How to Clean Shower Drain?

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Last updatedLast updated: September 22, 2022
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Do you constantly seek the help of a plumber every time your shower drain gets clogged? Doing so is not practical as it drains your finances. Calling a professional requires lots of money, even if the work to perform is a small one. How to clean shower drain? You must know that this toilet fixture is bound to jam or clog if you don’t frequently clean it. When this happens, it causes problems, in the bathroom, such as pooling of water in the tub, bad smells, backing up of water, etc.

Generally, shower drains clog or jam because they are full of soap scum, dirt, hair, and other pollutants. Although they are a problem for you and those who live in your house, it is possible to maintain them and prevent clogging from happening. By keeping your shower drains clean and sanitized, you keep the plumber away. Also, you contribute to the efficient working of your fixture. Outlined below are ways to disinfect and maintain your shower drain Trusted Source Drain (plumbing) - Wikipedia drain is the primary vessel or conduit for unwanted water or waste liquids to be flumed away, either to a more useful area, funnelled into a receptacle, or run into sewers or stormwater mains as waste discharge to be released or processed. !

How to Know That Your Shower Drain Is Clogged?

How to unclog the shower drain Trusted Source 5 Ways to Unclog a Shower Drain - wikiHow Shower drains can become clogged with minerals from hard water, hair, and soap. Most of the time, hair is the culprit causing the clog and you can easily remove it by pulling it out with your hands. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using… ? Before going deep into the subject, it is necessary to identify whether your drain is clogged. This way, you will take the appropriate steps to prevent the situation from happening in the future.

The first time you realize your shower drain has a problem is when you find out that water is standing in the shower because it is not adequately draining. It is the first sign of obstruction. Also, it determines that a clog is in the process of forming.

Another sign that your shower drain is developing clog issues is when you discover that an unpleasant smell is originating from it. It is a sign that the drain is blocked. The blockage can be a result of debris or dirt that is clogging the pipes.

This signifies that the drain is blocked and this blockage can be caused by debris or dirt that is clogging the pipes. If it is rapidly taken care of, it can result in leaks developing or bathroom flooding.

Once drainage issues start, they usually worsen over time unless you take the appropriate steps to stop and prevent them. The sooner you deal with them, the easier it will be for you to get rid of them.

How to Clean Shower Drain?Why Your Drain Becomes Clogged?

Do you want to know how to clean out a shower drain? Firstly, you must know the reasons why your toilet fixture can be clogged. The blockage can be the result of clumps of knotted hair, particularly long hair that compromises the interior walls of the pipes. It wraps around various parts of your fixture, binds the clumps together, and makes it difficult to move the clogging. When it happens, it prevents water from adequately circulating and evacuating.

When the hair accumulation is associated with soap build-up, the situation worsens. Indeed, soap causes the hair to stick to the drain’s walls than it would otherwise. Over time, it becomes difficult for water to pass through until the blockage occurs. If the clogging happens repeatedly, it is a sign that you are facing a more serious issue in your principal sewer line.

Although they are less common, these other causes can lead to clogged shower drains:

  • Compromised drainage pipes due to decay.
  • Mineral build-up in the drain, causing insoluble masses that block drains.
  • Dirt can build up in your fixture and prevent it from functioning normally. Sometimes, you wash your showers and tubs, forgetting about the dirt that swells down the shower drain.

Why Does the Shower Drain Smell?

How to clean a smelly shower drain? Firstly, you must identify the odors that come from your drain. Doing so can be unpleasant, especially if you are sensitive to bad smells. You must lean down, where you smell the scent, to identify its nature.

For example, if it is musty, it can mean that a mold is growing underneath your fixture, and it is causing the bad smell and possibly the blockage. The best thing to do in such a situation is to clean it with an appropriate cleaner or mold remover.

Having said that, the best idea is to constantly clean your pipes. While it is possible to purchase chemical products to do so, you must know that everything you need is available in your kitchen. We always recommend using kitchen products as a first resort because they are less pollutant, very affordable, and efficient. They help you easily solve the issue and contribute to the efficient working of your shower drain.

