Can You Really Use Cola to Clear Clogged Drains?


The Short Answer Is: Pouring cola down the drain as a solution for clearing a clog is not advisable because while cola contains phosphoric acid that can break down certain substances, it is not a powerful enough or targeted drain cleaner. The high sugar content in cola may even contribute to further clogging over time by attracting debris and creating a sticky residue. Using baking soda and vinegar, boiling water, or a plumber's snake are better alternatives.

When it comes time to unclog a drain, the internet is a treasure trove of unconventional solutions. From baking soda and vinegar volcanoes to chemical concoctions that promise miracles when regular cleaners struggle, people are willing to try just about anything to avoid the hassle and cost of calling a plumber to unblock drains.

One intriguing suggestion that often pops up is the use of coca cola to clear blocked drain lines. But is this a fact backed by science, or just another myth circulating in the labyrinth of online advice?

The Claim: Cola as a Drain Cleaner

The premise behind using coca cola to unclog a drain is rooted in its acidic nature. Cola, like many soft drinks, contains phosphoric acid, which gives it a tangy flavor. Proponents of this DIY hack argue that pouring an entire bottle of this sugary liquid down a clogged drain in your kitchen sink or toilet can break down blockages, allowing water to flow freely again in just a few hours.

The idea is tempting, especially considering the accessibility and affordability of a two liter bottle of coca cola compared to calling a local plumber for Indianapolis drain cleaning.

The Science Behind Using Cola to Flush Drain Lines

To determine the efficacy of cola as a drain cleaner, it's essential to understand the science of clogs. Most clogs in household drains are caused by a combination of hair, soap scum, grease, and other debris. These substances are found naturally in the home and form a sticky, congealed mass that adheres to the pipes, restricting the flow of water.

Phosphoric acid, the key component in cola, is indeed acidic, and acids can break down certain substances. However, the concentration of phosphoric acid in cola is relatively low compared to specialized drain cleaners that use harsh chemicals like sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid - even so, chemical drain cleaning products aren't a good drain cleaner, either. Additionally, the acid in cola is not designed to dissolve the kinds of materials that typically cause blockages that slow drain lines.

The Reality: Does Cola Work?

While pouring cola down a drain may have some limited effect on minor clogs, it is unlikely to be a robust solution for more stubborn blockages. The acidic nature of cola might help to break down some organic matter, but it lacks the potency and specialized ingredients found in commercial drain cleaners.

The carbonation in cola could potentially have a minor mechanical effect. The fizzing action might help agitate and dislodge some debris, but this is far from a reliable method for dealing with serious blockages.

In reality, using cola as a drain cleaner falls into the realm of home remedies that sound good in theory but often disappoint in practice. Its effectiveness is inconsistent at best and is unlikely to compare to purpose-built solutions available on the market.

The Risks of Using Cola

While cola may not be the miracle drain cleaner some hope for, there are potential downsides to using it in this way. The sugars and additives in cola can leave behind residue that may exacerbate the clogging issue in the long run. Sticky residues can attract more debris, contributing to the formation of new blockages.

Furthermore, relying on cola as a drain cleaner might mask underlying plumbing issues. Persistent clogs could be a symptom of a more significant sewer and drain problem, such as tree root intrusion, pipe damage, or improper slope in the plumbing system. Using cola to temporarily alleviate the symptoms may delay the need for professional intervention, allowing the root cause to worsen over time.

Alternative Solutions to Clear a Blocked Drain

If cola isn't the silver bullet for your clogged drain and your drain refuses to flow again, what alternatives are available? Here are some tried-and-true home remedies:

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: This classic combination creates a fizzy reaction that can help break down debris. Follow it up with hot water to flush out the loosened particles.

  • Boiling Water: Pour boiling water down the drain to melt grease and other substances that contribute to clogs. Pouring hot water down the drain is particularly effective for minor blockages.

  • Plunger: A plunger is a basic yet highly effective tool for dislodging clogs. It works by creating pressure and suction to move blockages.

  • Plumber's Snake: For more stubborn clogs, a plumbing snake or auger can be used to physically break apart or retrieve the obstruction.

The Best Solution for a Clogged Drain - a Professional Plumber

In the world of DIY plumbing hacks, the use of cola as a drain cleaner falls somewhere between folklore and mild effectiveness. While it may offer some relief for minor clogs, it is not a reliable solution for serious plumbing issues. Instead of wasting time with these methods, schedule service from Mr. Plumber for professional Indianapolis drain cleaning services. We'll unclog your drains quickly and spare you the guesswork.

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