ID Now Needed To Buy Drain Cleaner In Illinois

With every new year comes a new set of laws, some of which are destined to, in the words of the great Arsenio Hall, make you go “hmmm…” One of the latest is a new regulation in Illinois that requires you to show your ID and sign a log if you purchase drain cleaner or other similarly caustic substances.

The law, which was passed after two women were attacked by having drain cleaner poured on them, requires buyers to show a government-issued photo ID. The cashier must also record the buyer’s name address, the date and time of purchase, type, brand and net weight of the product being bought.

If stores don’t comply, there are potentially substantial fines involved, ranging from $150 for the first offense to $500 for the second violation and up to $1,500 for any following offenses.

One Chicago-area hardware store owner tells WBBM Radio that customers are not thrilled about the new regulation: “One of the customers actually threatened the (cashier) and threatened to throw the acid on her.”

The store owner says he tried to contact his local state rep to complain about the law, only to be told that the lawmaker didn’t know about the new regulations.

The folks at the Jewel-Osco chain of stores tells WBBM they have removed any items that fall under the umbrella of the new law.

New Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner []


Edit Your Comment

  1. dwtomek says:

    Crap there goes my ambitions to move to Illinois and open up a laboratory.

  2. Rebecca K-S says:

    Yeah, my dad posted on fb that he got IDed buying drain cleaner the other day. This is an absurd law that’s not going to accomplish anything.

    • smartmuffin says:

      It’ll “create jobs” for breaucrats and justify higher taxes. That’s an accomplishment, right?

      • pop top says:

        What jobs will be created by this?

        • Upthewazzu says:

          Someone has to audit those logs now! Oh, and the undercover narcs sent to stores to test if they’re ID’ing people. Yup, those people have to get paid now.

  3. Kuri says:

    All because some tards found out how to use it in explosives.

    • Franklin Comes Alive! says:

      Nope, all because a couple of tards threw it on women. It’s a massive overreaction either way.

    • Jack Doe says:

      Negative. The majority of drain cleaners use either lye (sodium hydroxide) or concentrated buffered sulfuric acid. Neither can be used to make explosives directly. Nitric acid can be used to make explosives, but that stuff eats through PVC and copper so quickly that it isn’t good as a drain cleaner.

      However, you throw some lye or sulfuric in someone’s face, and they’d probably wish you’d simply used an explosive on them. Holy crap.

      • failurate says:

        I used drain cleaner to make pressure bombs/2 ltr bottle bombs when I was a kid.
        Not necessarily an explosive, but you can make a lot of noise and cause some damage.

        • Jack Doe says:

          Yeah, but like you said, it’s not an explosive. Plus, it’s more cost effective to use things like ammonia and bleach (and about as hazardous) as it is to make a “drano bomb.” Hell, where I am you can get dry ice for about $1/lb and that makes a lot better bottle bomb than drano.

    • NotATool says:

      Not explosives…someone was attacked with acid or drain cleaner.

      This law is stupid beyond words. It’s already a crime to attack someone — so why do you need a new law to control the sale of otherwise benign substances?

    • shepd says:

      Better outlaw aluminum and iron then.

  4. rawley69 says:

    Really you can beat these things for unclogging a drain:

    • PHRoG says:

      You can when they don’t work. Own two different sizes, neither have ever worked in the slightest, LOL!

  5. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I don’t see the problem here. Government should record, document and database all aspects of our lives for our own protection.

  6. grimJack says:

    such bullshit. this country is nothing but a joke anymore.

    • JoeDawson says:

      such bullshit. this ILLINOIS is nothing but a joke anymore.


      I live in Illinois, we are a national joke.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        What political party is dominant in Illinois, if I may ask?

        • Emperor Norton I says:

          It’s called the Illinois Combine as both parties are 100% corrupt & incompetent!
          This law will be as successful as Chicago’s ban on the sale of spray paint to stop graffiti.
          Why there’s no graffiti at all in Chicago.
          Yeah sure!

          • TheMansfieldMauler says:

            Well I’m just glad Obama got out of there and became president before all the incompetence and corruption started.

          • Darury says:

            Also Chicago’s draconian gun laws have really cut down on the murder rate in the city too! See, we just keep banning things and the criminals will never use them. /sarc for those that need it.

        • lawnmowerdeth says:

          Chicago is pretty much in charge of the entire state, which sucks for IL residents not in Chicago.

    • PencilSharp says:

      such bullshit. LEADERSHIP IN this country is nothing but a joke anymore.

      Really FTFY.

