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Does Drain Cleaner Kill Roaches: 2 Types [Fully Explained]

does drain cleaner kill roaches

Last Updated on November 14, 2023

Trying to rid your home of roaches is definitely a panic. With their penchant for wet environments like drains, have you ever thought about using drain cleaner as a solution?

Chemical drain cleaners are an effective way to zap them, but they can be harsh on surfaces and people, while natural cleansers may work too. Households can take the fight against cockroaches into their own hands with homemade solutions for killing and removing these pests.

Here, we’ll dive into the world of drain cleaners and explore their advantages & drawbacks when it comes to eliminating pesky pests.

Does Drain Cleaner Kill Roaches: Types Explained

Cockroach control types and effects of drain cleaners

Drain cleaners are a common household item used to open up clogged drains and keep them free from debris, dirt, and blockages. But did you know that there are different types of drain cleaners, each of which has its own set of effects on roaches?

Let’s take a look at the types of drain cleaners and how they affect roaches.

1. Acidic Drain Cleaners:

Acidic drain cleaners contain strong acids such as phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, or sulfuric acid. While these acids can effectively clear clogs in pipes and drains, their powerful corrosive properties can also repel cockroaches.

If exposed to acidic drain cleaner, roaches may suffer from eye irritation and difficulty breathing due to the fumes from the solution. In addition, it is believed that the caustic nature of acidic solutions can also disrupt a roach’s ability to smell or find food sources.

2. Non-Acidic (Natural) Drain Cleaners:

Unlike acidic drain cleaners, non-acidic or natural drain cleaners rely on enzymatic formulas, bacterial formulas, or special natural microbes to remove or kill roaches from shower and kitchen sink drains.

Natural solutions are generally safer for humans since they don’t contain harsh chemicals. While natural solutions may not have the same corrosive effects on roaches as acidic solutions, they still pose enough risks to roaches, such as dehydration if ingested or inhaled in large quantities.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Using Acidic Drain Cleaners to Kill Roaches

Roaches are among the most notorious pests around, and controlling them can be tricky. One popular solution for eliminating roaches is using acidic drain cleaners to kill them. But as with many products, there are both pros and cons to using this chemical method of pest control.

Roach on bathroom floor

Positive Effects of Acidic Drain Cleaners:


Many common acidic drain cleaning solutions can be found at any local home improvement store or grocery shop, making it simple and cheap to keep your space clean and bug-free.

Kills roaches in Large Numbers:

Acidic drain cleaners tend to be very effective in killing large numbers of roaches quickly and efficiently. The strong corrosive properties of these products can penetrate the bodies of the roach and destroy it, thus preventing further infestations.

Negative Effects of Acidic Drain Cleaners:

American cockroach

Corrode Pipes:

If drain cleaners are not applied correctly or used in excess amounts, these products can corrode pipes and fixtures in your home and create even bigger issues than those it was meant to solve.

Unpleasant Smell:

These chemical treatments tend to come with strong odors that can bother sensitive people, resulting in allergic reactions such as headaches or breathing problems. These products should never be used around children or pets as their corrosive nature could prove dangerous if ingested or inhaled by accident.

Advantages of Using Natural Drain Cleaners to Kill Roaches

Natural drain cleaners are an effective and safe way to kill roaches. They provide a number of advantages over traditional chemical methods, such as being non-toxic to the environment, easy to use, and not as smelly. Furthermore, they are cost-effective and widely available on the market.

Pouring drain cleaner into sink

Cost-Effective and Available on the Market:

Natural drain cleaners can be a more cost-effective option for getting rid of roaches than buying expensive chemical bug killers. Additionally, these products are widely available in many stores across the nation, so you don’t have to spend time searching for them in multiple locations.

Non-Toxic and Safe for the Environment:

Unlike chemical solutions used to kill pests such as roaches, natural drain cleaners contain no toxic chemicals that can harm people or animals living in the home.

Since they are biodegradable and more eco-friendly than traditional chemical methods, they have a low impact on pets, children, and wildlife in your area. Additionally, natural drain cleaners won’t introduce any pollutants into the environment when released through sewage systems after use.

Easy to Use and Accessible:

Natural drain cleaners often come with straightforward instructions that make it easy to apply them correctly without having any prior experience with pest control methods.

Furthermore, they can be used in conjunction with other pest control methods such as traps or bait stations, for even better results against bugs like roaches.

Not as Smelly as Chemical Alternatives:

When you need a reliable drain cleaner that won’t permeate your home with unpleasant odors, enzymatic cleaners are a perfect choice. Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens where strong smells can quickly become an issue, these products will help keep unwanted aromas out of your living space.