Method #1: Using Boiling Water

How to Clean Shower Drain?Nowadays, the best shower drains are smart. They are not what they used to be, and it is possible to benefit from a wide range of functions. However, their level of smartness is limited, and you don’t want your fixture to get worse when you can easily care for it. One of the best ways in which you can unclog your toilet fixture is by using boiling water.

Although it does not unclog the drain, it represents a good starting point, depending on the clog’s origin. If the source is soap accumulation, then pouring boiling water into the pipes can dilute and loosen it. In turn, it will facilitate water from flowing and evacuating. Using boiling water is not difficult, and it does not require many efforts:

  • Simply put some water in your cauldron;
  • Boil the water and let it sit for some minutes;
  • Pour it all in the shower drain.
We do not recommend pouring the water when it is at a high boiling point. Doing so can distort your pipes or cause them to warp.

Method #2: Using Soda

Whether you believe it or not, another good method of cleaning out a high-pressure shower head is by using soda. This drink available in your fridge is possibly the solution you have been looking for. Sodas such as Pepsi® and Coca-Cola ® are a bit acidic. This acidity is the reason why you can use them to perform various household chores. One of the issues they can get rid of is clogs. How to clean out a shower drain using soda? First, you must have the following tools:

  • 1 to 2 liter of soda
  • 1 to 3 gallons of warm water

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Pour all of your soda into the shower drain and let it sit for one hour at least
  • Next, you can pour the warm water into the drain to make sure that the clog and soda debris are removed from the pipes. It cleanses your toilet fixture and makes it easy for water to circulate.

Method #3: Using Your Hands

How to Clean Shower Drain?How to clean a shower drain of hair? Your hands represent the best drain unblockers that you can use to get rid of clogs. They are easy to use, and we recommend you wear rubber gloves before cleaning your drain. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, you can remove hair in our drain with your finger and unclog it.

Doing so is very easy! If the issue is a result of a hair clog, remove the drain cover and work around the pipes. Like we previously mention, make sure that you are wearing rubber gloves to protect your fingers from unwanted dirt.

Pull out or remove any hair or debris that you find in the pipes, and drop them in the dustbin. Do not hesitate to fish for more to empty your shower drain. Once you have pulled out everything you can reach, running water (cold or hot) in the shower drain to determine whether the clog is gone. You will find out that water passes through smoothly if the operation has been adequately executed.

Method #4: Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Are you looking for natural ingredients to remove clogs from your shower drain? Baking soda and vinegar are good options. Combined, both ingredients are efficient and help you easily remove clogs. Using them is easy, and they get rid of organic dirt and blockage caused by hair. This is what you need:

  • Some baking soda
  • Some vinegar
  • A kettle of heated water

Here are the steps to follow to get rid of clogs:

  • Pour one cup of baking soda down the shower drain, followed by the same amount of vinegar;
  • Pour the heated (but not boiled) water into the drain;
  • Let the mixture sit for some hours.
If water is not flowing freely from the drain, you can repeat the procedure until the fixture is free of clogs. Later on, you can pour cold water to rinse the inner walls of the pipes.

Method #5: Using a Coat Hanger

How to clean a shower drain? Sometimes, your drain can be nasty, and you have to roll up your sleeves and proceed with a thorough cleaning of your toilet fixture. One of the tools that you can use for unclogging is a coat hanger. Although it is a bit disgusting, removing clogs with a coat hanger is easier than you think. This is what you have to do:

  • Firstly, you have to put on rubber gloves to protect your hands and fingers from dirt.
  • Secondly, use a screwdriver to unscrew the drain cover.
  • Then, you can proceed by straightening a coat hanger. Make sure that you maintain a tiny hook on end.
  • Fourthly, pull the straightened hanger down the shower drain to fish out any accumulated debris, soap scum, hair, or any organic dirt that causes the clog.
  • After you have pulled them, pour hot water down the shower drain to cleanse the inner walls of its pipes.
  • Now, you can put on the drain cover.

Method #6: Using a Drain Snake

How to Clean Shower Drain?Also known as a plumber’s snake, the drain snake can do the trick and unclog shower drains. This tool is flexible and retractable drilling equipment that you can purchase at any hardware store. It can be manual or electric. If it is manual, you have to manually make it work by turning the handle. On the contrary, if it is electric, then you need to use a power drill to run it.

