7 Tips For How to Unclog Your Bathroom’s Tub & Shower Drain

Out of the many subtle home problems I experienced, a clogged bathroom is what I hate the most. And believe it or not, I get nightmares from this problem. So I searched through and learned how to unclog a tub and shower drain.

We always love a good bath before going out for work and after we face the world. Thankfully, you may not need to contact a plumber to solve your problem. There are ways to unclog it on your own using items you can get at home or in the shop. Let me show them to you now:

Getting Started

Even though pipes are downward, tiny solid elements and semi-solid objects can accumulate here. After flashing them down, they may get stuck somewhere in the pipes, and this causes clogging.

Preventing the buildup of these common problems is essential for avoiding more major sink repairs.

When blockages are unavoidable, there are chemicals available to dissolve impediments and restore the smooth passage of water down your pipes. To deal with obstructions, you may also use recommended tools and essential treatments. There are various ways, such as a plunger, a hook, an auger, and hot water. Or an acidic solution such as baking soda and vinegar. We will discuss each method in detail below.

colorful nail polish

Reasons your Tub is Draining Slowly, but Not Entirely Clogged

When water cannot move through the sewer line, it clogs the drain, causing wastewater to back up. It is because of the things lodged, either directly causing the clog or assisting in forming larger clumps of debris, finally becoming a blockage.

Hair, soap scum, and more hair are common reasons for clogged bathroom drains. If dirt and debris become trapped with loose hair and scum down your tubes, it may be a cause for slow working tubs, sinks, and showers.

Take a look at the most typical culprits:

Hair strand

You may encounter a clog in your bathroom from time to time. Hair is one of the most common causes of clogging by blocking a pipe. Yes, hair is the primary cause of blocks.

Grease trap

Oil, grease, or fat (even if rinsed away with hot water) can solidify and gets into any opening that leads to the sink after washing off the dirt from your body, which can build up and cause severe obstruction.

Soap residue

It is most likely a buildup of hair clinging to soap scum and a combination of bath and natural body oils. Soapy masses can pile up and develop, resulting in a blockage if not correctly flushed down with enough water. While soap does not clog a drain, it can cause other chemicals and debris to solidify, causing obstructions.

Thick liquids

Dumping thick liquids or semi-solids down the drain might block traps or pipes if not thoroughly flushed down. Only flush fluids down the sink or shower, and use the garbage can for anything solid or semi-solid.

Bath salts and bath oils

When partly dissolved bath salts build in your drain, they can combine with hair and other debris to form significant jams. And also, bath oils can block pipes by solidifying as they cool. Bath salts, which do not dissolve as totally as many believe, may be the cause of problems in your bathtub.

feet in a shower

Septic issues

When septic fills up, the sewage flows into the drain field and plugs it. Sewage backs up into your pipes, so once that’s blocked, it won’t flush. When you turn on the sink, the toilet fills up. Sewage begins to leak from your bathtub/shower. So, instead of paying a few hundred dollars to pump out the tank, you now have to pay for pumping the tank, digging a new field, disconnecting all the lines, and putting up with a terrible stink for days/weeks.

Slow Draining Tub? Dealing With a Shower That Won’t Let Go of Water!

If you find that the water in your shower or bathtub is not simply working as intended, you may think of calling a plumber. Clogs produced by soap accumulation, hair, and other stuff obstruct the drain causing a severe headache. However, you do not need to contact the plumber immediately because you have solutions to fix slow shower drains before you incur a plumber charge.

Slow running or clogged draining tubs are a common household issue caused by hair or sanitary items that eventually stack up and cause a jam. While most households resort to chemical solutions quickly, several non-corrosive and better options will typically solve the problem.

Home Remedies (Step-by-Step Guide)

Tip #1 Try Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

Step 1: Prepare your homemade ingredients. Instead of using cleaners, which are typically corrosive and can cause allergic responses and respiratory difficulties, you can utilize materials from your homes, such as rags as sink stoppers, baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and boiling water.

Step 2: Next is the mixture: Blend 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup white vinegar, and one big pot of boiled water. Keep a cloth or a sink stopper on hand.

Step 3: Put the baking soda down the drain, ensuring that most go directly into the affected area rather than around the sink.

Step 4: Pour the cup of vinegar into the hole. You may hear a fizzing noise or see bubbles appear. It is due to the chemical reaction, which is typical and indicates that the chemicals eat away the obstruction in your sink.

Step 5: Block it with a cloth that acts as a sink stopper. This will prevent the bubbles from escaping and keep the chemical reaction focused on the obstruction.

Step 6: Allow fifteen minutes for the baking soda and vinegar reaction to complete its work.

Step 7: Because hair strands will ultimately decay and stink, you may also want to add the juice of lemon if you smell an unpleasant stench emanating from the sink. This is necessary to eliminate the odor while also aiding in the breakdown of the obstruction.

Step 8: Then, bring the pot of water to a boil.

