How to Dissolve Plastic in a Drain

When it comes to tackling a clog in the kitchen or bathroom sink, you might think that pouring hot water down the drain is your best option. This could lead to an even bigger problem, though! If you pour boiling water down a plastic pipe, this can cause the plastic to become brittle and break.

How to Dissolve Plastic in a Drain

There are two other options for this not to happen: try using baking soda and vinegar separately or combine them before pouring them into the drain. They work by breaking up soap scum and hair that have built up over time and dissolving the plastics which clog drains. So your pipes will be clear of gunk with just one application! In this blog post, we will guide you through how to dissolve plastic in a drain. So keep reading this blog post till the end to get some idea.

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a synthetic material made up of polymers, which are long chains of molecules that are bonded together. It’s a versatile material used in various products like household items, packaging materials, and even pipes. However, when it gets into your drain, it can cause major clogs that are tough to get rid of.

You might be wondering, “How does plastic get into my drain in the first place?” Well, it can happen when small pieces of plastic are mistakenly thrown down the sink or shower drain. Over time, these small pieces can accumulate and form a clog that prevents water from flowing through.

Why You Should Dissolve Plastic in a Drain

If you don’t dissolve plastic in a drain, it can cause major problems in your plumbing system. As the plastic builds up and hardens, it can create blockages that are difficult to remove. This can lead to slow-draining sinks, foul odors, and even complete blockages that require professional assistance.

Moreover, if you have a septic system, plastic buildup in your drain can also lead to costly repairs and replacements. It can also harm the environment as plastic does not decompose easily and can pollute water systems.

You may also be tempted to use chemical drain cleaners to dissolve plastic, but these can be harsh and damaging to both your pipes and the environment. That’s why it’s important to explore more natural methods of dissolving plastic in a drain.

8 Reasons Why You Should Dissolve Plastic in a Drain?

Plastic is a pain to deal with, especially if you have household pets. Here are ten reasons why you should dissolve the plastic in a drain:

1. Flushing plastic down the drain can result in clogs or further problems related to sediment build-up.

2. Plastic tends to accumulate over time and causes slow-running water. That also leads to leaks, which are not suitable for your wallet, building foundation, or the environment around you. It’s good for no one.

 Recommend Using a  Chemical Drain Cleaner

3. Toxic gases can be emitted from plastics. It is an added danger for those with breathing problems, such as asthma or emphysema.

4. Animals start to chew on plastic, which can cause them to become ill and die.

5. The more you dissolve the plastic in a drain, the less time it will take to clean up your property if a disaster occurs.

6. You can save lots of time and money by dissolving plastic in a drain instead of going to the local hardware store to get a fancy product that won’t dissolve all your plastic anyway. Some products even create toxic fumes when misused.

7. Recycling plastic increases energy consumption and results in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

8. Most products that help dissolve plastics do not work well (and sometimes create toxic fumes) and are more costly than hot water, baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar.

10 Ways on How to Dissolve Plastic in a Drain:

Here are some ways how to dissolve plastic in a drain to make removing it easier later on.

1) Use Boiling Water:

Boil a pot of water and add it to the drain. The heat from the boiling hot water should melt the plastic so that when you flush it down with cold water, it will be much easier to remove. This method is best for small plastic pieces that are not too deeply lodged in the drain. It is also the easiest method since you probably already have boiling water on hand.

2) Use a Blow Dryer:

Some people theorize that if you use a blow dryer on hot and aim it into the drain for about 15 minutes, this should melt the plastic as well. I don’t know if this works or not, as I’ve never tried it myself. It sounds like it would work, though. The only downside is the noise and time it takes. You can potentially use this method if you don’t have boiling water and need to dissolve the plastic quickly.

3) Use a Plunger:

Use a plunger in a sink or shower if possible. If not a plunger, you can try using an auger (a coiled metal spiral strip) or a “snake” (auger without the handle). Put the end of the plunger in the drain and pump it to create suction. Do this repeatedly until you can’t do it anymore, then flush with hot water. If this doesn’t work, move on to another method.

4) Use a Hot Metal Rod:

Get an iron rod (or other long, fragile metal material) and heat it with a propane torch. Then, put the end of the heated metal into the drain opening and push it down to heat or melt (just enough to make it go into the drain). When you pull it back out, hopefully, there will be a hole melted in the plastic so you can flush it down (or use another method).

5) Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner:

Many people recommend using a chemical drain cleaner, such as Liquid-Plumr, and pouring it down the drain to dissolve the plastic clog. This is probably your best bet out of all 10 methods. Just make sure you follow the directions on the bottle and wear safety gear (goggles and gloves). This method is also likely to be the most effective.

6) Use a Hot Water Extractor:

Use an extractor pump (it looks like a shop vac and attaches to your sink), then pour boiling hot water and cold water on the other side. The extractor pulls the clog up from the drain so you can remove it. This is often the most efficient method, but it requires access to an extractor pump or shop vac.

7) Use a Pressure Washer:

This method only works if you have one of those nifty new pressure washers with all sorts of attachments (including one that goes into the drain). If you do, attach the hose to the pressure washer and push it into the drain. Next, turn on the pressure washer (with cold water) and aim for the clog. This should blast right through that plastic!

8) Use a Wet/dry Vac:

Attach the hose from a wet/dry vac as you push it into the drain. Then turn it on and try to suck up all of that plastic. This method is similar to the pressure washer but is often more effective if your wet/dry vacuum has a larger suction capacity than a pressure washer does. The only downside to this method is it can sometimes be hard to get the hose in the drain.

