Will Drano Unclog a Dishwasher? Let’s Find Out

In the modern home, the dishwasher has become one of the most invaluable appliances. These machines make our lives easier, and they take care of one of the most tedious kitchen tasks with ease. However, what if your dishwasher is not draining properly? Can Drano be used in a dishwasher?

Drano should never be used in a dishwasher as it is caustic and corrosive. Using Drano in a dishwasher is likely to damage the drainage pump severely. It will also destroy the rubber seals within the dishwasher. This type of damage will prevent the dishwasher from functioning correctly. 

If a dishwasher is clogged or has a grime build-up, there are ways and methods to clean it. Many people turn to Drano to help resolve these problems, but can Drano be used in a dishwasher? Will it resolve the problem? Let’s find out!

Can Drano Be Used In A Dishwasher?

Drano is a popular drain cleaning product designed to break down grease and other blockages within pipes, allowing them to be washed away cleanly and freeing up any clogs.

Many wonder if you can use Drano to unclog a dishwasher that has developed a blockage or is not draining properly? 

Drano will not clear clogged dishwashers. The obstruction may exist away from the dishwasher unless a mechanical problem exists. If your dishwasher is not draining, you should first check your sink to see if the drainpipe is clogged. If your dishwasher drains into a garbage disposal, the disposal itself may be clogged, preventing the dishwasher from draining.

The truth is, you can not use Drano in a dishwasher. The active chemical ingredients in Drano are not safe for use in a dishwasher. Drano is caustic, corrosive, and very likely to damage many parts and functions of a dishwasher severely.

Drano is very effective for unclogging pipes that have become blocked with hair, grease, food, or other obstructions. Still, none of these blockages are likely to occur in a dishwasher, making Drano an ineffective solution for this problem.

Dishwashers do not drain simply by gravity; instead, they use an internal drainage pump that expels the water from the machine. Therefore, all of the water that exits a dishwasher must go through this pump.

The blockage is likely in the drainage pump, or the pump itself has failed. Therefore, using Drano to clear a blockage in a dishwasher drainage pump is not ideal, as it will cause significant damage to this vital component.

Will Drano Ruin A Dishwasher?

Using Drano to unclog a drain is standard practice, but using this product to unclog a dishwasher is not a good idea.

Using Drano in a dishwasher will ruin the appliance. This is because the plastic components and rubber seals within a dishwasher are susceptible to damage from the ingredients in Drano. 

The internal workings of modern dishwashers are almost entirely made from plastic or rubber. There are several rubber seals throughout the appliance that make sure that water is unable to leak out. Unfortunately, these plastic parts and rubber seals will be tarnished by Drano very quickly.

Without a functioning drainage pump, the dishwasher will not pump water out after the cleaning cycle, which will cause the problem to worsen. For this reason, using Drano in a dishwasher is likely to make the blockage worse rather than help to flush it out.

If Drano is used in the machine, it will tarnish the rubber seals within the first wash cycle, which will result in the dishwasher leaking water as it goes.

All of the internal plastic components within the machine, such as the spray nozzles, are likely to be damaged by the caustic chemicals in Drano, which will further prevent the machine from functioning well.

Using Drano in a dishwasher will ruin the appliance, and it will ruin it quickly.

Why Home Inspections Are Important

Will Drano Unclog A Dishwasher?

Clogs within a dishwasher are unlikely to be caused by the same blockages in kitchen pipes or drains. Therefore, if a dishwasher is clogged, there are usually more effective solutions than using Drano to clear it.

Drano will not effectively unclog a dishwasher, as the blockage is not likely to be the type of material that Drano is designed to break down. Dishwasher blockages usually occur in the drainage pump or due to blocked filters.

Using Drano to unclog a dishwasher will severely damage the pump and any filter within the dishwasher and not solve the problem or unclog the blockage.

Suppose there is a clog in a dishwasher, either before or after the drainage pump in the system. In that case, try cleaning out the dishwasher filters, and running a cycle with white vinegar in the dishwasher will help resolve the issue.

Is It Ever Safe To Use Drano In A Dishwasher?

We have established that using Drano in a dishwasher is not a good idea, but are there any instances where you can safely use Drano for a dishwasher?

The only way to safely use Drano to help resolve a dishwasher blockage is never to allow the Drano to come into direct contact with any components of the dishwasher that the product may damage.

An example of this is if there is a blockage in the drainage pipe behind the machine that leads to the main drain line, you can use a small amount of Drano and water in the pipe to help clear the pipe’s blockage is first disconnected from the dishwasher.

Some dishwashers are plumbed into the kitchen sink drain pipe, and this is often where dishwasher blockages can occur. 

If the water drains from the dishwasher back up in the sink or sinks drain, it is safe to use Drano to clear the blockage, as it is unlikely to cause any damage to this part of the drain system.


Drano is an effective product for clearing blockages from pipes in the kitchen, but you should never use it inside a dishwasher.

The potent chemicals in Drano will cause severe damage to the machine’s inner workings, including the drainage pump, and they will tarnish the rubber seals that keep the dishwasher free of leaks.

If your dishwasher has become clogged, consider using an alternative method to clear it, check to see if the drainage pump needs to be replaced, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for completing the process.

Drano is not safe for dishwashers, but there are plenty of products that are! Take your time and find the right solution to help with this problem.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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