How to Unclog a Shower Drain

A clogged shower drain can be a headache. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be costly. Unclogging your shower drain isn’t something you necessarily need professional help with. You may already have some tools to remove whatever is clogging the drain. Here is your DIY guide on how to unclog a shower drain. Please note, if these methods do not work, you may need to consult a plumbing professional.

Assessing a Clogged Shower Drain

Before you can unclog the shower drain, you need to know what’s causing it. Anything from hair and soap to sediment buildup and tree roots sprouting through cracks in your pipes could be causing the blockage. To assess the clog, you’ll need to remove the drain. Some covers can be unscrewed, while others need to be carefully pried off.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar followed by Boiling Water

Some shower drain clogs can be dislodged with a solution of baking soda mixed with vinegar followed by flushing with boiling water. Start by mixing ⅓ cup of baking soda with a ⅓ cup of vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain. You’ll notice it immediately fizzing. Let this solution sit for about an hour. Then slowly pour boiling water down the drain to flush out the clog.

Using Chemical Shower Drain Cleaners

Opting for a chemical drain cleaner? No problem! Just remember—safety first. Always wear protective eyewear and gloves when handling chemical cleaners. Before pouring chemicals into your pipes, consider the following:

  • Do you have enough ventilation in the room?
  • Did you read the instructions on the label?
  • Chemical drain products may damage your pipes.
  • Bleach may not be effective at unclogging a shower clog.

Using a Drain Snake To Remove All Debris

If hair is the definite culprit, then all you may need to do is pick up a drain snake at your local retailer. Sometimes called a plumbing snake or snake auger, this tool is flexible and long enough to reach and remove clogs in your pipes. Be cautious when using a drain snake, as it can easily become stuck or cause damage to your pipes.

Don’t want to waste time with a trip to the store? You can turn a wire coat hanger into a snake tool. All you need to do is straighten it out and make a hook at one end with the wire. This is an inexpensive way to get rid your pipes of a clog near the drain.

Using a Toilet Plunger to Unclog a Drain

Just as a plunger can unclog your toilet, it can unclog on your shower drain, too!

Start by removing the drain cover. Place the plunger’s rubber cup over the drain opening. If the seal isn’t adequate, add some petroleum jelly to the edge of the rubber plunger cup. Let some water run into the shower tub or stall.

Now’s the fun part. Rapidly move the plunger up and down the drain to force the clog out. Check your work by running some more water and ensuring it drains normally.

Tips To Prevent Your Shower Drain From Clogging in the Future

Spend less time on your hands and knees unclogging the drain by following some easy prevention tips.

  • Put a hair catcher or drain screen over your shower drain.
  • Before showering, brush out loose hair.
  • Slowly pour boiling water down the shower drain from time to time.
  • Pour a homemade baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution down the drain once a month.
  • Avoid pouring wastewater or water containing dirt or debris down the drain.

Now That Wasn’t So Bad, Was It?

Did you find our shower drain unclogging guide helpful? We have plenty more guides, tips, and other information homeowners will find useful. Find them here.

While unclogging the drain, did you notice any parts of your shower or bathroom that could be replaced with something newer and possibly more efficient? Check out Gerber’s selection of high-quality bathroom products and accessories for your best bathroom ever.