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How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Did you know there are ways to unclog your shower drain without the use of harsh chemicals that can be damaging to your family, and your pipes? There are several techniques you can try on your own to unclog the shower drain naturally.

But first – what’s the harm in using a chemical drain cleaner?  Not only can these chemicals burn your eyes and skin and cause permanent damage, the harsh chemicals in drain cleaners can also wear away at your pipes.  For these reasons, it is much better to remove the clog naturally. 

Unclogging a Shower Drain Naturally

  1. Unscrew the drain screen.  Use caution with the screws – you don’t want to lose them down the drain.
  2. Use a wire hanger or drain snake.  Take a wire hanger or any piece of wire and bend it with pliers so that it has hook on the end, about a 3/4 inch.   Use the hook to pull out any debris. If you own a drain snake, or can borrow one, use that instead of making the wire hanger hook.
  3. Get out the plunger.  First, stop up the tub’s overflow opening with a wet rag to make sure that the plunger is effective. Next, fill the shower with just enough warm water to cover the bottom of the plunger. Begin plunging in a vertical fashion. After about 5-10 strong plunges, lift up the plunger to see if the water is draining away quickly.  Continue plunging until the water starts to drain quickly.
  4. Use baking soda and vinegar. If the wire hanger and plunger methods are unsuccessful, begin by remove any existing water from the shower. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into drain and use a spatula to force it down the drain if needed.  Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and quickly cover the drain with a drain cover or damp towel to force the vinegar and baking soda to the clog.  Hold the cover over the drain until the fizzing stops.  Lastly, uncover the drain and flush it with boiling water.
  5. If the shower drain is still clogged, it’s time to call a plumber.  Call us before you try to use more forceful methods or harsh chemical drain cleaners. These methods can damage pipes and cause larger plumbing problems. 

How to Avoid Clogged Shower Drains

Avoid clogged showers from the start with these three tips:

  1. Get a hair trap and use it.  Stop clogs before they start with this handy tool.
  2. Do not use bar soap, use body wash liquid instead.  Bar soap unfortunately causes soap scum buildup.  Body wash does not cause buildup and will keep your shower cleaner.
  3. Clean shower drains regularly with baking soda and vinegar. Whenever you clean the shower, use the baking soda method when you are done cleaning to prevent clogs.
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