      Sorry, JoeDawson. But I understand, I live in Kentucky, the national laughingstock…

      • Ihmhi says:

        Kentucky? Ha! Live in New Jersey like I do and then we can talk.

      • yabdor says:

        No. It has absolutely nothing to do with leadership. It has to do with a citizenry that’s flat out too stupid to read or count. You can blame the politicians but so much. We let it happen and continue to do so. The next elected president will be a career politician and absolutely nothing will change. You watch and mark my words.

  7. rmorin says:

    How stupid. There are many, many things more dangerous then drain cleaner.

    I bet a lot more then two people were stabbed by knives, should you need ID for that?

  8. Hi_Hello says:

    I think some people just buy that stuff when they don’t even need too.

    my brother is one of them. Rather than using a plunger, he would just wait until it’s really bad and use the drain cleaner…

    People who want to throw something at people would just use something else now.

    • Actionable Mango says:

      …or they’ll just keep using drain cleaner. Seriously, how will this help the police?

      Step 1, take a sample of the drain cleaner at the crime scene.

      Step 2, get a list of the hundreds of thousands of people that have bought drain cleaner over the last X number of years.

      Step 3… uh… um…

      • quirkyrachel says:

        My thoughts exactly.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        My guess is that the thought process is:

        1) There’s a rash of drain cleaner attacks
        2) John Doe has purchased 40 gallons of drain cleaner

        John Doe becomes a suspect

        Not saying it will work, just that this might be the thought process.

    • aloria says:

      A plunger has never worked on any of the clogs I’ve had.

  9. dolemite says:

    “Buddy…you got a license for that rock?” “Hey you, with the stick…back away slowly from the snowman. Hands behind the head, now lie down.”

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So if someone else gets attacked with drain cleaner, this new law will help track down the purpetrator, right?


    • Lethe says:

      Yep. All the police will do is investigate every single person in that area of the country who bought drain cleaner in the last 6 months. How many can that be?

      • RayanneGraff says:

        Actually they’d probably start with friends & acquaintances of the victim, and anyone who might have had a problem with them when the incident occurred.

    • rmorin says:

      “Officer,the cause of death on our murder victim was found to be drowning”
      “Get me a list of everyone that bought water in this town over the past year!”

  11. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    If we outlaw drain cleaner, only outlaws will have drain cleaner. Seems psychos could still go to any gas station, get a gallon, and use the gas to cause even worse trouble. This is a ridiculous overreaction.

    • rmorin says:

      I can just imagine the guys selling it illicitly on the street corner:

      “I got that Drano, I got that Liquid Plummer, I got what you need!”

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Why not up the ante for those CRIMINALS that want to use chemical warfare tactics to complete their CRIME. Chemical Warfare is banned by the Geneva Convention is it not. Put the perps before a world court after they threaten the use or use chemical warfare.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        It seems you might be inclined to compare this to taking Sudafed off the shelves to prevent making meth. That if you make it harder to get the ingredients, you can pinch off the crime itself. I respond by saying that 2 women getting attacked by a psycho does not equal hundreds of thousands of meth addicts in terms of scale. How likely are more people to do this same crime?

        Also, if you go along this road:
        Anyone got stabbed, make people show ID to buy a kitchen knife set.
        Someone got beaten with a baseball bat, ID for little leaguers.
        Someone made a home flame thrower with a propane tank, ID for propane purchases.
        There is a chainsaw massacre in Texas, ID to buy chainsaws.

        Where do you stop? Lots of products used for perfectly innocuous reasons can be repurposed for crimes. Do we have to reshape society to deal with the freaks? Can’t we just try them for war crimes, execute them and call it good?

      • pop top says:

        Chemical warfare is in fact not banned by the Geneva Convention, but by the Chemical Weapons Convention. To try someone under the CWC, you would have to officially classify drain cleaner as a chemical weapon, which would make it a weapon of mass destruction, which would make it illegal for anyone in the United States to develop, produce, stockpile or use it. Do you see how utterly asinine your idea is now?

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      Guess what?
      Chicago already require ID if you buy gas in a can for your lawn mower or snow blower.
      Apparently, they don’t realize you can just siphon gas out of a car or go to a suburb & buy it!

  12. Actionable Mango says:

    Even a double-facepalm isn’t enough for this stupidity.

  13. jim says:

    darn, will need to find another way to dispose of bodies….

