Taking a hot shower can be the perfect way to prepare for a long day at work or relax and unwind in the afternoon. But when you notice your shower drain is clogged, the only thing that is now running through your mind is that you have to call a plumber to get this issue fixed as soon as possible.
And indeed, calling a plumber should quickly make your shower functional again. But perhaps there is a simple, faster, and more affordable way to solve your drain problem. See if one of these home remedies to unclog a shower drain will work.
Remedy #1: Unscrew the drain cover and try to remove the clog
The clog that makes it difficult for you to enjoy taking a shower is probably a build-up of hair, soap scum, dirt, and grease. The good news is that if this clog is not too far down the drain, you might be able to remove it with your fingers.
You will first have to unscrew the drain cover or pry it off if there are no screws on it. Next, try to reach out to the tangled mass of hair and remove it from the drain. It will surely be gross and slimy, so you can wear rubber gloves if you don’t want to touch them with your hands.
If you cannot reach the clog with your fingers, you might succeed with an untangled wire hanger with a small hook at one end.
Remedy #2: Use a plunger to unclog the shower drain
A plunger is one of the best home remedies to unclog a shower drain. You could use a plunger to try to remove the clog, or at least to bring it closer to the drain opening so you can remove it by hand.
Place the base of your plunger over the drain opening, run some water, then start pumping up and down. Do this for a few minutes, then check if you can reach the clog. If you can’t see it at all, run some hot water to verify if your shower drain is still clogged.
Remedy #3: Try to clear the drain with boiling water
If you don’t have a plunger, or if using one sounds too strenuous, you might be able to clear your shower drain with hot water.
Boil some water in a kettle or a pot, then slowly pour it down the drain. It might be able to dissolve the soap scum and debris blocking the drain, so you can easily flush down the clog.
Just be sure not to do this if your pipes are made from PVC, as the heat could damage them instead of solving your problem.
Remedy #4: Try to unclog the drain with vinegar and baking soda
Vinegar and baking soda can be effective at unclogging a shower drain. They are also much better for the environment than commercial drain cleaners.
To see if it will work with your shower, simply mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of baking soda, and pour this fizzy mixture down the drain. Wait a full hour, then run some hot water in your shower.
The drain will hopefully be unclogged.
Remedy #5: Use a wet/dry shop vacuum if you have one
If you have a wet/dry shop vacuum, it should be able to clear your clogged shower drain in no time, like the most powerful plungers. Remove your drain cover if you haven’t done so already, set your machine so you can vacuum liquids with it, then place the hose over the drain.
Remedy #6: Get a plumber’s snake
If you don’t have a wet/dry shop vacuum, you could get a plumber’s snake or rent one. A plumber’s snake, or drain auger, is a tool plumbers use to pick up and remove clogs from drains. It can be an electric or a manual tool.
Simply run the snake down the drain until it hits the clog, then keep going until you feel no resistance anymore.
Getting a plumber’s snake can be a good investment since it can also be used to unclog sinks and toilets.
Remedy #7: Remember these tips to prevent future clogs
If nothing you try managed to fix your clogged shower drain problem, you should call a plumber who will fix it for you.
Next, you should take measures to try to prevent future clogs:
- Brush your hair before taking a shower so fewer hair strands will go down the drain.
- Cover your shower drain with a drain screen or strainer to keep hair and debris from getting down the drain, and remember to empty it often.
- Leave the hot water running for a few minutes after showering to rinse off the drain.
- Don’t pour any liquid that contains debris or oil down the shower drain.