How To Clean A Clogged Shower Drain

Clogged shower drains can be incredibly annoying to deal with. The last thing you want when taking a relaxing shower at the end of your day is to smell stagnant water and be standing in several inches of water within a couple minutes of turning the shower on. To help you deal with your clogged shower, here is a guide on how to clean out that drain.

Manually Checking The Drain

Your first step should be to examine the drain to determine the extent of the problem. In order to do this, you will likely need to remove the cover of the drain. Some drains are attached via screws, while others can be easily remove by placing a long, thin, sturdy object (preferably that can be used as a hook) in one of the drain holes and applying pressure upwards. The drain cover should easily pull out, but if it doesn't, then your drain cover might actually be screwed into place. Try applying pressure in a counter-clockwise motion.

Once the cover is off, you will need to use a similarly long, sturdy object to probe the drain. An old wire hanger is an excellent option, since it can be bent to conform to the shape of the drain. Most drains form a U-shape, so you will want to bend the hanger like a cane. Gently lower the hanger into the drain and feel around. If there is any resistance, you can try to fish out the clog. If you cannot find the clog with a hanger, then you will need to move on to other options.


At this point, you will want to try using a plunger before moving on to chemicals. Fill the shower with water until there is a thin layer covering the drain. Use the plunger 15-20 times and then wait a moment. The water in the tub should rapidly drain, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the drain is cleared. Turn the shower on and let the water run for 30 or so seconds. If the water goes down the drain easily by the end of this period, then your drain is probably clear. However, if the water gets backed up, then you should trying plunging again. If that doesn't work after several more tries, you should move on to baking soda and vinegar.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

An excellent option for cleaning your pipes without resorting to caustic chemicals is the classic combination of baking soda and vinegar. You're going to want to add anywhere from 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the drain. Wait a few minutes, and then add about a cup of vinegar (white is fine) and some hot water. You should cover the drain in order to contain the reaction for maximum effectiveness, but don't worry if you don't have a shower drain, it'll still work fine. Wait 15-20 minutes and then pour some very hot water down the drain. Test the shower, but don't be alarmed if you still have a clogged drain. Repeat the process 2-3 more times, and your drain should be good to go.

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Troubleshooting Your Plumbing

When you need to get ready in a hurry or clean the bathroom before friends come over, nothing is more frustrating than a clogged toilet or shower. In addition to gumming up the works, plumbing messes can also be smelly and damage surrounding structures. After all, how will your crown molding hold up against three inches of standing water? I have dealt with hundreds of plumbing issues over the years, and I want to help you to resolve problems before they turn into nightmares. My blog can help you to troubleshoot plumbing problems quickly and efficiently so that you can avoid issues.