Does Bio-Clean Work to Unclog a Drain? I Tested It.

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Does Bio-Clean Unclog a Drain?

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have been on a quest for a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly way to unclog our constantly-clogging bathtub drain. First I tried the vinegar and baking soda drain clearing trick. Then I tested the Dawn dish soap drain hack. Next I tested out a product called Eco Punch Drain Clog Dissolver. I haven’t been super impressed with the results of any of these products or methods. This time on the recommendation of some readers I am testing a new product I ordered online. So does Bio-Clean work on a drain as ridiculously difficult as my shower? Let’s find out.

What is Bio-Clean?

A couple readers of the blog recommended that I try an enzymatic/bacterial drain cleaner. Apparently these types of drain openers have microorganisms that actually eat the nasty stuff in your pipes. I found this brand called “Bio-Clean” on Amazon, and it looked pretty interesting. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) required by OSHA lists that there are no hazardous chemicals in it, and it’s safe for septic systems, grease traps and the like.

From the Bio-Clean website:

Within an hour after pouring the bacteria into the drain, the bacteria begin to eat their way into the waste that has accumulated on the sides and top of the drain pipe. This is their natural food. They digest the waste and spread throughout your system, cleaning it completely.

Sounds pretty cool, but does it really work? Let’s see.

Testing Bio-Clean

I like to do things scientifically, so I always run these drain cleaner tests by checking the water draining time before and after treatment.

The Control Test

I created a mark on the side of the tub with some masking tape.

Filling bathtub to tape line.

I plugged the drain and filled the tub with water until it was level with the bottom of the tape marker.

Then I used the stopwatch on my phone and started it as soon as I pulled out the plug and timed how long it took to completely drain. It took 4 minutes and 28 seconds to drain.

Pretty slow (as always). Let’s see if we can improve that.

The Bio-Clean Drain Test

Bio-Clean comes as a dry product, sort of the consistency of finely ground cornmeal and it comes with a little one-teaspoon scooper. For a shower/tub drain, the directions recommended one teaspoon of Bio-Clean in a pint (2 cups) of warm water. I found a leftover plastic pint container which made it easy to measure the water, I simply filled it to the top. I stirred the powder into the warm water, made sure it had dissolved and then poured it down the drain.

The instructions recommended to let it sit in the drain for at least 6-8 hours before using the shower again. So I let it sit overnight. It’s also recommended that if this is a first-time use of the product, that it be used for 5 days in a row, then once a month as maintenance. I am going to do that, but in the meantime, I want to test it after one application to see if there is any difference already, to do an apples-to-apples comparison with the other methods I tried.

Test Results

The Bio-Clean sat in my shower drain overnight, for well over 8 hours. I flushed some water through it and then filled up the tub with water again, timing how long it took to drain.

Result after 1st treatment: 4 minutes and 6 seconds. So an improvement of 22 seconds. This is actually a considerably better result than my previous attempts with vinegar, dish soap and Eco Punch, so I am encouraged. I decided to go ahead and use it a second night in a row and tested the drainage time again the following day.

Result after 2nd treatment: 3 minutes and 57 seconds. So only an improvement of 9 seconds this time, but since I am still seeing improvement, I am going to go ahead and do the recommended 5-day treatment and then do one more test at the end of that time.


Check back in a few days to see my final results!

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