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Homemade Drain Cleaner

Summary: Some people think of bleach as a homemade drain cleaner. Bleach is not an insecticide nor is it labeled for drain fly control. Pouring bleach down drains can also be dangerous to your health.

Cleaning drains with bleach has long been a popular homemade drain cleaner. But, pouring bleach down a drain to kill “drain” flies is potentially dangerous and absolutely wasteful. As a rule of thumb you should never mix household cleaning products. Bleach chemistry is dirty, and some reactions of mixing two common cleaning products might be cancer causing, especially when ammonia cleaner is mixed with bleach. Some people have damaged their lungs by mixing bleach with acid containing cleaners.

Bleach is not an insecticide. Clearly, the label on a bleach bottle says nothing


about insect control. Bleach will surely kill an insect by burning it to death, but it is not the proper use of the product. Yet, we see restaurant kitchen workers pour bleach down drains all the time without any thought about the ammonia based product that was used to clean the floor earlier in the day.

If you're wondering why you should never mix bleach and ammonia you need to do a little chemistry research. One of the byproducts is chlorine gas which was used as a chemical weapon during World War I and II. Another potential reaction which occurs when a greater amount of bleach is added than ammonia is sodium hydroxide and nitrogen trichloride. Nitrogen trichloride is a very toxic chemical to humans. You'll never get close enough to ingest it because it would probably first explode in your face.

Instead of exposing the environment to potentially harmful products just take a round toilet brush and some liquid dishwashing detergent. Use the detergent laden brush to clean the inside of the drain pipe down to the water line and rinse with cool water. Presto! Drain fly nests are gone.

Ask Rick A Question


28 Jul 2008, 23:43
Wouldn't the ammonia kill them anyway?
01 Jun 2009, 09:00
A guy came and said we have drain flies or sewer flies. they small and black and just stick on the ceiling mostly on the kitchen ceiling. We put invade down the drains periodically and killthem with peppermint spray. They sort of come and go in numbers. What do you think?
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