Homemade Solutions to Remove or Kill Roaches

roach problem

1. Soapy Water

Soapy water is a simple and cost-effective solution to remove or kill roaches. It is made up of two main ingredients: water and soap, both of which can be found in any home.

The soap acts as an adhesive that sticks to the roaches’ bodies, clogging their breathing pores and killing them. As a bonus, the soapy water also kills other pests on contacts such as ants, fleas, and flies.

Because it is a mild cleaner, it will not cause damage to your plumbing system like some harsher commercial products can do. Moreover, using natural ingredients such as dish soap in soapy water solutions can avoid potentially harmful chemicals found in some pesticides or insecticides.

How to Use it:

In order to use this homemade solution, you will need warm water, dish soap, and a large container. To begin, add about 1/4 cup of your dish soap to the large container filled with warm water. Be sure to stir thoroughly so that the soapy water becomes frothy and bubbly.

Once ready, pour the soapy water down your drain while flushing it with additional hot water. This should help remove any debris or grease buildup inside your pipes as well as flush out the roaches inside your drain.


This solution can also be used to clean surfaces and discourage roaches from entering your home. Just spray it around window sills, door frames, baseboards, or other entry points.

However, note that this method is only a temporary solution since the soapy water must be reapplied after each cleaning or when new roaches appear in order to keep them away.

2. Baking Soda and Distilled Vinegar

Baking soda and distilled vinegar are effective homemade solutions for controlling roach problems in the toilet and sink drains. The vinegar has an acetic acid component which irritates the insect’s nerves when inhaled or touched, causing it to die from suffocation within minutes of contact with the mixture.

When combined with warm water in a spray bottle, baking soda will act as a desiccant (drying agent) that dehydrates the bug’s exoskeleton and internal organs, causing death if ingested by the insect.

This combination is both non-toxic and environmentally friendly as compared to traditional chemical treatments used for pest infestations like roaches in drains.

How to Make it:

Mix together an equal amount of baking soda and distilled vinegar in a bowl until you have a thick paste-like consistency. Then take some of this mixture and place it directly on top of the drain where you suspect there may be roaches living inside or around it.

Allow the mixture to sit overnight before rinsing away with hot water the next day. This should help eliminate any bugs or cockroach eggs present around the area.


You can keep your home roach-free with this easy and efficient roach killer. Shake the mixture well, then generously apply it in any areas where there may be cockroach activity.

Make sure not to overspray, though. You don’t want your food getting contaminated by the mixture. After spraying, let sit for 30 minutes before wiping off the residue with a damp cloth, then repeat every few days until all signs of activity have been eliminated from your home permanently.

3. Boiling Water

Boiling Water

Boiling water is one of the most effective and inexpensive solutions for removing and killing roaches and other drain flies. This method is simple, easy to use, and can be done quickly with minimal effort.

The high temperature of boiling water kills sewer roaches, and the hot liquid will dissolve the eggs that may be present, thereby eliminating the infestation.

How to Use it:

To use this method, you will need boiling water and a pot or pan large enough to pour into your drain. Ensure you wear protective gear such as gloves and a face mask before starting.

Begin by pouring boiling water into the drain where you think the roach infestation may occur. It is best to do this slowly in order to ensure that any eggs present in the drain will also be destroyed by the heat of the boiling water.

Once all of the boiling water has been poured down, wait for 10 minutes before flushing out the drain with cold tap water to remove any residue from the hot liquid.


When using this method, it is essential to note that it is only effective if done regularly as part of an ongoing maintenance routine for keeping your home free from pests such as roaches.

If not used regularly, there is a chance that new eggs would hatch even after you have removed existing ones due to their resilience against extreme temperatures.

4. Ammonia Solution

An ammonia solution can also effectively remove or kill sewer roaches. Ammonia’s strong odor acts as a repellent for roaches, driving them away from the area and discouraging their return in future infestations.

How to make it:

Mix one cup of ammonia with two cups of warm water and pour it down your drain while taking care to avoid skin contact with either chemical component directly due to its potential irritant effects on humans and pets alike.

Allow this solution to sit within your drain for at least 10 minutes before flushing it out with cold tap water in order to make sure all traces of ammonia are removed properly afterward.

Note with Cautions:

When using ammonia solution for pest control, it is essential to be aware that the highly acidic nature of this chemical can corrode or rust certain types of pipes depending on their material composition. If not careful, prolonged use could cause permanent damage, especially with copper piping.

