How to Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain

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A clogged shower drain is nothing less than irksome. One peek down the drain, and you’ll be turning your head away. If left undealt with, the problem will only worsen as time passes. The foul stench can evolve while water continues to accumulate across your bathroom floor.

The cause of this bothersome occurrence tends to be nothing more than a bubbly mess of soapy foam, human hair, and dirt. Of course, other substances and materials can contribute to the issue. Sometimes, pieces of tissue can get caught in the metal mesh of the drain, along with toothpaste, makeup, or even hair bands that fall out as we shower.

Despite what it may appear to be, treating a clogged shower drain is rarely a challenge. There are several ways through which you can easily unclog your shower drain. However make sure you don’t end up damaging your water heater. In case you do, get the best under sink water heater.


1. Use a Plunger

For most clogged shower drains, just resort to the old-fashioned method: making use of an everyday plunger.

Through the use of mechanical force and the action of suction, a plunger can dislodge most of the grime within the clog. It will loosen much of it, allowing you to wash the clog away with water. The drain can especially get clogged if you have hard water which leaves residue when heated. To avoid that, get a water heater for hard water.

Unfortunately, the use of a plunger alone won’t always achieve the desired results. Sometimes, the clog is resistive and extra measures must be taken. In cases where the clog is largely composed of clumps of hair, the plunger may fail to draw in enough suction. To prevent this from happening, petroleum jelly can be used. By spreading it across the rim of the suction pad, you can increase the amount of force the plunger delivers. Wetting the drain before placing the plunger on top can also achieve these results. For this, however, you’ll have to add enough water for the plunger’s suction pad to be submerged.


2. Buy Some Baking Soda and Vinegar

It’s quite remarkable, and also very fortunate for us, just how effective baking soda and vinegar are as cleaning aids. They can be used to clear up the grime between our bathroom floor tiles, remove the stains on our toilets, and even clean up any smears on our rugs and carpets.

When it comes to unclogging shower drains, baking soda and vinegar make no exceptions.

The method is simple. Just pour a cup of baking soda down your drain (you may want to adjust your measurements depending on the size of the drain and the clog). Wait for five or so minutes to allow the baking soda to settle before following it up with a cup of vinegar.

Then all you have to do is wait for a few hours to allow the mixture to dissolve the clog. Finish off by pouring boiling hot water down the drain to clean it of everything.

What’s favorable about this method is that it is an environmentally friendly alternative to using artificial chemical substances. Plus, it is less likely to damage your drain and pipes.


3. Manually Remove the Clog

Understandably, you will be reluctant to try this method. This is only for when all hope is lost and everything else that you’ve tried has failed. Think of it as a last resort.

Just strap on two rubber gloves, and get to work.

Of course, you’ll need some utensils to help you out. A screwdriver is a must in order to take off the drain’s cover. You might also have to use a flashlight to get a better look at what you’re putting your hand into.

If you’re not too keen on using your hands, then you can try out a wire coat hanger as an alternative. Simply bend the end of the wire into the shape of a small hook, and place it down the drain. Hopefully, it’ll be able to grab hold of whatever is clogging your drain allowing you to safely extract it.

Needless to say, this method has its limitations. There’s only a certain length to which your hands – or coat hanger – can reach, and even if the clog is within reach, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to scoop it up. While bundles of hair or small items can easily be removed by hand or wire, build ups of hardened substances will be almost impossible to take out. In such cases, you will have to make do with chemical products.


4. Purchase a Hand Snake

You’re probably not familiar with what a hand snake is, and that’s quite alright. Also known as a plumber’s snake, a hand snake is not an everyday object you keep lying around in your house. It isn’t difficult to come by, though. A hand snake can easily be bought from your local hardware store.

A plumber’s snake is pretty much a long plastic pipe with a handle attached onto it for grip and a crank at the end. The way to use it is to slip the pipe down your drain and begin to push it further along. You’ll know that you’ve reached the clog once it becomes impossible to push the pipe any further. Then, turn the crank of the snake to grab hold of the clog and pull the snake out along with the clog.

Repeat this method a couple of times to ensure the clog has been removed. You can pour water down the drain to check.


5. Make use of chemical products

Lastly, chemicals.

Chemical products are an easy and quick way to clear just about any clog. Simply pour a cup of whichever liquid chemical you’ve bought down the drain and watch as it does all the work. In the market, there are special chemical cleaners designed for specific types of clogs. This ensures very little effort on your part.

However, some precautions must be taken if you’re going to resort to chemical products. Firstly, make sure the windows of our bathroom are open and that it is properly ventilated. The substances inside the products can be volatile and if you breathe in too much, it can be harmful. Secondly, wear rubber gloves to prevent any chemicals making contact with your skin. Lastly, be sure to follow the instructions provided on the label of the product to prevent misuse. Some chemicals can cause damage to your drainage system if not used appropriately.

After using the chemical products, be sure to pour water down the drain to ensure no residue remains. You may consider keeping the showerhead on for some time to keep the water running. In such a case, you may need a high pressure showerhead.

If you’re uncertain about using chemical products, then don’t take the risk. Instead, call a professional. They’ll know what to do and will hopefully get the job done.