How Can I Neutralize Drano Crystals That Have Spilled on My Wooden Shelf?

Drano is a toxic acid used to dissolve hair and grease from drain pipes. The crystals are made up of sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, aluminum chips and sodium nitrate. Other inert ingredients give Drano its color and odor. In diluted quantities, sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is used for making soap and detergents. Higher concentrations cause a caustic reaction that dissolves the clog. You must use care when working with Drano and take precautions if the product accidentally spills.

Drano is safe for most types of plumbing.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves

  • Whisk broom

  • Dust pan

  • Water

  • Clean cloths

  • Natural lemon juice or

  • Vinegar

Step 1

Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Sweep the Drano crystals into a dust pan with a whisk broom and dispose of the crystals down the drain. Run water in the sink to neutralize the chemicals.

Step 2

Dip the whisk broom in a cup of vinegar or lemon juice. Pour the vinegar over the dust pan. Rinse the whisk broom and dust pan with clean water to remove any residue.

Step 3

Wipe the area on the shelf with a cloth and vinegar or lemon juice. Continue wiping the shelf until there is no evidence of the Drano crystals on the shelf.

Step 4

Wipe the wooden shelf with a cloth and clean water. Do not add any chemicals or neutralizing agents to the water. Rinse the shelf several times with clean water.

Step 5

Dry the shelf completely to determine if you need to refinish the shelf.


According to the SC Johnson website, the ingredients contained in Drano do not include chlorine bleach. The product contains sodium chloride, which is table salt, not sodium hypochlorite, which is bleach.