  14. IphtashuFitz says:

    So now unstable residents of Illinois who wish to attack women by dousing them in drain cleaner will have to drive to Indiana or one of the half-dozen other bordering states to anonymously purchase their weapon of choice. Meanwhile the state builds up a huge database of honest people who have clogged drains…

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That’s pretty much what my state is attempting by requiring a prescription to buy Sudafed. It will essentially just create a database of those who have good insurance. The rest of us will just drive across the river to Ohio and buy it there.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        Hmm. We have to show ID and are limited to a specific quantity within a period of time, but don’t need a prescription, nor is the price noticeably higher than it was previously.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          A handful of states require a doctor’s prescription for it.

  15. El-Brucio says:

    I imagine bleach will soon be regulated in a similar fashion as the crazies switch to that.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Especially if purchased at the same time as ammonia. Or maybe that will be banned as well, no ammonia for you if you are also buying bleach.

    • hansn says:

      I don’t actually see this as preventing any sales of drain cleaner. I mean, suppose there’s a drain cleaner attack. If the police don’t already have the person in custody, they can hardly call up a list of every person who bought drain cleaner in the past two years and check out each one of them.

  16. A42NT1 says:

    … Brought to you by the same people that made bringing your own (home made) lunch to school illegal.

  17. Edacious says:

    It is a scam by the plumbers. They were not making enough money so they decided to form a lobby group and make it hard to by drain cleaning products. This way they profit as a clog that could have been fixed with 10 dollar Drano now requires a 200 dollar service call. This will probably lead to a Drano Mafia that will sell you Drano with no ID at a cost of 50 dollars. Man, I need to get into that business.

    • rmorin says:

      In all seriousness you may be on to something. Trade unions are a huge business in Illinois, I would not be surprised if they went ahead and did pushed for this.

  18. lupis42 says:

    I’m guessing they would also say that they support the right of citizens to own drain cleaner for hunting^Hsporting purposes^Hunblocking their sink, but not in large capacity bottles? Perhaps some review of these “assault type drain cleaners” is needed?

  19. nbs2 says:

    And I thought I needed to be concerned about my CC company tracking my shopping – looks like pretty soon they’ll just need to submit a FOIA request.

  20. ancientone567 says:

    We need to id every time you go to the gas pump. That shit will kill ya if you drink it or force someone else too. PLus is gets all boom boom, fiery and HOT when you light it!!! SOMEONE COULD GET HURT!!!

    • MrEvil says:

      I always found it ironic that I could buy as much gasoline as I could pay for and never show ID. But can’t buy a can of spray paint without getting carded.

  21. Nyxalinth says:

    The guy who threatened to throw acid sounds like the kind of person who is the reason this law was put into place. Being annoyed is one thing, but this just screams “Meth dealer” to me, and “Ass—” at the very least.

  22. Nighthawke says:

    Knee-Jerk reactions, overreacting to two isolated incidents by the ruling body. This needs to come to a screeching halt and very soon or we will be sitting in our chairs, hands folded. With nothing that we can do about the situation we have placed ourselves in, in our efforts to save ourselves from our own little mistakes.

  23. maxhobbs says:

    I hope they don’t realize how DANGEROUS gasoline is and start to put restrictions on its purchase!!

  24. Rachacha says:

    This would never work in Baltimore where the whackos throw chemicals at each other in the store before it is purchased.

  25. bouncing says:

    Pat yourselves on the back boys, you’ve finally figured out how to win the drug war. This idea. This one will finally do it.

  26. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    I thought this was going to have to do with the manufacturing of Meth instead.

  27. Jack3 says:

    …but not to vote….

  28. A.Mercer says:

    The primary ingredients of Drano are sodium hydroxide and bits of aluminum. The aluminum is not the ingredient that can cause burns. The sodium hydroxide is the nasty stuff. This can be made from salt water using a bit of electolysis. If you want to go it old school you can just make some lye by using hardwood ash. It is not hard at all. You don’t get pure sodium hydroxide but you can get a pretty caustic chemical brew.

    Now, if you are of the mind to use chemistry for evil purposes and the police are watching your sources of NaOH then you can just make the stuff from either of these two methods. Trying to monitor the chemical is not going to stop anything. It is just a waste of time and resources. Maybe if they killed this law and used the money set aside for it to pay for more police officers they could get better results.

  29. gafpromise says:

    OMG, I’m just going to have my drivers license # tattooed on my forehead with all the stupid purchases I need to show it for these days.

  30. Dandelion says:

    I never thought I’d ever type this here, and end up jumping on a meme-wagon, but, I make my own lye at home.

    If the stores stop selling it, no worries. I have all I need, in the ashes from my wood stove.

