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How To Unclog My Bathtub & Shower Drain

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A clogged drain causes problems, and rest assured, you are not the only one seeking answers on how to unclog a shower drain. The below methods for clearing a clog will help you understand how to correct a clogged bathtub or shower drain. A clogged shower drain can result from soap scum, a combination of hair and soap, or other debris, like pet hair.

If you are looking for answers on how to unclog your shower drain, try some of these tricks. If none of the methods listed here solve the problem, call a plumber to unclog a shower drain professionally.

What Causes Clogged Shower Drains?

A buildup of soap scum, hair, or other debris can cause a drain clog. A clog slows the flow of water through the pipes and causes standing water to remain in the bottom of the bathtub.

5 Easy Ways to Unclog a Shower Drain

Below are some easy, at-home options for unclogging a shower drain.

Remove Debris

A clump of hair will prohibit your shower from draining correctly. The mass of hair or debris will likely need to be removed because the hair will not dissolve in the drain. Trying the cup of baking soda and vinegar method first might loosen up a hair clog enough that it can continue its path through the drain.

Ultimately, pulling the hair clog from the drain is the best chance at clearing the debris and reinstating running water. The process of extracting the clog might require some tools or suction; often, using a plunger does the trick. Once your drain is cleared, water will be able to flow freely.

Boiling Water

Shampoo and soap produce a buildup that clogs the bathtub drain. First, try boiling a pot of water on the stove or in the microwave and deliberately pour it into the drain to remove the obstruction. While a significant first step, boiling water will not correct all types of clogs.

Specifically, the water may melt or change soap or shampoo, allowing it to continue to flow through the pipes, but water alone will not be adequate if the clog is due to a clump of hair. Pour boiling water down the drain or run hot water down the drain to see if this simple option can eliminate your clog.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

One all-natural solution works to unclog a shower drain, and it is an excellent choice for those who do not like to use harsh chemicals, such as drain cleaner, in their house. Begin by emptying one cup of baking soda down the clogged drain and let it sit for up to ten minutes.

Subsequently, pour a cup of white vinegar into the drain. The combination of baking soda and vinegar will create a reaction that will dissolve the clog. After pouring in the vinegar, some people wait a few minutes and finish the process by pouring warm water into the drain.

A cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar is an excellent combination for combatting a clogged drain because it is harmless, and most people have these simple ingredients in their kitchen cupboards!

If you are out of baking soda, another option that is likely already in your home is bleach. While it is not as safe as baking soda, pouring bleach down a clogged drain can help loosen soap and hair clogs. Loosening these clogs means that water will be able to flow again.

However, be careful using bleach if you are unsure what types of pipes are in your home since bleach could damage them. Also wear rubber gloves, and note that bleach can and does ruin clothes by discoloration.


A plunger is a standard tool that helps to prevent drain clogging. To eliminate a clog with a plunger, the size of your drain and how large the clog is will determine how successful you will be.

First, fill the tub with some water before plunging; be sure to use a plunger over the clogged drain vigorously. A small volume of petroleum jelly around the plunger’s rim will help produce a more reliable seal.

If there is already standing water in your bathtub, do not add any more. Instead, begin to plunge the clogged drain. If this method is effective, pressure will push the clog through the pipes by the force you exert via the plunger, and water will begin to drain from the tub.

It’s important to note that the plunger works better on the suction action as the blockers are lifted and allows the items to flow more loosely through the drain into larger piping.

Coat Hanger

You can use small, semi-flexible items such as a wire coat hanger that might be able to reach into a drain and help you pull out a clump of hair or other debris causing clogging. To unclog a shower drain without the proper tools can lead to difficult drain cleaning. It might be simpler to invest in a plumber’s snake to expedite the process.

A plumber’s snake is a convenient clog-removing tool found at nearly any hardware store or online. To use, first push the snake into the drain gradually until reaching the clog. Then, start shifting the snake’s handle in a circular motion and gently pull it up from the clog and out of the drain.

A plumber’s snake is very effective for a hair clog, but you may need to remove the drain cover to use it successfully. After removing the snake from the drain, pour some water in to confirm the clog is completely eliminated. Finally, replace the drain cover and enjoy your bathtub or shower as you usually would.

Still Clogged? Hire A Trusted Plumber

If you have tried every at-home method for unclogging your bathtub and shower drain using every trick in the book, then contact a professional plumber.

For instance, Out of This World Plumbing offers licensed and background-checked plumbers to advise you on all of your plumbing and shower drain clogs and solutions, like a drain cleaning to get your clogged drains cleared. What’s more, the business is totally pet-friendly, so Fido can remain comfortable inside while the plumber gets to work.

A plumber will be able to identify if the clog is due to other more extensive plumbing issues and discuss how to resolve any underlying problems leading to regular clogging.

Request A Quote To Unclog Your Drain

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