How to Unclog a Shower Drain?

A shower provides the ultimate relaxing experience for all. After a tiring day at work, all you need is to unwind and relax under the shower. The trickling of water through every part of the body provides a refreshing feel which you are sure to enjoy.

But what if the shower drain does not function properly? What if the unclean water comes out of the shower drain? It is sure to leave an unpleasant feeling on you.  

Clogging of the shower drain can happen anytime. Sometimes the drain will be clogged entirely without any water draining down. Sometimes it will be partial clogging where it takes time for the water to seep through. Whatever the situation is, you need to unclog the drain so that water flows freely through it.

What Are the Causes for Clogging of a Shower Drain?

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There are various reasons for the clogging of the shower drain.

  • Dead skin cells and hair: The most common causes for a clog in shower drain are hair and dead skin cell. When you take a shower, thousands of dead skin cells get washed off that get stuck on to the walls of the drain.

Similarly, when you wash your hair, hundreds of hairs also get washed off, which can clog the drain. Most of the drains will have a hair catcher that prevents the hair from going down the drain. But still, small hair can easily flow through the hair catcher and clog the drain.

  • Hard water: Hard water contains a lot of minerals and other deposits that can clog the drain. If you use hard water on a daily basis, then it is advisable to clean the drain periodically so that all the deposits can be cleared.
  • Soap scum: Every time you take a shower, a lot of soap scum gets deposited on the wall of the drain. This, along with hair and dead skin cell, can clog the shower drain.
  • Other substances: Small items like the cap of toothpaste, earring screw, and small buttons get trapped on the shower drain. If you have small children, then you can even expect small stones and even toys on the drain. All this can clog the drain.


How to Unclog a Shower Drain Manually?

  • Using your hand: If the clogging is superficial, the most common reason could be hair. Wait till the shower is completely dry. Now the hair becomes clearly visible. Wear gloves and pull out the hair from the drain.

Pour water to check. If the water is still not draining properly, then you can try out other methods.

  • Using a wire: Take a metal wire and twist it to form a hook. This hook can be used to pull out any clog deep inside the drain.

Slowly push the wire to the drain till you reach the clog. Wiggle the wire so that it goes deep down the drain and pull out all the clog. Once the clog is pushed to the surface, you can remove it with your gloved hand.

Pour water down the drain to ensure that it is free of clog. If the clog still exists, you will have to repeat the process again.

  • Using a plunger: You can use a cup plunger to pull out the clog and clear the drain. If the drain has water all around, then place a towel around the drain and close it completely. This will make it easy to plunge.

If the area surrounding the drain is dry, then you can apply petroleum jelly in the surrounding area to get a good grip. Now you can start plunging by moving the handle of the plunger up and down. You can begin slowly and gradually apply force. But make sure that the plunger seal is not broken.

  • Using plumbers snake: Plumbers snake or hand snake is a long cable with a hand crank. Remove the cover of the shower drain and push the plumber's snake inside. Keep pushing until you can no longer push. This means you have reached the clog. Now turn the handle in a clockwise direction, which will bring up the cable along with the clog.

The clog can then be removed from the cable with hand.

While using the plumber's snake, if you feel that the drain is blocked by a large object which cannot be pulled by the cable, then you can call a plumber.


How to Unclog the Drain Using Natural Products?

Vinegar and baking soda are considered to be very effective in unclogging the drain. Since they are harmless products, they are less likely to damage the shower drain.

For cleaning using these products, first, you should pour hot water down the drain. Hot water helps to drain off not so stubborn clogs from the drain.

Next, fill ¾ cup with baking soda and put it inside the drain. You should wait for a few minutes so that the baking soda gets settled in the drain.

Once done, pour ½ cup of white vinegar followed by ½ cup of hot water on to the drain. The vinegar will react with the baking soda, and you can see bubbles and fumes coming out of the drain. Pouring hot water helps to flush the solution deep inside the drain.

Instead of adding vinegar and baking soda separately, you can also make a solution of the two products and pour it on the drain.

Close the shower drain and let it sit for an hour. If possible, you can even leave it overnight so that the solution works effectively on the clog. Pour 2-3 cups of hot water to flush the solution down the drain. You can also leave the hot water of the tap on for proper flushing.

If you do not want to try the vinegar-baking soda solution, then you can even use a commercially available drain cleaner to unclog the drain. Make sure that you follow the proper directions for use.

If nothing is working, it is advisable to call a plumber to unclog the drain.