Step 9: Pour hot water into the hole to force the baking soda, vinegar, and obstruction down. Check whether the sink works better as you pour in the water. If it is still not moving regularly, there might be a minor obstruction. If this is the case, try repeating the process until everything is resolved.

Step 10: You’d be surprised at how powerful vinegar is as a cleaner and how effectively it detoxifies your pipes.

fixing a bathroom drain

Tip #2 Unclog using a DIY Wire Hanger

These procedures may only be appropriate for small plugs.

Step 1: Loosen the loops and straighten up the wire as much as possible with a pair of needle-nose pliers. To make it simpler to capture hair, add a little hook about 14 inches long at the end of the wire.

Step 2: Insert the wire snake, hook hair clumps, and draw them up.

Step 3: Turn on the hot water to see if the blockage has been removed. If the water still won’t flow, there’s a blockage farther down the system, and you’ll need to plunge it or use other alternative solutions.

Tip #3 Unclogging by Hand

Most drains are simple to clear with your fingers, a wire, or a clothes hanger. However, you must first determine how to remove the stopper. The majority of them have drop stoppers or push/lock stoppers.

Step 1: To start, remove the stopper from the drain by gently raising it. It should have a screw that protrudes slightly. Loosen the screw gently, then lift the pin-up. You may only need to raise the filter at the bottom of the shower. However, it’s also possible that you’ll have to detach the cover.

Step 2: While you can remove specific blockages with your hands, using a DIY tool will be more accessible, successful, and less nasty.

  • Straighten out a coat hanger to create a long wire. With pliers, bend its end to form a smaller hook.
  • Or bend the end of a wire into a bit of hook to grab the hair.

Step 3: Once you’re sure that all debris has been removed, check whether the shower is working correctly again. Then place the stopper back.

Tip 4 Apply Chemical Cleaner

Gel cleansers and other forms of commercial drain cleaners effectively remove obstructions. Yet, you must exercise caution when using, since they are pretty strong and might damage your pipes or cause difficulties if not appropriately used otherwise.

  • Before applying, read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions because each product works somewhat differently. Also, always wear hand and eye protection.
  • In practice, you start with half a bottle to clear the blockage, then wait around 15 minutes. If it’s not working at all, use the entire bottle. If you like, you may sometimes mix the cleaner with standing water.
  • Then, run hot water into it to eliminate the chemicals and blockages. If it isn’t working smoothly, try again with more of the same cleaner, but don’t mix it with another cleanser.
water draining in a bathroom

How to Snake a Bathtub [TIP 5]

Once the water in your tub drains slowly, you may need to snake your shower. It cleans out the system using a plumber’s snake to remove all of the hair and soap residues accumulated. The tool is helpful to catch hair and sludge that is obstructing the drain and then pull it back out. The snake will not harm your pipes, so it is better than chemical cleaners.

It can also eliminate tremendous obstacles that chemical cleaners couldn’t get rid of. This procedure is for tough blockages and may require different processes and materials.

Procedure:

Step 1: You’ll need a plumber’s snake. Also known as a claw, it is a long, coiled metal spiral with a grip on one end. This can be manual, in which case you spin the handle manually, or electric, in which case you hook it to a power drill.

Step 2: You may need a pair of rubber gloves and a google. Pulling out webs of damp hair may be a delicate process, and you don’t want to risk cutting your fingers on the shower snake. Though safety glass is not really required, however, it’s a good idea, especially if you’ve recently attempted to apply the drain with a strong chemical cleaner.

Step 3: Remove the lid from your shower drain. Most shower holes are guarded with a circular, metal grate-like cover protecting you from stepping into the hole. If it’s fastened in place, remove the lid using a screwdriver.

Step 4: Insert the snake’s tip into the drain. Depending on the amount of built-up hair and stiff shampoo and soap accumulated, it may take a few tries to get the end down into it. Continue to feed the snake down the pipe until you encounter some friction.

Step 5: Crank the snake handle clockwise at least a few inches down your drain until you feel resistance to force its tip to spin and catch whatever is obstructing.

Step 6: Crank the handle deeper and deeper. As it progresses further into the and accumulates more built-ups, the handle gets more challenging to turn. Don’t be alarmed; this is a positive indicator that the drain is cleaned.

Step 7: When you notice reduced resistance, and it gets simpler to rotate, you’ve hooked and unhooked whatever massive slime that was obstructing your drain. Give it one more full round to ensure that the obstacle is completely attached to the snake, and then stop turning.

Step 8: Pull the snake by turning the handle counter-clockwise once done. To prevent leaving clustered hair in the pipe, pull carefully and avoid pushing.

Final Step: After you’ve fully retracted the snake, use your gloved hands to remove any hair or debris, then place the wastes in a garbage container.

Best Drain Cleaner

Green Gobbler

Green Gobbler is really devoted to producing highly safe items you can always trust.

