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Green Gobbler vs. Drano: Which Drain Cleaner Is Better?

In this comparison of Green Gobbler vs. Drano, I break down the key differences between these drain cleaning brands.

You’ll learn how they compare in terms of effectiveness (based on real testing), ingredients, product options, price, and more.

Plus, I answer the most frequently asked questions about Green Gobbler and Drano.

So, if you’re dealing with a clogged drain and need a solution right now, this comparison is for you.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Which Drain Cleaner Works Better?

Over the past eight months, I had two clogs in my shower drain — both caused by a combination of hair and soap scum.

Green Gobbler versus Drano Performance

I used Drano Dual Force Foamer Clog Remover for the first clog and Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover for the second.

With both Drano and Green Gobbler I poured the liquid down the drain and waited one hour before flushing with hot water.

Pouring Green Gobbler Drain Cleaner Down the Shower Drain

So, which product worked better?

I wish there was a clear winner, but the truth is that both completely removed the clogs and restored the drain. There wasn’t any noticeable difference in performance.

The only thing noteworthy is that Green Gobbler’s dual-chamber bottle has two pre-measured applications, which takes the guesswork out of using this product. With Drano, you can either pour the whole bottle or estimate half. 

There are a couple of important factors to note about my test.

First, the drains and plumbing were the same, and both caused water backup. But there is no way to replicate the exact clog twice. So, there’s no fool-proof way to know if the clog I cleared with Drano was more or less severe than the one I cleared with Green Gobbler.

Second, both brands also offer several different drain cleaners, so I don’t know whether the results would have been different if I used other products.

The key takeaway is that both brands are easy to use and highly effective.

Honestly, I wasn’t surprised by my findings. Both brands are best-sellers and have overwhelmingly positive reviews (Drano reviews, Green Gobbler reviews). And both offer a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not 100% satisfied with the results, you get a full refund.

Green Gobbler Guarantee
Green Gobbler Guarantee

What Others Are Saying

My test proved that Drano and Green Gobbler both get the job done. But that was only one example. Let’s look at how each brand stacks up, according to other experts.

In Bob Vila’s roundup of the best drain cleaners for hair, Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Remover was named the best overall due to its ability to dislodge pesky clogs. Drano Max Gel came in at number three for being the “best bang for the buck” since it can dissolve hair and soap scum in minutes.

In Good Housekeeping’s list of the best drain cleaners, Drano Max Gel was named the best overall drain cleaner. Green Gobbler Drain Opening PAC’S came in at number five as the best single-use drain cleaner.

The Spruce awarded Drano Max Gel as the best overall drain cleaner due to its heavy-duty cleaning ability. Green Gobbler Garbage Disposal & Drain Cleaner came in at number five as being the best for cleaning your garbage disposal.

The Chicago Tribune named Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Remover the best overall drain cleaner. They praised its odorless, non-flammable, and biodegradable formula and its ability to sink through water to dissolve clogs. They also recognized Drano Max Gel for its ability to start breaking down clogs in just 7 minutes. 

Ingredients and How They Work

There are three main types of drain cleaners: enzymatic, caustic, and acidic.

Enzymatic drain cleaners are a more gentle choice. Rather than using harsh chemicals to destroy the clog, this type of drain cleaner contains enzyme-producing bacteria that feeds on the clog.

Since enzymatic drain cleaners don’t contain corrosive chemicals, they are believed to be safer on pipes and less of a risk to use regularly. The main downside is that they can take significantly longer to clear a clog than other drain cleaners containing clog-attacking chemicals.

Green Gobbler is an enzymatic drain cleaner. It uses a special blend of eco-friendly ingredients that are non-corrosive and biodegradable. These products are also safe on all types of pipes, including plastic and copper. Since the formula lacks harsh chemicals, it’s unlikely to cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation.

Drano is classified under the caustic category of drain cleaners. Caustic drain cleaners use alkaline chemicals such as sodium hydroxide to dissolve the clog. This type of drain cleaner is ideal for food, grease, and soap scum clogs because the formula will cut right through the thick buildup. It’s considered safer than acidic cleaners but still contains harsh chemicals, so you should wear protective clothing while handling it.

Most Drano products are made of a blend of sodium hydroxide, sodium metasilicate, and sodium hypochlorite (bleach). These ingredients create heat, which prevents the clogs from sticking to the pipe’s sides.

