MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Kleer Drain

by Mark Frauenfelder

As seen in MAKE 01 Toolbox

Tool photo.

I went to Home Depot recently to buy $2 worth of hardware (pins for door hinges) and walked out with over $100 worth of stuff, of course. My prime purchase was a Kleer Drain instant drain opener, which combines the fun of explosives with the satisfaction of unclogging a sink.

I was a little wary of spending close to $30 on this gadget, which looks like a cross between a plunger and a pogo stick. I've been burned by neat-looking gizmos in the past, like the garlic bulb de-skinner that looked so promising but ended up doing nothing more than cutting deep grooves into the cloves.

But Home Depot had one of those videos running next to the setup, which showed a lot of clogged sinks giving up their stubborn boluses of greasy hair to the explosive force of a CO2 cartridge unleashing its entire payload of pressurized gas at once. Watching the guy on the demo using the device, with its rifle-like kickback and puff of condensed carbon dioxide gas, mesmerized me. The next thing I knew, I was racing home with my new Kleer Drain.

I could hardly wait to use it on a slow-draining sink in the bathroom. I duct-taped the overflow drain on the sink, and inserted a CO2 cartridge into the Kleer Drain. I screwed on the rubber cone and then pressed it into the drain opening.

WHAM! A shower of gray grime flew out of somewhere and splashed against the walls, mirror, and ceiling. I wiped the junk off my face and turned on the faucet. (I should have used the included plastic sheet to cover the sink, but I wanted to see the thing in action). Like a smoking gun, a plume of white carbon dioxide wafted gently up from the bowl. As the mist cleared, I was greeted by the sight of water whooshing down the drain, ending with a nice sucking sound, like the drain was wishing there was more water it could dispose of.

I think I'm in love. Time to stock up on more
CO2 cartridges.

In stores and on Amazon.