The revolutionary Green Gobbler liquid clog remover simply Cuts right through a pool of standing water clogged with hair. And it can practically eat the hair away in about twenty minutes. It is a completely safe, simple, and environmentally friendly solution for unclogging and removing blocked-up pipes.

It has no nasty chemical odor and is quite simple to use. You already know what you’re going to get if you ever need treatment with a blockage. Great stuff!

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Green Gobbler
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Green Gobbler
Green Gobbler has thousands of reviews and will make sure you can use your bathroom ASAP!

Drano Max Gel

Introducing the Drano Max Gel destroys even the toughest clogs. It works fast with just about 7 minutes and effectively penetrates standing water. You won’t have to worry about your pipes as this product is safe on PVC, metal pipes, and septic systems. So say goodbye to plug-ups, always keep Drano on hand, and then use it often to avoid blockages.

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Drano Max Gel
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Drano Max Gel
With its thick formula, you'll be able to take care of even severe bathroom issues!

Earthworm

This build-up remover has no harsh chemicals. Because it contains a natural enzyme, it is safe for piping. Furthermore, it is most effective for slow-running drains and sinks. It is a certified safe product for children, cats, and dogs since it leaves no chemicals behind and smells fresh.

Earthworm
980 Reviews
Earthworm
With its natural enzymes, you avoid pouring harsh chemicals into your pipes. This can be especially good if you're living in an older home.

If you have an older home, there’s also a chance you have exposed wire. For that very reason, it’s especially important that you avoid leaks and anything that may be harsh on your system.

How to Unclog a Bathtub with Standing Water Using Plunger [TIP 6]

If your bathtub has a large pool of standing water, It means the drain is blocked. What’s alarming is it might attract insects and bring sickness. However, there are various ways to clear it, and here’s how:

Time needed: 10 minutes.

Unclogging a bathtub drain using a plunger if there’s standing water

  1. First, wear a pair of rubber gloves and remove any obstructions you are able to.

    By eliminating the obstacles, you may resolve the standing water issue instantly. If nothing happens, you’ll have to take more drastic measures.

  2. Next, remove all standing water so that you may work on the drains. Using a bucket, collect the water and dispose of it outside.

  3. If there is an overflow, clear it and seal it with a cloth.

    Typically, the overflow will be located beneath a faucet. If the water level rises too high, the overflow supports the mainline removing the water. A long coil connecting to the drain will flow down the drain. Remove any hairs, muck, or other impediments adhered to the coil.

  4. Place the plunger over the drain.

    The suction cup will trap any air that escapes. Then, press the handle in and out to clear any obstructions and move them closer to the plunger. Once you hear the pipes starting to empty, it means the blockage is removed.plunger used on a drain

  5. Turn on a hot water faucet and run it through the pipes for 5-10 minutes to remove any remaining clogs. Remove the plunger after you hear the drain running freely.

water on top of concrete

How to the Remove Bathtub Drain Without Tools [TIP 7]

If you want to know a none-expensive way to clean a drain, that is, without a tool. So how do you do it?

Every shower has a detachable lid. It is either bolted on or kept in place by tensioned clips. All you need to do is remove it and clear it out.

Several natural alternatives may work if you don’t want to use chemical cleaners. Pouring hot water carefully may help break up the clog. Also, you can try combining one-third cup baking soda and one-third cup vinegar if this doesn’t work. Use the filter to trap hair, and be sure to sweep out the tub after every shower or bath to capture stray hairs before they go down the drain. This will assist you in avoiding blockages.

If you’ve tried all of these remedies and they’re not working, it’s time to invest in a cleaner and tools. Of course, as a last resort, you may call a plumber. They will have the knowledge, skills, and tools required to locate the source of the blockage and clear your issue.

FAQ

What can I use to unclog a bathroom drain?


A plunger, baking soda, chemical cleaners, and a snake are just some of the tools available to you.

How do you dissolve hair in a drain?


With chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners can be used to fix water not draining. Find ones that specifically say they’ll dissolve hair.

What naturally unclogs a drain?


Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. However, you will also want to take preventive measures such as avoiding flushing hair down the drain.

What is the easiest way to unclog a bathroom sink?


With a plunger. A plunger is an easy first step to see if it solves the problem. Most people have these lying around at home, and this method can save you a $100 visit from a plumber.

How do you fix a slow draining bathroom sink?


Using a baking soda & vinegar solution. There’s a blockage that you want to dissolve. This magical sollution can cut through most issues with water not leaving the bathroom like it’s supposed to.

How do you unclog a bathroom sink with standing water?


Using a plunger is the most effective way. Many chemical solutions will just get dissolved if there’s standing water. For that reason, you will either want to use a plunger or a snake.

Conclusion

Unclogging your bathroom tub and shower drain may be a hectic task that requires effort and time. However, understanding the primary methods to do it yourself will come in handy. Not all the time, plumbers and other services are available or can do the job at hand correctly.

I hope you learn valuable information to keep your home bathroom clean and fresh.

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