    (I do it because I like to make my own soap. Not for drain cleaning, usually. My drains are normally kept happy by regular dose of vinegar and baking powder.)

  31. Daggertrout says:

    But I can still buy a plastic tarp, some lye, and a shovel no questions asked, right?

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      Try plastic shower curtains. They’re so much less suspicious than tarps, yet still get the job done.

  32. jojo319 says:

    I’m just surprised they aren’t requiring a union worker to pour the solution down your drain. That’s probably next though knowing this state.

  33. markvii says:

    Next up, Illinois bans dihydrogen monoxide. Some details on this nasty stuff at the following link —

  34. DragonThermo says:

    All Illinois politicians have done is create an illegal black market for Draino. Black marketeers will cross the state line and buy up Draino without showing ID, bring it back to Illinois and sell it on street corners at an astronomical profit.

    Some neighborhoods could become a one-stop-shop of criminal activity… drugs, guns, and drain cleaner.

  35. DonnieZ says:

    Crap like this is why the People’s Republic of Illinois is broke. Let’s focus on keeping a database of those who buy Liquid Lightning (Which works well btw..) instead of actually doing something to eliminate the state’s ginormous defecit.

    If I didn’t have family here, I’d be packed up and move somewhere south and warm. I’d only make trips back for Italian Beef, Lou Malnati’s and the occasional outing downtown Chicago.

    • jojo319 says:

      I’m always amazed when I drive in an out of Illinois at the condition of simple things like ROADS. They are in terrible shape compared to states like Wisconsin or Minnesota that have NO toll roads. The fact that we are diverting a single dime to this law is madness.

  36. Cacao says:

    Damn meth-heads! Now it’s even tougher for me to make homemade soap!

    I think I will just have to start using ashes from the fire, like the original soap makers.

  37. nikalseyn says:

    More government intrusion to “help protect” us. Wait a minute. Didn’t The Great Imposter come from Illinois??

  38. mike6545 says:

    That’s ridiculous, if the law is “passed after two women were attacked by having drain cleaner poured on them” then it doesn’t make sense because those two women didn’t actually buy the drain cleaner, they fought inside the store with it in the aisle. This law solves nothing other than making people’s lives more difficult.

  39. dancing_bear says:

    The politicians in Illinois are morons. It’s true. Yes, I live in Cook County.
    When I vote locally, the rule is anyone (regardless of party) but the incumbent.

  40. ARP says:

    Is is just the weaponization of this stuff. Or can it be used to make other bad stuff (like Meth).

  41. Rhinoguy says:

    This law was passed by people who believe that we need fewer regulations in our lives. Horse hockey, they believe THEY should have fewer regulations in THEIR lives.

  42. 180CS says:

    I can understand how this makes sense to keep it out of the hands of people not mature enough to own it (I think this is what my classmates in middle school where obsessed with using to blow up things out in the woods) but I think that the reason mentioned is pure stupidity. How about we start IDing people for car batteries, (MUCH more corrosive/dangerous) or for oven cleaner?

    And how is this going to actually solve anything? One person was assaulted, and we are going to spend hundreds of thousands (maybe a million+? Illinois is pretty big) in additional labor and records keeping costs for this? What happened to these women was bad, but come on. A one time incident does not require this kind of financial effort that could be better invested in social services or humanitarian aid, especially when it addresses one out of a hundred other products any mean-spirited person could think of to substitute for this crap.

    I live in illinois, but I can tell you I’ll be going to the home depot in Wisconsin for my cleaning supplies from now on. (Only about an extra 10 minutes on my trip for a piece of mind)

  43. Bob says:

    “The folks at the Jewel-Osco chain of stores tells WBBM they have removed any items that fall under the umbrella of the new law. “

    Apparently the new law is having it’s intended effect. The next law should require a fingerprint and a credit and background check, and a TSA agent’s approval, to buy drain cleaner. That way NO store in Illinois will want to sell drain cleaner.

  44. Bob says:

    Don’t forget that in all of recorded history maybe tens of millions of people or more were attacked and killed by, not cluster bombs, not muskets, but simply by some version of a POINTY STICK! Until about a few hundred years ago no army would attack without hundreds of men carrying nothing but large sharpened and/or metal tipped pointy sticks. I know they were called arrows, spears, javelins, etc….but all of them are just a version of a pointy stick.

    So when will I need ID and a background check to buy wooden pencils?

  45. Bob says:

    Psst…You guys in Illinois….Here is a secret how to unclog your drains without using drain cleaner.

  46. mrearly2 says:

    The Nanny State / Police State strikes again!