How to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain 

 May 1, 2017

By  Xion Lab

We all have experienced – and will continue to experience – that frustrating feeling that comes with seeing dirty water overflowing from the shower drain. When all you want to do is take a shower early in the morning and head to work, or want to be done with a quick shower before having that peaceful sleep, imagine the anger, exasperation and that maddening feeling you get when you find that your shower is all clogged and it will take hours, or even days, for the professional plumber to arrive and fix it.

However, things are mostly not what we make them to be. In fact, with a few handy and quick tips up your sleeves, anyone can easily deal with it. All they need to know is how to fix a clogged shower drain and they are good to go. Knowing how to fix a clogged shower drain will enable you to solve the problem within minutes, allowing you to get back to your routine without any further delay.

But you know what they say; prevention is better than cure, even if the cure is too easy. Therefore, knowing how to fix a clogged shower drain might come in handy throughout your life, but you need to understand what causes such an appalling affront in the first place so that it can be avoided in the future:

Fix a Clogged Shower Drain

What are the Common Causes of Clogged Shower Drains?

There are certain things that cause the shower drains to clog which we can easily avoid and then, there are things that we cannot help avoid. However, we can maintain a schedule of cleaning our shower drains from time-to-time so that it never gets a chance to get clogged. However, in case it does, you must learn how to fix clogged shower drains so that you have a solution for every situation.

Don’t let anything inconsequential yet highly inconvenient, such as a shower drain, to ruin your day. So, let’s have a look at things that cause the shower drains to clog:

1. Dead Skin Cells and Hair Balls:

We all shed a considerate amount of hair every day. However, when showering, the water causes the shedding to increase even more, and when it is a person who is already suffering from extreme hair fall problems, you can expect your shower drain to get clogged. Another thing that we shed are dead skin cells that flow in hundreds and thousands of numbers from our body and down the drain.

When they accumulate, they end up clogging the shower drain. While there is little we can do to avoid our dead skin from shedding, we can control our hair fall problems by consulting a dermatologist and then, by increasing the interval between hair wash and pinning up the hair (if to long) while taking a shower.

Just because you know how to fix a clogged shower drain doesn’t mean you let it happen. Cleaning the drains once every month will never allow the drain to reach that nasty stage of being clogged.

2. Froth and Foam from the Soap:

The bathroom is where we use soap abundantly. However, all the soap usage ends up accumulating the froth, foam and soap crust in the shower drain. While it may appear that all the soap scum has disappeared, that may not be the case and it rarely happens.

In reality, all the soap crust gets stuck in the drainage pipes and only your tricks of fixing the clogged shower drain can help get rid of them. If you are smart, you won’t let that happen. Pour some boiling hot water to make the soap scum come free. Do it frequently rather than facing the situation again and again.

3. Junk and Wrappers:

The house with children most often faces this problem. Children care little about where they are throwing the wrappers of their candies and sweets as they are only concerned with gobbling it down. So before you know it, a good amount of wrappers and junk will have formed a family gathering in your shower drain and will result in you experiencing an overflowing drain.

Wrappers are a bit more complicated to deal with as compared to soap scum, and you’ll need to know really smart ways to fix the clogged shower drain. Sometimes, it might not even be the wrappers; instead, it could be a rubber bowl or a soft toy clogging the drain because kids do that all the time!

4. Debris:

If you just had a small hole drilled for something in your bathroom, rest assured that the debris will surely, somehow, find a way to reach your shower drain and clog it up. This can be avoided by closing the door or covering the drain properly before the work starts.

5. Hard Water:

Hard water is rich in minerals and while they might not be so prominent to our eyes, they still get left behind by the water. Eventually, these minerals find their way to the drain and over time, get accumulated there. This never fails to clog the drain too and may cause problems for us. To elaborate on how to fix a clogged shower drain in this situation, all you need to do is find a water softening agent to prevent this from happening.

What is the Most Common Cause of a Clogged Shower Drain?

We now know about the all those tricky objects that cause the shower drain to clog and make our lives difficult. But while all these things can be prevented and dealt with easily, the one that is the most common and most difficult cause of it is all the hair. It doesn’t even have to Rapunzel like hair to clog it up as people with the shortest hair face the same problem – albeit it happens a little later than the ones who have longer hair.

More importantly, it is not only the human beings who are responsible for that; pet hair too have a fair share in clogging shower drains. Those who frequently bathe their pets in the shower often end up with lots of pet hair in the shower drain. Of course there is nothing wrong with washing your hair or washing your pets in the shower (it is good actually), but it becomes inconvenient when it is not taken care of. So, learn the many methods of fixing up clogged shower drains and you’ll never face the same problem again.

Removing Hair from the Drain:

Though we’ll be discussing in detail about how to fix clogged shower drains, for now, we will be discussing the basics by first discovering some methods to remove hair after every week or so. This is so that when the time to clean the drains comes, you won’t have to put much work into it.

  • If you find your shower drain clogged with hair strands, instantly pour a bowl of boiling water down the drain.
  • Make use of the closet auger. It is one of the most effective tool used for fixing a clogged shower drain that has been caused because of abundant hair strands. Closet auger is basically a bristled brush on one end a hook on the other side. You can use either side to fix the clogged shower drain.