Lastly, acidic drain cleaners are made with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. They’re ideal for heavy-duty clogs caused by hair, food, grease, soap scum, and even paper clogs. You shouldn’t use them on metal or old pipes as it can cause damage. You must wear protective clothing when handling this type of drain cleaner.

Let’s quickly review the main ingredients in Green Gobbler and Drano:

Green Gobbler Ingredients:

First, let’s look at Green Gobbler enzyme drain cleaner (view ingredients here).

  • Water dilutes the formula.
  • Non-ionic surfactants act as de-emulsifiers.
  • Benzisothiazolinone, Sodium hydroxide, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone are preservatives.
  • A defoamer is used to prevent the formula from foaming up.
  • Monopotassium phosphate and Dipotassium phosphate act as buffers.
  • Viable bacteria culture is the active ingredient and acts as the cleaning agent.
  • Fragrance

Drano Ingredients:

Now, let’s look at Drano Dual Force Foamer (view ingredients on WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com).

  • Water provides a liquid base for the formula.
  • Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) breaks down clogs and removes mold and mildew.
  • A Proprietary Surfactant Blend acts as the cleaning agent to remove dirt and loosen other matter so it can be rinsed.
  • Sodium Hydroxide is a caustic agent that dissolves organic matter in drain clogs.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide is used as the foaming agent.
  • Sodium Silicate is used to protect metallic surfaces from corrosion.

Product Options

Drano and Green Gobbler both offer several drain cleaning products designed for specific situations and clogs.

Let’s look at both brand’s products in detail.

Drano Product Options:

Drano Max Gel (Amazon): This is a thick formula that can cut through standing water before clinging to and breaking down tough clogs. It can eliminate clogs due to hair, soap scum, and other gunk.

Drano Kitchen Granules (Amazon): These little granules heat water to bust greasy clogs in kitchen sinks.

Drano Dual Force Foamer (Amazon): This formula combines sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide to create a robust foaming agent that removes clogs quickly. This unique formula creates a foam that fills the pipes and ensures all gunk is completely removed.

Drano Drain Cleaner
Drano Dual Force Drain Cleaner

Drano Liquid Drain Cleaner (Amazon): This works in 15 to 30 minutes to minimize or dissolve drains. It’s excellent for general upkeep. Be sure to flush with hot water afterward to get rid of leftover residue.

Drano Snake Plus (Amazon): This two-in-one product comes with a 23-inch drain snake that can loosen clogs and a gel to clear the residue and sticky bits away.

Drano Max Build-Up Remover (Amazon): This is a unique formula made with natural enzymes and bacteria (similar to Green Gobbler) to prevent clogs from forming in the first place. I recommend using this monthly to keep your drains in excellent condition.

Drano Advanced Septic Treatment (Amazon): This is another Drano product that is made with enzymes. It can break down solid waste, oil, grease, protein, paper, and more types of clogs in septic systems.

Drano Kitchen Gel (Drano.com): This is made especially for greasy kitchen clogs. The gel cuts through standing water to get rid of clogs, odors, germs, and bacteria.

Green Gobbler Product Options:

Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover (Amazon): The high-density liquid formula sticks to pipe walls to turn obstructions into liquids. It can handle oils, fats, soap scum, sludge, and other organic material, as well as hair.

Green Gobbler Liquid Drain Opener
Green Gobbler Liquid Drain Opener

Drain Opening Pacs (GreenGobbler.com): Use these pre-measured pacs to clear tough clogs. Just pour them down your bathroom or kitchen drain, wait a while, and then rinse. It can remove hair, paper, soap scum, feminine products, sludge, and cigarette butts.

Main Line Drain Opener (Amazon): This industrial-strength drain opener can clear tough clogs in toilets, sinks, baths, and showers. It liquefies hair, sludge, oils, grease, fats, paper, and other organic material in minutes.

RV, Marine & Porta Potty Treatment (Amazon): This is designed to remove horrible odors and prevent clogs. Drop a pre-measured packet into the toilet and let it do the hard work for you. You can also use it in RV toilets, marines, and Porta Potties. The water-soluble pods will destroy the clogs and horrible odors to keep the system clean.

Septic Blast (Amazon): This product can restore and recondition your entire septic system by removing tank clogs and odors. It uses powerful enzymes and bacteria to dissolve grease, fat, oils, paper, and other organic materials stuck in your tank. You can use this for emergencies and as a preventative measure to maintain the tank’s condition.

