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How to Unclog a Shower Drain (+ Cleaning Tips!)

Dec 6 2022
Water flowing into a shower drain

Taking a shower should be a calm and relaxing experience (except if you’re late for work, of course—then it’s chaotic). But a clogged shower drain can ruin the mood and become the biggest nuisance in the bathroom.

Clogged drains are usually caused by an accumulation of soap residue, hair, and other types of bathroom-related debris. Aside from the pooling of the water in the shower, certain blockages are also associated with foul odours.

In order to prevent damage to your plumbing system and pipes, we always recommend calling a professional plumber to handle the job for you, especially if it’s an emergency. This is your comprehensive guide on how to unclog a shower drain.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain Mechanically

For this first method, you can use a drain snake or repurpose a wire hanger to physically extract the blockage. This is especially useful to clear a shower drain clogged with hair.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Prepare a pair of gloves to protect your hands and a plastic bag to toss the debris into.
  2. Bend the wire hanger so that there is a small hook at one end. You will insert this part down the shower drain.
  3. If there is a shower drain cover, unscrew it and set it aside.
  4. Next, carefully insert the hooked end of the wire hanger down the drain. Use a twisting motion intertwine the hook with the hair and other debris
  5. Once everything is secured, pull it out of the drain and place it into the plastic bag for disposal.
  6. Repeat as needed until the drain is clear.

A person wearing pink rubber gloves removing hair from a shower drain

How to Unclog a Shower Drain with a Homemade Remedy

You must have encountered baking soda in many of your DIY “life hack” search adventures, and that’s because it really works!

Combine baking soda with white vinegar and boiling water to clear your shower drain with ease. Keep in mind that this technique is only suitable for times when the shower won’t be used for a couple of hours.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the shower drain
  2. Chase it down with half a cup of distilled white vinegar. It’s important to pour this down as fast as possible.
  3. Next, plug the drain with a rag. The mixture of baking soda and white vinegar will trigger a fizzing reaction that should clear the drain pipe.
  4. Leave it for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Then come back to pour a full kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush the clog away.
  5. Repeat these steps as many times as needed.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Bleach

This is one of the most common methods to unclog a drain. Standard bleach or other types of drain cleaners should do the trick for small blockages.

Remember to follow the safety directions indicated on the bottle. Also, wear rubber gloves, and open windows for proper ventilation.

How to Prevent a Clogged Shower Drain

Use a Drain Catcher

Hair is the most common form of shower drain blockages, so a drain catcher would catch hair without hindering the flow of water.

Clean the Drain Regularly with Chlorine Bleach

This method is great for clearing blockages and eliminating odour-causing mould. Mix two teaspoons of chlorine bleach with two cups of boiling water. Then, pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for about one hour.

Next, flush the drain with more hot water and repeat as needed.

Reassess Your Bathroom Products

With all the shampoo, conditioners, soaps, and body washes that we use in the shower, there is no avoiding soap scum in the drain. If your toiletries contain large amounts of exfoliating materials or have thicker consistencies, it’s easy for them to leave residue that builds up.

You can either choose new toiletry brands (which you probably don’t want to do) or simply use a drain catcher and flush your shower drain on a regular basis. It’s all about maintenance.

Vinegar and baking soda

When to Call The Professionals

When DIY projects don’t produce the same results, you can always put your trust in the certified, licensed plumbers at 1st Rooter.

There’s no more need to search for ways on how to unclog a shower drain. Our organization offers cost-friendly and effective shower plumbing solutions for your entire household.

Give us a call to learn more about our reputable plumbing services!

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