus and can cause death. Children and pets should not be allowed around lye.

What's best for a clogged drain?

If you find yourself with a clogged drain line, hot water, vinegar, and baking soda can serve as an inexpensive way to unclog it. Pour the hot water down the drain first, then baking soda, then vinegar, followed by more hot water after you’ve let the mixture sit in the drain for 10-15 minutes.

Does lye damage cast iron?

Adding water to the lye will create a chemical reaction that causes the solution to boil up furiously, potentially splashing on your skin or eyes.) … Cast iron can remain in the lye bath indefinitely without damage to the iron.

Why do plumbers hate Drano?

It is Extremely Corrosive For Your Drains When your pipes are clogged, Drano will sit on top of the clog, continually reacting and generating heat until the clog dissolves. This can put a great deal of stress on your drains as the heat can cause PVC pipes to soften and even break or collapse.

How do you make homemade drain cleaner?

Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt and pour down the drain giving you trouble. Follow by pouring 1 cup of heated vinegar down the drain (it will foam and bubble). Cover the drain with a plug or duct tape to prevent the mixture from escaping. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Does Drano Max Gel contain lye?

Drano’s main ingredient is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye, a substance that decomposes most organic matter. … The lye is mixed with small shards of aluminum, creating a strong reaction that generates heat at near-boiling temperatures.

What kind of container can I put lye in?

The container should be a sturdy, heat-resistant plastic or glass. I don’t recommend mixing lye solution in a metal container. This is because the lye solution gets incredibly hot. It’s also because lye and some metals produce a hazardous reaction.

Can you use lye in a toilet?

It is used in soapmaking and for cleaning and opening drains. If your toilet becomes clogged, sprinkling a small amount of lye in the toilet will help unclog it. Lye is used to clean and unclog drains, including those in toilets. Before using lye, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the product.

What can lye be used for?

Uses of Caustic Soda or Lye Lye is used for soap making, candle making, homemade biodiesel, frosting glass, making several foods, and for chemistry experiments.

What is the best drain opener for standing water?

Best Overall: Drano Max Gel Clog Remover Its thick formula cuts through standing water, allowing it to quickly dissolve any clogs, including those caused by hair and soap scum. Reviewers write that Drano Max “works miracles,” eliminating clogs caused by years of hair build-up and other tough plumbing problems.

What will dissolve plastic in a drain?

Use a natural drain cleaner. Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Plug the drain using a drain stop or rag, and allow the mixture to work its magic for at least an hour. Rinse with boiling water.

What is pure lye drain opener?

ComStar’s Pure Lye Drain Opener is biodegradable, odorless and a non-acid formula that is safe on fine fixture, chrome trim, metal and plastics pipes. It clears out clogged and slow moving drains, grease traps and septic systems. It will not harm septic systems or cesspools.

Why does lye make water hot?

When you are mixing the lye with water for soap making it does get very hot. That reaction is due to the attraction that lye has to water and the swapping of ions as they combine into a solution..

How do you unclog a sink with lye?

Using a plastic spoon, pour a few tablespoonfuls of lye directly into the drain hole. Then, pour in about a quarter cup of water to disperse the lye as far as it can go. Leave it to do its job for a half hour or so then flush the drain with hot water.

What is the best drain cleaner for galvanized pipe?

The best option is a drain cleaning chemical that comes with caustic soda or bauxite as the main component.

What acid do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid, is the most common acid used by plumbers to unclog drains.

How do I clear a blocked external drain?

  1. Pour boiling water down the drain.
  2. Add a cup of bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Now add a cup of vinegar and watch it start to fizz and froth.
  4. Replace the drain cover loosely and let it work its magic for a few hours.
How do you make lye solution?

  1. Weigh the Water. To begin, put on your safety goggles and rubber gloves, and make sure your work space has good ventilation. …
  2. Weigh the Lye. Place the mason jar on the scale, and zero out the weight. …
  3. Add the Lye to the Water. …
  4. Stir the Lye and Water Mixture. …
  5. Set the Lye Solution in a Safe Place to Cool.
Is baking soda lye?

It’s not lye, but it’s strong enough to irritate. Baked soda is also strong enough to make a good lye substitute for pretzels. … Many home recipes replace the lye with baking soda, but the results taste like breadsticks, not pretzels. Baked soda does a much better job of approximating true lye-dipped pretzels.

Is lye water safe?

Lye water (sometimes called ‘Lime Water’) is a strong (caustic) liquid that is safe to use in very small amounts in cooking, but it can be dangerous if lye water is swallowed undiluted straight from the bottle. It can cause severe corrosive burns to the throat, oesophagus and stomach with permanent damage if swallowed.

Is lye harmful to humans?

Lye is a caustic substance that can certainly damage your skin if you‘re exposed to it. It can cause a number of problems, such as burns, blindness, and even death when consumed.

What will dissolve hair in a drain?

Combining baking soda and vinegar is a natural way to dissolve hair clogs, without resorting to harsh chemicals. Pour a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain first, and then after a few minutes add a cup of vinegar.

How do you unclog a drain pipe without a snake?

Add one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar to the water and remove the stopper. The hot water, baking soda, and vinegar will flow down the pipes and help eliminate minor clogs. Remove the drain trap.

Does vinegar neutralize lye?

Vinegar can neutralize lye, but in doing so it generates heat as a by-product. We don’t want that reaction happening anywhere on our counter tops, floors, and definitely not the skin. There are safer ways to neutralize lye spills when making soap, my friend, so read on.

Does lye dissolve rust?

LYE does not remove rust, do the following: Soak pieces in solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water for several hours. … Remove from vinegar solution, rinse and rub/brush to determine if rust has been removed.

Can sodium hydroxide melt PVC?

In the case of sodium hydroxide, or lye, the heat may be enough to raise the temperature over the boiling point. Although the chemicals themselves are extremely caustic, it’s the heat generated by the chemical reaction that causes PVC pipes to soften and melt.

How do you unclog a PVC pipe?

Pour 1/2 cup of salt down the drain, followed by boiling water. Flush the drain with hot water. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda into your drain along with a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes after it stops bubbling, and then flush it away with hot water.

Why does my drain keep clogging?

Most bathroom drain clogs result when dirt, skin flakes, and especially hair binds to soap scum on the walls of drain pipes. Over time, this gunk accumulates and reduces water flow. … Next, try using the humble drain plunger, keeping in mind to block the over-flow drain in the tub or sink.

What happens if Drano Max Gel doesn't work?

If Drano drain cleaner doesn’t work, you may use baking soda instead. Pour a one-half cup of baking soda in your drain; after five minutes later, pour one cup vinegar, since vinegar is an effective cleaner for clogs caused by grease and soap solution buildup.