Home Improvement

How to Unblock a Shower Drain – 5 Easy Methods

It’s safe to say that nobody enjoys standing in a pool of murky water while taking a shower. If you find that you’re dealing with a blocked shower drain, you should take care of the issue before the clog gets larger and more challenging to handle.

But what if you don’t know how to unblock a shower drain? Worry not! The Fantastic Services team is here to help you handle this task successfully.

Table of Contents:

So, if you are:

  • Having issues with the water in your shower not draining;
  • Looking for the best way to unblock a shower drain;
  • Wondering what may be causing the clog in your drain,

Then read on! This article has all the answers.

What causes a blocked shower drain

Many things can result in a clogged drain. However, some are more common than others. So, the issue behind your blocked drain may arise from:

  • Hair
    This is especially the case for households where one or more members have long hair. The strands can get caught in the pipes. When you combine them with soap residue, they get matted and stuck together, which can clog the drain. Fortunately, if the clog is close to the drain hole, this issue can be quickly dealt with.
  • Soap scum
    Some types of soap are made with grease, which can only make the problem worse. Grease and soap scum can build up in your pipes, causing the blockage.
  • Mineral build-up
    This can be a big issue in areas with hard water. The minerals dissolved in the water can build up on your pipes and cause the drain to clog.
  • Small objects
    Sometimes, small objects can make their way into your drain, making it easier for hair, soap, and grease to form a blockage in your pipes.

One of the most common results from this blockage is having smelly drains. That’s why it’s important to find the source of the problem and fix it as soon as possible.

How to unclog a shower drain

So, now that you know what may be causing the clog in your drain, it’s time to learn how to get rid of it.

If you can reach the blockage by hand, you can grab your rubber gloves and pull the clog out. However, if that is not possible, give one of the following methods a try.

Unblocking a drain with hot water

This solution can work for soap and grease build-up, but may not be effective against more severe clogs and hair stuck in the drain.

Simply boil a kettle of water, wait a minute or so, and carefully pour it down the drain. If you have a funnel, it can help protect you from any spills.

We recommend that you don’t use boiling hot water, as that may cause warping of your pipes.

How to unblock a shower drain with a plunger

The success of this method will depend on the type of clog you’re dealing with and how close it is to the drain hole. Generally, the closer it is, the better.

To get a better seal and better suction, you can add some petroleum jelly to the edge of the plunger. Run the water so that the tip is submerged; this will help as well.

Now that the tool is sealed around the drain, just start plunging vigorously. It may take a while for you to generate enough suction to loosen the clog, so don’t give up.

If plunging doesn’t do the trick, you might want to move on to the following methods.

Using baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain

If you’re wondering how to unblock a shower drain naturally, baking soda and vinegar are a trusted alternative to commercial chemicals.

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Pour in baking soda.

    Grab a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain.

  2. Wait.

    Give it a couple of minutes to work.

  3. Pour in vinegar.

    Take a cup of white vinegar and pour it down the drain. The solution should start fizzing up.

  4. Wait again.

    Let the mixture work its magic for a couple of hours.

  5. Rinse with hot water.

    Pour hot (not boiling) water down the drain to clear it out.

Unblocking a drain with a plumber’s snake

Plumber’s snakes, often called drain snakes, are an excellent way to handle clogs caused by hair and other debris.

To use a drain snake, push it down the drain until you reach the clog. Turn the handle, then bring the snake back up, pulling out the blockage. Run the water to test if the clog has cleared up completely.

If you don’t have a drain snake, you can try using a hook. Simply twist some wire into the shape of a hook and push it down the drain, twist it when you reach the clog, then pull it back up.

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Using chemicals to unclog a shower drain

Commercial chemicals are very effective and work fast. However, they should be used as a last resort as they can cause damage to the pipes if applied repeatedly. Use them carefully and never mix the chemicals, as that may cause the release of poisonous gas.

If none of the other methods work and you need to resort to chemicals, make sure to wear protective gear and follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Need help? Call a professional!

If you don’t have the time, tools or desire to handle a clogged drain by yourself, you can always rely on the experts. The experienced and reliable plumbers who Fantastic Services works with are ready to help you with this issue and any others you may be dealing with. They are available 7 days a week, including holidays!

Simply book your appointment online and the plumbers will handle the rest!

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  • Hot water can be useful against soap and grease build-up.
  • Hair can sometimes get clogged in the drain – a drain snake or wire hook is a good way to deal with it.
  • Commercial chemicals should be used as a last resort, as they can damage your pipes if applied repeatedly.
  • Baking soda and vinegar are a good natural alternative to chemicals.


Did you find this post useful? Do you have any tips and trick on unclogging a shower drain? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / Tolikoff Photography

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