The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Sulphuric Acid for Cleaning Drains

Some people love to use sulphuric acid since it can get rid of most minor blockages found in a drain. There are certainly pros in using this chemical solution but it’s not a perfect cleaner. It also has some cons which can actually endanger your health. Gain a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using sulphuric acid below.

  • Advantages

Able to remove most small and medium blockages

Small-sized blockages are generally something you shouldn’t worry about, but it can be annoying. Sulphuric acid can remove most minor blockages, but shouldn’t be applied to heavy obstructions.


One of the main reasons why many homeowners like using sulphuric acid and other chemical drain cleaners is because it doesn’t require a lot of effort. All you need to do is pour the solution in the drains and leave it for a couple of minutes. After pouring the chemicals, you can just wash it off by running water into it. You clearly don’t have to be a licensed plumber to do such a task.

You don’t need to use plumbing tools when cleaning or clearing the drain

Plunging tools are actually easy-to-operate but it does require a bit of strength to use. It’s also time-consuming when you’re trying to remove a stubborn blockage. Sulphuric acid is able to remove most blockages without much effort. Many people just use sulphuric acid without any aid from plumbing tools to clear out their drains.

  • Disadvantages

It’s very toxic

Direct contact with the acid can cause irritation or even burns. We suggest you wear high quality protective gloves when handling this chemical. Even if you’re wearing gloves the fumes can still impact your body — especially the respiratory system. You will be releasing the toxic fumes the moment you open the acid’s container. Breathing the acidic vapour is very dangerous so wear a mask. You should also make sure there is proper ventilation in the room. The fumes can linger even after a few hours, which is why ventilation is important. Apart from your lungs, your eyes will also be irritated.

The chemicals can linger and cause problems later on

Sometimes the sulphuric acid that’s poured can stay on the drain line. This can cause trouble when you’re finally plunging tools since the acid might splash. You must not pour sulphuric acid in drains that have a garbage disposal. Not only will the chemical compounds damage the unit but also cause the blades to splash the acid as it turns.

The acid can kill bacteria in your septic system

Do you use a septic system for waste treatment? If so, then you should consider avoiding using sulphuric acid or any other chemical products. The strong components of these substances can kill off important bacteria in your septic system. You may not know this but a septic system actually needs bacteria to function. If you have already poured a lot of chemicals in the septic system then you should have it flushed out. Hire a plumber to clean the septic tank. You should also let the plumbers inspect the septic system for any problem.