The Science Behind a Clogged Drain:

You might be able to learn how to fix a clogged shower drain, but you must also be aware about how it actually happens. Why does not all the hair, soap scum, and debris pass right through the drain? These things are small and can easily pass through the drainpipe. Additionally, the fast flow of water also helps the junk and debris move further down the drain.

Take hair for instance. As soon as they all accumulate together, they take a hydrodynamic shape, which means that no amount of water will be able to move it from its position in the pipe. Moreover, hair encourages other dirt to get stuck onto it by providing a new space, new crevices, and a new home for more dirt to gather and clog the drain.

The verdict; we cannot lower the amount of clogging objects from going inside the drain, but we can stop them from clogging the shower drain by taking some effective measures.

drain cleaner

Ways to Fix a Clogged Shower Drain by Using Tools:

When there are some nasty things stuck in the drain, all you need to do is clean them off so that things do not remain stuck and you can fix the clogged shower drain. Initially, no liquid detergent or home remedy will work if your drain is overflowing with dirty water and won’t allow it to drain. You need to find the source of the blockage and remove it pronto. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Use Your Hands:

In case the thing that is clogging the shower drain is really huge and refuses to pass through but one you can easily reach out to, might have to get involved personally; that is by using your hands. All you need to do is wear some huge and thick gloves – or you can even tie a polythene bag around your hand – and just put your hands in and grab the dirt causing the blockage. Once it is removed, the water will begin to flow inside.

2. Wire Hanger:

When the ball of dirt is to far down for you to see, don’t worry. A wire hanger will come to the rescue in this case. Just take any easily bendable wire hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. Then, take the last end and bend it into the shape of a hook.

Once you have something that resembles a long wire with a hook at its end, just begin to fish in. As soon as you feel something solid, let the hook catch it and snatch it out. Bingo, you now know how to fix a clogged shower drain. The only tricky part is remembering not to push the gunk deeper. You need to remove it or the large glop will continue to block the rest of the drainage pipe and cause more problems from time-to-time.

3. Use a Plunger:

A plunger is present in every home. So, you won’t have to go out of your way to get it. While plunging might not be a permanent solution, it will help you deal with it temporarily, that is until you have time to deal with the blockage problem once and for all. A plunger is best for when you are short on time and the clogged shower drain is giving you a headache.

Just plunge the plunger in a few times and watch how all the water begins to disappear. For getting a better result, you can apply something greasy at the end soft end of the plunger, such as petroleum jelly for instance. Once the dirty water starts to go in, open the shower to test whether the water is draining or not.

4. Vacuum:

Not many people have ever thought of it, but it is one of the smartest techniques. If you own a wet and dry vacuum at home, all you need to do is place the one seal that best fits the drain, change the setting to vacuum liquid and turn it on. Vacuum cleaners are super powerful at suctioning and before you know it, the main cause of the shower blockage will be moving in through the vacuum pipe and into the vacuum bucket. It might look a bit messy, but you can always wash your vacuum bucket after using it.

Ways to Fix and Clean a Clogged Shower Dain Using Home Remedies:

You don’t really have to search far and wide to look for things that might help you fix the clogged shower drain. As a matter of fact, why waste money when there are many thing at home that might not only help you unclog the drain, but will also clean it up and get rid of the bacteria that are throwing a party inside the drain.

Learning how to fix a clogged shower drain is not rocket science. By the time you finish reading this, you’ll be a pro at it. Just ensure that before trying any of these tricks, you should have visibly cleaned as much of the hair and other visible things that are blocking the drain by using the tools and methods explained above.

1. Homemade Concoctions:

Just take a huge bowl and pour a cup of baking soda in it. Then, add white vinegar in the same amount as well as a cup of salt. Pour the mixture in the drain and leave it. After an hour, run hot water and your drain will be squeaky clean.

2. Pepsi:

It could be Pepsi, Coke or any other fizzy drink. Since they contain a good amount of phosphoric acid – it has a high PH value – it works wonders to clean the drain. Just pour 2 cans of pop into the drain, let it work its corrosive magic and after 20 minutes or so, run hot water over it.

3. Baking Soda and Salt:

Another homemade concoction for you to know how to fix a clogged shower drain; all you have to do is blend completely equal amount of baking soda and salt and dissolve it with 4 parts of boiling water. Let it stay overnight and do its job. Come morning, everything will be right again.

4. Boiling Water:

If you have none of the other ingredients at home and feel like your shower drain is dirty and smelling badly, you’ll be glad you came across this blog and learned how to fix a clogged shower drain. All you need is a kettle full of boiling water. Pour it gently and bit-by-bit into the dirty drain. By the time you’ll finish with the process. Your drain will have already been cleaned up.

5. Dish Washing Detergent:

While you might have cleaned out all the hair and debris, you certainly wouldn’t have gotten rid of all the germs that it left behind. It might only be a shower drain but you don’t want it to be full of germs and bacteria. To deal with that, you just need to pour half a cup of dish-washing detergent into the drain.

Since dish washer is soapy, it will act as a lubricant and will not only clean up the residue of what was clogging the drain in the first place, but will also clean the drain as well. After 5 minutes, pour boiling water into the drain as well so that hair does not get stuck inside the shower drain.

Now that you know how to fix a clogged shower drain, you won’t have to panic over the sight of an overflowing shower drain again. Just pick any of the tools mentioned above, or you can even try a makeshift tool that you made. Just make sure that it is sturdy and start fishing in. Also, make sure to clean your drain every now and then so that it never really gets a chance to get clogged.

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