Homeowners can safely use commercial drain cleaners to clear infrequent small clogs. However, regular use of drain cleaners can severely corrode the interior of some types of pipes, and prolonged use may lead to a collapsed pipe.
Commercial drain cleaners should only be used to clear occasional clogs caused by cooking oils, animal fat or bones, vegetable leftovers, human waste, hair, nail clippings, plastic or paper products.
Homeowners should use extreme caution when using these drain cleaners because they are formulated to dissolve organic matter and can cause chemical burns. Drain cleaners also produce toxic fumes that can cause breathing problems that merit hospitalization.