Enzyme Drain Cleaner (Amazon): If nothing else seems to be working, try this. It uses natural lipase enzymes to clear buildup in grease traps, septic tanks, and other plumbing systems.

Foaming Root Killer (Amazon): This formula targets plant and tree roots that are causing blockages in your pipes. It works by dehydrating the roots until they become brittle and can be dissolved away, leaving your pipes clear.

Price

Green Gobbler drain cleaners are generally more expensive than Drano, but the price varies by product and where you buy.

When you’re shopping for these products, look at the cost per fluid ounce. Keep in mind that you can save money by purchasing larger quantities.

In general, drain cleaners are inexpensive, so I wouldn’t base your decision about which brand to buy on the price.

To give you a better idea of how these brands compare in terms of cost, check out the chart below:

Note: These prices are pulled in real-time from Amazon. You can click the chart to learn more about each product.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

FAQs About Green Gobbler and Drano

Below are the most frequently asked questions about Green Gobbler and Drano.

What is the main difference between Green Gobbler and Drano?

Green Gobbler drain cleaners are enzymatic, meaning their formulas contain enzyme-producing bacteria that feed on clogs and slowly break them down. Drano drain cleaners are caustic, meaning their formulas contain harsh chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide, to attack and break down clogs.

What products work if I have standing water?

With Drano, the best product is the Max Gel Clog Remover, which can quickly plunge through standing water to clear your clogs. Green Gobbler’s thick liquid formula quickly cuts through standing water to reach the clog.

Are Drano and Green Gobbler products safe for all pipes?

Drano products are safe to use on plastic and metal pipes, but it will damage rubber pipes and tubes. Green Gobbler products are completely safe to use on all types of pipes and drain systems.

Are Drano and Green Gobbler products septic-safe?

All products from both brands are safe on septic systems. Also, both brands offer products that are specific for treating septic systems (Green Gobbler Septic Blast and Drano Advanced Septic Treatment)

What Drano or Green Gobbler product should I use in a slow running toilet?

Drano Max Build-Up Remover is the brand’s only product safe on toilets. Rather than the caustic ingredients found in most Drano products, this one contains clog-eating bacteria, similar to all Green Gobbler.

All Green Gobbler drain cleaners are safe to use in the toilet, but I recommend the Main Line Drain Opener. This tough formula quickly liquefies paper and other organic material in minutes.

What type of clogs do Green Gobbler and Drano work on?

Both brands have products that can remove hair, sludge, oils, grease, fat, toilet paper, and other organic materials. The Green Gobbler Foaming Root Killer is capable of dissolving tree roots.

Neither brand will work on foreign objects stuck in drains such as fabrics, metals, or plastics.

Is it safe to mix Green Gobbler and Drano with other products?

You should never mix cleaning products. Drano contains bleach, which can release toxic fumes when it mixes with other chemicals.

Likewise, you should never mix Green Gobbler with other solutions. Doing so could result in a dangerous reaction and could damage your pipes.  

What should you do if you accidentally spill Green Gobbler or Drano on your skin?

You should never mix cleaning products. Drano contains bleach, which can release toxic fumes when it mixes with other chemicals.

Likewise, you should never mix Green Gobbler with other solutions. Doing so could result in a dangerous reaction and could damage your pipes.  

What companies own Green Gobbler and Drano?

S. C. Johnson & Son, the family-owned consumer goods giant, owns Drano.

EcoClean Solutions, a Scottish eco-friendly cleaning brand, owns Green Gobbler.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Green Gobbler or Drano?

Now that you have all the details, it’s time to decide which drain cleaner is best for you.

The main difference is that Green Gobbler products are enzyme-based, which make them non-corrosive and biodegradable. Drano products, except for a couple, are caustic-based since they include harsh chemicals.

Green Gobbler’s products are a bit more versatile since they’re safe on toilets and all types of pipes, but Drano products work faster. Both brands offer a money-back guarantee — if you’re not satisfied with the results, you get a full refund.

If you’re concerned with Drano’s toxicity or want a more versatile drain cleaner, I recommend going with Green Gobbler.

If you want a drain cleaner that’s proven its effectiveness for decades and is backed by the trusted parent company S.C. Johnson, then go with Drano.

Both brands are cheap and get the job done. So, if one doesn’t work, try the other. If neither of them work, you may need a drain snake, or it might be time to contact a plumber.

You can find both brands at your local grocery and hardware stores or on Amazon at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for over a decade and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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