9) Use a Cable Auger:

An auger is a long metal spiral strip attached to a handle. You push and turn the handle to propel the strip into the drain and hopefully remove anything that’s stuck in there (including plastic). This method is often effective but can damage pipes if you do it too hard or too much. So, use this method only to get the rest of the plastic out.

10) Use a Hot Oil Treatment:

Mix vegetable or peanut oil with borax as you pour it down the drain. Let this mixture sit for an hour and then run boiling hot water through the drain. This should dissolve any remaining plastic clog and make your drain nice and clean once again. It’s probably also a good idea to flush the drain with hot water every few weeks just to make sure your pipes stay nice and clean. You can also use this method if you have a bunch of plastic oozed onto your shower wall or something like that.

Always Use a Machine or  a Plunger to Get Rid

Following these methods on how to dissolve plastic in a drain can help you dissolve plastic in a drain quickly and effectively. Remember, using natural methods is not only safer for your pipes and the environment but also more cost-effective in the long run. So next time you encounter a plastic clog, try one of these methods before reaching for harsh chemicals or expensive products. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!

Some Tips and Suggestions:

  1. Always use a machine or a plunger to get rid of the gunk stuck in your drains.
  2. If you use natural remedies, make sure you do not have any chemical cleaners in your drain because they might worsen the plastic.
  3. You may want to get a garbage disposal if possible because it will get rid of the plastic quickly.
  4. When shopping for a drain cleaner, make sure it is not corrosive or toxic to humans. It also needs to be effective against oil, grease, and hair.
  5. Do not use boiling water because it will corrode your house’s main components: metal, mostly steel or iron.
  6. Do not use harsh chemicals like lye because it will corrode any metal in the drain. It might even corrode some plastic but do not rely on that to happen.
  7. If you want to get rid of plastic stuck in your drain, you can try using rubber gloves and vinegar, but be warned that this will take a lot of time and effort. It would be best to use other methods that are more effective and time-saving.
  8. When trying out any of these methods, make sure you have all the necessary safety gear such as goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any potential harm.
  9. Regular maintenance of your drains can prevent plastic clogs from happening in the first place. Consider using a hair trap or regularly pouring hot water down your drains to keep them clear.
  10. If none of these methods work, it may be best to call a professional plumber who has the proper tools and expertise to remove plastic clogs without causing damage to your plumbing system.
  11. Remember to properly dispose of any plastic waste instead of flushing it down the drain. This will not only prevent clogs but also help protect the environment.  Overall, prevention is key when it comes to avoiding plastic clogs in drains. With these methods and tips, you can effectively dissolve any plastic that may have found its way into your drain and keep your pipes clean and clear for a smooth flow of water.  Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I Use Bleach to Dissolve Plastic in a Drain?

A: No, using bleach can create toxic fumes and is not effective in dissolving plastic. It can also cause damage to your pipes. It is best to use a chemical drain cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. You can also try natural remedies such as hot water and vinegar or a wet/dry vac.  It is important to always read and follow the instructions on any products you use.

Q: How Long Does It Take for Plastic to Dissolve in a Drain?

A: The time it takes for plastic to dissolve in a drain can vary depending on the type of plastic, the amount of plastic, and the method used. Chemical drain cleaners are often the most effective and can dissolve plastic within minutes, while natural remedies may take longer. The key is to be patient and persistent when removing the plastic clog. If one method does not work, try another until the plastic is removed. You may also consider seeking professional help if the situation becomes too difficult to handle on your own.

Q: Can I Use a Hair Dryer Instead of a Blow Dryer to Dissolve Plastic in a Drain?

A: Yes, you can use a hair dryer as an alternative to a blow dryer for the hot water method. Just make sure it is set on high heat and aim it towards the drain opening for a few minutes. However, using a blow dryer may be more effective as it can provide a stronger and more concentrated stream of hot air.  Additionally, make sure to wear protective gear when using heat to dissolve plastic in your drain.  It is always best to use caution and follow safety guidelines when attempting any DIY solutions. The best option may be to consult a professional plumber for assistance.  Overall, the key is to use heat carefully and in combination with other methods for the best results.

Q: Can I Use Boiling Water to Unclog My Drain?

A: Yes, boiling water can sometimes help unclog a drain by loosening any buildup or debris blocking the path. However, boiling water is not recommended if there is a plastic clog, as it can damage pipes and may not be effective in dissolving the plastic. It’s important to assess the situation and choose the appropriate method for clearing your drain.  If you are unsure or uncomfortable using boiling water, it may be best to seek professional help. You can also try other methods such as using a plunger or drain cleaner to remove the clog. 

Q: How Can I Prevent Plastic from Clogging My Drain?

A: To prevent plastic from clogging your drain in the first place, always be mindful of what you are putting down your drains. Avoid disposing of any plastic items or packaging down the drain, and never pour hot oil or grease down your sink as it can solidify and cause blockages. Install a drain guard to catch any larger debris and regularly clean out your drains to prevent buildup. Additionally, be cautious when using household items that could potentially break down and cause blockages, such as dental floss or cotton swabs. Taking preventative measures can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.  In case of an accidental plastic clog, it’s important to know the proper methods for removing it effectively.


In summary, here are the steps on how to dissolve plastic in a drain. First, you will need a bucket and some boiling water. Then pour hot water down your drain until it is full of water halfway up the pipe opening on top of the sink or bathtub. Next, place a few drops of dish soap into the bucket (or use an entire bottle).

Place the pot with boiling water over this air vent for ventilation purposes before placing it on top of your sink or tub’s drain hole so that all its steam goes directly inside. Let’s sit overnight and check back tomorrow morning! This method is effective at dissolving most types of plastics like rubber gloves, food wrappers, etc. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please post them in the comment section below. Thank you for reading!

Jennifer Branett
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