Additionally, some individuals may experience allergic reactions when exposed indirectly over long periods due to its pungent smell, so ensure you keep yourself protected accordingly during use.

5. Lukewarm Water and Bleach

roach trap

Lukewarm water combined with bleach is another effective homemade solution for controlling roach populations in drains since both components are known insecticides capable of killing or repelling them when used together correctly.

How to Make it:

Begin by preparing a mixture composed of equal parts lukewarm tap water (about 50°C) combined with 1/4 cup bleach per gallon before pouring it down your affected drain(s).

Wait 10 minutes before flushing out this mixture fully using cold tap water afterward in order to prevent any residual chemical odors from permeating into surrounding areas too.

Note with Cautions:

To keep your furry friends safe, make sure to give them a break from the area during bleaching. The harsh chemicals in bleach can cause irritation if breathed directly by people or pets.

Instead, try using natural alternatives like baking soda/vinegar mixtures if possible, as they provide similar results without releasing hazardous fumes. Keep these solutions away from children’s reach at all times due to their potential toxicity levels when ingested accidentally too.

How Do You Get Rid of Roaches Overnight?

The best way to prevent roaches overnight is to mix equal parts of borax and white table sugar together. This can be used along cracks and crevices where roaches are known to hide or around any other area where you have seen evidence of their presence.

How Do You Get Rid of Roaches Overnight

The sugar will attract the roaches while the borax acts as a poison and will kill them once they ingest it. It is important to note that this method works best on smaller cockroach populations, as larger infestations may require more targeted treatments.

What Attracts Cockroaches if Your House is Clean?

What Attracts Cockroaches if Your House is Clean

Even if you keep your house clean on a regular basis, leaking sinks and pipes as well as bathroom appliances such as toilet bowls and bathtubs, provide easy access for these pests into your home due to their high moisture levels when not used often enough.

Cockroaches are surprisingly attracted to sweet scents, such as lavender oil, and pet food left out overnight, a fact that can catch many unaware. This makes it essential for homeowners to be vigilant about using products with strong smells around potential hiding spots like cracks and crevices in their homes.

Why Are Roaches Coming Up Through Drain?

Roaches often come up through drains due either to a backed-up sewer line or heavy rain causing water levels outside to rise significantly. During these periods, roaches will seek refuge from the wet conditions by entering any available openings such as drains and air vents leading into homes.

What Smells Attract Roaches?

Roaches are attracted to a variety of smells, including starch, sugar, grease, meat, and cheese. Starch is often found in flour, cornstarch, and other grains. Sugars can come from anything sweet like candy, juice, or syrups.

What Smells Attract Roaches

Grease from cooking oils, butter, and lard can draw them in as well as the smell of cooked meats or even cheese. Roaches have powerful scent receptors that attract them to these smells and make it easier for them to find food sources.

Can Roaches Swim Up the Toilet?

No, roaches cannot swim up toilets because of the water. But they can crawl up dry drain pipes. Some species of cockroaches possess an amazing ability to hold their breath underwater for up to a half hour at a time which allows them to move through sewers and other bodies of water without drowning.

Do Roaches Lay Eggs in Drains?

Yes, roaches do lay eggs in drains as well as other moist areas such as sewers and storm drains. The eggs are laid either singly or in clusters depending on the species of roach involved, and usually hatch into larvae within several days after being laid.

The larvae will then develop into adult cockroaches over a period of weeks or months, depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity levels.

Do Roaches Lay Eggs in Drains

Can Roaches Live in Drain Pipes?

Yes, certain species of roach, like a German cockroach, exhibit some remarkable qualities, such as their ability to hold their breath and remain underwater for extended periods. This has enabled them to survive in the damp conditions of drain pipes from where they first hatched!

These curious insects thrive in the moist and sheltered atmosphere of drain pipes, where they can feed on nearby sources like decaying leaves or sludge with little risk from predators.

Effective Solutions to Get Rid of Roaches from Drains

Cockroaches can be a real nuisance in any home, but with careful research and preparation, you can find an effective solution for getting rid of them.

Depending on your needs and situation, there is likely a solution for getting rid of roaches in your drains. If you have a large-scale infestation or need fast results, then you might want to consider purchasing a commercial product like acidic or non-acidic drain cleaners or insecticides.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind waiting longer for results or prefer more natural solutions, then you can try out some of the homemade remedies listed above, such as boiling water or soapy water solutions.

Does Drain Cleaner Kill Roaches: 2 Types [Fully Explained]

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