How to use it to unclog a shower drain? You have to:

  • Insert it in the shower drain until it reaches and hits the clog
  • Whether it is manual or electric, you have to turn the handle clockwise or press the power drill until you feel resistance. This means the clog is hooked and picked by your tool. The drain is clean when you feel less resistance to the plumber’s snake.
  • To remove the tool from the drain, you have to turn it counterclockwise. Perform the act slowly to avoid losing the clog.
  • When it is out of the shower drain, remove the dirt and pour hot water into your toilet fixture, to test that all the clogs have been removed.
  • Replace the cover and close the shower drain.

Method #7: Using Chemical Products

The previous methods did not provide you with the results you were hoping for? You might need to contemplate using a chemical clog remover to resolve the issue. Chemical products are effective, and they work quickly. However, they are dangerous, and you have to make sure that you are safe when using them.

Always wear rubber gloves, protect your eyes, and wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the fumes. Provide adequate ventilation in your bathroom. Also, make sure that you carefully read the cleaner’s instructions so that you may observe to do everything that is written therein.

If you are looking for a strong solution, check the Instant Power Hair & Grease Drain Opener. Another good solution is the Earthworm Drain Cleaner. It is excellent because it is non-toxic!

How to Clean Shower Drain?Method #8: Calling a Professional

All the previous methods, including the chemicals, did not work? You must consider calling a professional. He possesses the necessary qualifications and experience to get rid of any kind of clogs. Although it is, by far, the least affordable solution, it saves you from big troubles.

When contacting the professional plumber, let him know all the products that you have already used. Having this information helps him to work safely.

How to Prevent Clogs in the Future?

The best cure is prevention! It means that you must not neglect your shower drain; providing it with the appropriate care prevents clogs from forming or minimizes their chances of happening again.

  • If you don’t have a drain protector, we recommend you buy one. It catches hair and prevents debris from clogging up your shower drain.
  • Also, make sure that you use a drain cover. It catches strands of hair after your shower, and it is an inexpensive way of protecting your shower drain.
  • We also recommend you reduce the use of body scrubs. Although they make your skin feel amazing, the wind up in your shower drain when you rinse your body. As a result, they harden in the inner walls of your fixture’s pipes.
  • Don’t empty your dustbin in your shower drain. Larger bits of debris and dirt can accumulate and cause the development of clogs.
  • Provide good maintenance to your shower drain. To do that, drain-cleaning must be a part of your cleaning routine. Ingredients such as baking soda or vinegar are excellent solutions. Add to them some hot water.


Must I Use White or Brown Vinegar to Unclog a Shower Drain?

Whether it is brown or white vinegar, any of these solutions can help you unclog your drains. What matters is the acetic acid content contained in the vinegar. Therefore, almost all types of vinegar work.

Is It Possible to Unclog a Shower Drain without Calling a Professional?

Yes, it is possible to unclog a shower drain without calling a professional. Generally, most DIY solutions work. We even recommend starting with these, especially if the clog is not too severe. Calling a professional is expensive and should be used as a last resort.

When Should I Call a Professional?

How to Clean Shower Drain?Calling a professional depends on the nature of the problem you encounter. If the clog is a serious one and affects your drainage system, then it is a job for a professional only. Also, if plumbing issues are involved, the plumber is the right person to provide an adequate solution.

Final Thoughts

Nobody loves cleaning shower drains. However, doing so prevents clogs from building and/or helps you take care of the problem when it arises. Don’t hesitate to put into practice the different tips we shared with you. We are positive that one of them will help you get rid of the clog you are faced with. Plus, they cost little to nothing, and most of them are found in your homes. On the other hand, if you are a fan of DIY, you can always contact a professional plumber. Now that you know how to clean the shower drain, don’t let your toilet fixture get bad!


Drain (plumbing) - Wikipedia
drain is the primary vessel or conduit for unwanted water or waste liquids to be flumed away, either to a more useful area, funnelled into a receptacle, or run into sewers or stormwater mains as waste discharge to be released or processed.
5 Ways to Unclog a Shower Drain - wikiHow
Shower drains can become clogged with minerals from hard water, hair, and soap. Most of the time, hair is the culprit causing the clog and you can easily remove it by pulling it out with your hands. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using…
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