How to Clean a Clogged Shower Drain

The feeling of standing in a puddle of dirty, soapy water while you shower is definitely not a good one. However, a clogged shower drain is just one of those unavoidable experiences in life, especially if you live with someone who has long hair, or if you have long hair yourself. Eventually, all the soap scum, hair, and grime will build up in your drainage system, causing blockages. Learn how to deal with this problem with your own sweat and determination. You’ll also need some items you can easily find at home.

These first methods are the easier ones. The most difficult part will be getting rid of the remaining water in the shower before you use any of these steps. Make sure to also pick up any hair and other particles left on the floor and on top of the shower drain cover. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

Option A

Boil water in a pot, and then carefully pour it down the drain. This can help break down the grease and soap that could be holding the clog together. However, this may not completely clear the blockage if it involves a lot of knotted hair. It is best to use this method with the other suggested steps in this article.

Option B

Remove the shower drain cover by taking off the screws. Clean the cover thoroughly and set it aside. Use a flashlight and check the drainage system if there are other blockages remaining. Try to use your hands to reach the hair and gunk and pull it out. If it is too far or your hands won’t fit the drain, use a pair of tweezers, pliers, or a wire with a hook on one end to fish out whatever is causing the clogging.

Option C

If you have removed the shower drain cover, pour a cup of baking soda, then a cup of vinegar into the drain. You will hear a sizzling sound, caused by the reaction of the grime and gunk when it comes in contact with the vinegar and baking soda. Let it set in for 15 to 20 minutes, then pour boiling water carefully into the drain to clean out the dissolved dirt and hair.

If options A, B, and C don’t get rid of the clogging problem, you’ll need to step it up a notch. Prepare to sweat a bit more as these next methods require more effort and patience.

Option D

Get your plunger. Make sure there is a little water left in the shower. Place the cup of the plunger directly over the drain and make sure it has enough suction. Once you get a good grip, apply pressure by pressing and pulling the plunger about 5 times. Gunk and hair will be sucked up and float out of the drain. However, if the clog involves a tougher blockage, this may not work and you’ll need to proceed to the next option.

Option E

Use a plumber’s snake to reach further down the drain. This device can help fish out whatever is causing the clog deeper in the drainage system. It may take some time and practice to hook the gunk and hair, so have a little patience. Once you feel the pipes are clear, run water and see if it will flow freely.

You can use a combination or all the options presented in this article if your shower drain problem is not solved through just one method. But if all else fails, call a professional right away.

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