Can You Use Drano In The Dishwasher?

By Cory White

Drano is a liquid plumbing solution for unclogging drains. It is commonly used to unclog shower drains and sinks because of its ability to dissolve organic material in a short space of time.  It contains bleach, sodium hydroxide, and other substances which react and result in a very hot solution that can dissolve stubborn grease and other materials like hair.  So, can Drano be used in a dishwasher that is clogged up and not draining? The simple answer is no. You should never use Drano or any other liquid plumbing solution in your dishwasher. 

Can Drano be used in the Dishwasher?

If it’s a matter of choice, you can use Drano in your dishwasher. But you might as well say goodbye to the dishwasher and buy a new one as soon as you make the bad decision to use Drano. 

So now that we know that Drano does not belong in a dishwasher, why can’t Drano be used?

Drano is very dangerous to your health and your dishwasher. Drano can make you sick and potentially kill you if you end up swallowing it by mistake. 

Drano is also capable of destroying your dishwasher’s parts beyond repair.


Using Drano seems to be a great way to save some money. But if you ever use Drano in your dishwasher, you’ll end up spending a lot more than you had planned to save. 

Will Drano ruin the Dishwasher?

Yes, Drano will spoil your dishwasher beyond repair. It may look like a simple hack to use Drano when your dishwasher is clogged somewhere. 

This is why Drano is not recommended to be used in a dishwasher. Drano contains sodium hydroxide which reacts with water to create very high temperatures that can melt parts of your dishwasher. 

So if you intended to get a quick fix, imagine what will happen when the Drano melts your drain pump and your dishwasher now can’t pump anymore. 

Unlike clogged shower drains, your dishwasher uses a drain pump to drain out the dirty water. This means that if the Drano has spoiled your pump, you now have a much bigger problem. 

The dishwasher is made up of plastic parts and rubber seals. These can easily be melted by Drano. This will result in a dishwasher that is leaking because the seals are messed up. The pump will be melted too. 

If you intended to save time and money by using Drano to fix a dishwasher that won’t drain, you are going to end up spending a lot more money buying a new dishwasher. 

Will Drano unclog the Dishwasher?

Drano will not unclog your dishwasher. Here’s why. The dishwasher can fail to drain because of a clog somewhere in the dishwasher. 

It could be a problem with a clogged filter or a clog in the drain pump. Remember Drano is meant to dissolve stuff like hair in shower drains.

Drano is so harsh that it’ll destroy your filter which will lead to more clogging in the future. 

Let’s say you have a faulty check valve, no amount of Drano will unclog the drain hose because the water won’t be able to leave the dishwasher. 

Using Drano won’t fix a faulty drain pump! Read our previous articles that can help you to unclog a dishwasher that is not draining. 

Common solutions to this problem include cleaning your dishwasher’s filter, unclogging the drain hose, replacing a faulty motor and so many more. 

If you’re in doubt, follow your dishwasher’s user manual. There is nothing in there that recommends the use of Drano. 

Is it safe to use Drano in the dishwasher?

No, it’s absolutely not safe. 

Drano contains strong chemicals like sodium hydroxide that cause poisoning when you swallow them. 

Even a small amount of Drano that stays on your dishes can end up being ingested. Drano is capable of staying in a place for months. 

This is why plumbers ask you if you’ve used Drano in the past few months. Plumbers know that Drano is dangerous and if it comes into contact with your skin it could burn you. Remember Drano can dissolve hair and organic stuff in minutes, how about your delicate skin?

Drano could end up on your hands. Your hands touch your eyes so many times and if Drano gets into contact with your eyes, it will lead to irritation and other long-term problems. 

You just can’t be sure that Drano has left the dishwasher even months after using it. 

Drano is also not safe because it will weaken and destroy the PVC plumbing in your house. Continued use of Drano will eventually lead to broken pipes and leakages in your house. 

Does Drano have any side effects?

Yes, Drano has plenty of side effects on your health. 

If the fumes that are created by the chemical reactions of Drano are breathed in, they’ll affect your lungs. Some side effects include difficulty in breathing and increased heart rate. 

Drano, if ingested will lead to stomach cramping because of the poisoning. 

If Drano gets into your fingers and then you touched your eyes, you will end up with irritations in your eyes. There’s also a possibility that you can go blind. 

Drano also has negative effects on the environment. When it ends up in the drain pipes and into a sewage system, it could end up in a water body. This means that the harsh chemicals can kill the organisms that stay in the water. 

Alternatives to Drano

1. Snaking

There’s a tool commonly used to unclog drains called a snake. It’s very effective if you want to unclog a dishwasher’s drain hose, the garbage disposer, or the sink. 

It does not have the negative side effects of using Drano. 

2. Hot water and dish soap

A good old-fashioned combination of hot water and dish soap can help unclog a dishwasher’s filter or drain hose that has been clogged with grease. 

Wash your clogged and greased dishwasher parts under hot water. It won’t destroy your filter and melt your pump. 

This combination is safe and also has no side effects on your health. 

3. Vinegar and baking soda

This combination is a much greener alternative as compared to using Drano in your dishwasher.

It is also very safe and it has no side effects.

Mix a cup of vinegar with one cup of baking soda and put the mixture in the dishwasher. Run a wash cycle. This will help break down the grease that has built up in your dishwasher. It’ll also not melt your plastic components. 


Drano cannot be used in your dishwasher. 

It looks like a quick fix but when it comes to appliances that are made of plastic parts, Drano will destroy your appliances. 

Follow your dishwasher’s user manual to unclog any part. 

You’d rather call a plumber to unclog your dishwasher than use Drano. 

Drano is not recommended to be used in the dishwasher because it spoils it. It’s not good for the environment too. It’s not good for your plumbing system because it can break pipes and lead to leakages. 

If you decide to use Drano in your dishwasher, please be ready to buy a new one.

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