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Here’s How To Unblock Your Shower Drains

Let’s be honest: taking a much-needed shower with your favorite products is definitely an important part of a proper self-care routine. However, all those body washes, exfoliants, shower steamers, and shampoo buildup could ultimately clog your drain. Moreover, if water is pooling up at your feet as you take the shower, chances are your drain is 100% clogged.

That’s why you should constantly clean your shower drain. Clearing all those blockages in your drains and pipes could help keep the water flowing and prevent unpleasant odors, mold, pests, leaks, and even your pipes from freezing during the winter.

During colder months, it’s highly important to nip clogs in the bud, and that’s because backed-up pipes are more at risk of freezing and bursting, which could lead to expensive repairs. So how can you fix it?

Luckily, we’ve made a comprehensive list of how to unclog a shower drain easily, followed by a step-by-step guide, including how to use a snake to efficiently unclog a shower drain. You will find out about some of the most efficient methods and tips for fighting the debris and buildup in those drains, so what are you waiting for?

shower drain
Photo by uduhunt from Shutterstock

Clear the visible debris and hair.

Before you decide which tools, chemical cleaners, or homemade cleaning solutions to use, you need to let all the standing water drain down. If you notice it’s draining slowly or not at all, you could use a plunger to push the water through the pipes.

As soon as the tub or the shower floor is fully empty, you want to remove any stoppers and drain covers. You can either twist or even screw off the drain cover, then carefully clean up the hair and any leftover product buildup on the surrounding surface area.

You also want to look into the drain and try to clean out all the loose hairs, debris, soap, and any other objects that might have fallen in there. Also, try to run the water again and check if the drain is still clogged. If it is, you need to move on to the steps enlisted below so you can overcome the bigger problem and properly clean your drain.

How do you unclog a shower drain with a vinegar and baking soda mixture?

One amazing at-home solution to unclogging a shower is to make a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. You can easily use this to clean the kitchen sink, too. Just follow the instructions below to create and use it:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt.
  2. Pour the mixture down the drain along with 1 cup of heated vinegar.
  3. After you notice it foaming and bubbling, let it stand for 15 minutes (as waiting longer might not produce the expected results).
  4. Follow by running hot tap water for a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds.

This effective chemical reaction between black and white vinegar might produce hazardous gases that are quite harmful to inhale. You can stick to the vinegar and baking soda solution or simply use a chemical cleaning product another day to clean your drains.

How to unclog a shower drain with a plunger

You could use a regular plunger to unclog the shower and sink the drains. After carefully removing the drain cover, try to run a bit of water to cover the bottom of the plunger cup. Then, all you need to do is move the plunger up and down (as you would do while unclogging a toilet) to unclog the shower drain.

How to unclog a shower drain with a plumber’s snake

A plastic drain snake could efficiently reach down into the pipes and dislodge items that are blocking water flow. All you need to do is slowly insert the snake down the drain until you are stopped by the clog, and carefully twist it around so the barbs that are along the tool can grab onto hair and debris.

The snake can either push the blockage down and out, or you can pull the source of the clog up and out. It might even be a good idea to keep a couple of those on hand, especially since the tool can be enough to clear the entire clog in a matter of seconds.

How to unclog a shower drain with a drain cleaner

If any of these at-home methods don’t work, you could always buy a drain cleaner to flush it out. Those tough solvents might efficiently get rid of the grease, soaps, and debris, and you can use them on a regular basis to keep the pipes clean.

Some of the best chemical cleaners include the Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and the Liquid-Plumr Hair Clog Eliminator. They both bring rapid results, especially on shower drains, and they can efficiently clear the clogs in standing water. Enzyme cleaners such as the Bio-Clean Bacteria Septic Cleaner

shower drain
Photo by DimaBerlin from Shutterstock

When to Hire a Plumber

If you notice your drain is still blocked after trying all these at-home options, then it might be time to ask for some help from professionals. You could consider calling a professional plumber and telling them what you used.

Then, just let the plumber deal with it! They will know exactly what chemical cleaners and homemade solutions you’ve tried, and they will be able to avoid creating more damage to your pipes. This way, you won’t have unpleasant surprises.

How to prevent a clogged drain

After you unclog a shower drain once, you’re definitely not going to do it again anytime soon. There are a couple of precautions you could take to prevent a future clog, which are extremely simple and effective.

First, you can add a drain strainer or cover for your shower drain to make sure you prevent fallen hair, body scrubs, or any other pieces of soap from clumping up inside the pipes. Then, use drain cleaners on a monthly basis, and make sure you carefully follow the directions given by the brand.

Once a month, make sure you pour the homemade mixture of vinegar and baking soda mentioned above into the drain to properly clean out any shampoo, conditioner, or soup buildup you might have in the bathroom.

Drano Max Gel Liquid Clog Remover

The 100-year-old company Drano is probably the Q-tip of drain cleaners. In fact, it’s the first brand that pops into your mind when you’re dealing with clogs, and rightfully so. We have to be honest; we’ve constantly been impressed by the clearing power of Drano’s gel formulation, which is definitely safe for all plumbing and septic systems.

It’s basically a caustic cleaner, which means it has bleach and other corrosive ingredients that are particularly tough on grease and soap scum. Well, this liquid gel works very fast, without a single elbow grease on your part.

All you need to do is pour the formula down a backed-up sink or just drain it and let it go to work. For other minor clogs and slow-flowing drains, the gel will be effective in less than 30 minutes. It will effectively help you clear clogs in standing water as well. And if you’re dealing with a persistent clog, you might as well apply the solution a second time and just let it sit overnight.

If you found this article useful, then you also need to check: 16 Unexpected Windex Hacks You’ve Never Heard of but MUST Try

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