How to Unclog A Shower Drain - 5 Methods From Professional Cleaners
Want to take a shower just to see that your entire feet is covered by water and now you are having a mini-bath instead? There is nothing terrible with it, but it can become quite annoying, especially if left uncleaned for a long period. So how to unclog a shower drain is a common question we get, given the fact that showers are one of the dirtiest places in the home. But don't worry, the majority of problems can be solved by using simple tools and solvents.
Hair is the number one cause of blockages in sinks and bathroom drains. Apart from hair, shower drains can become clogged with minerals from hard water, hair, and soap. But before calling for professional help you can try 5 methods we describe below, we recommend starting with manual ones first and in case they don't work, try using the baking soda method or powerful cleaning solvents.
Below are 5 methods our cleaners mostly use, the best part is they are accessible to everyone, fast and cheap.
1. Physically remove the hair from the shower drain
The first thing you need to do is to put on some gloves, remove the filter grid and start manually pulling out the hair. This is bound to be a messy job so wear something that you do not mind getting dirty or wet and then proceed. The gloves help to keep your hands from touching all that slimy dirty hair that is stuck down the drain hole. Not only will you find hair stuck down there, you could find other materials that may also be blocking your drain as well. However, if you want to prevent this, you can get snake catchers which are small filters that catch the hair before it goes down the drain hole.
2. Use vinegar and baking soda
Another option would be to use vinegar and baking soda. All you need to do is mix it with a bit of warm water and pour it on the sides of the drain and inside the hole. Once you have done that, do not wash it off just yet, allow it to sit there for 3-4hrs before you wash it off with hot water. This will help get any grease off and kill any bacteria that may be lingering on. For more ideas of how to use baking soda in home cleaning, check our article on 7 creative uses for baking soda in cleaning.
3. Use a plunger
This is an easy way of getting the hair and unwanted dirt out of the drain. Purchase a plunger and try to get the dirt out using it. To be successful, the cup of the plunger must be at least 2 centimeters under water. Though it may be harder while using this method, it is worth the try. Make sure you repeated the process couple of times. You may not be successful in getting all the dirt out but you can start with this method and continue with the baking soda method.
4. Use a wire hanger
You don’t need any fancy tools like a snake catcher, it is highly likely that you have a hanger in your closet. Straighten a wire coat hanger and bend one end into a hook no more than 5-7 mm. Make sure you have one end of the hanger not bent, it will be used as a handle. Remove the drain cover. If screws are holding it in place, remove them and be careful not to drop the screws down the drain. Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from both the wire and dirt. Push the hanger to the desired depth and start rotating it and pulling it up. Repeat this process 2-3 times and see if any hair or dirt is coming out. After that, use hot-shower water to check if the problem is solved. If the water still ads up, it is more likely that the clogging is caused by minerals. In this case you will need a cleaning detergent, below we listed some of them which you can use straight away.
5. Use a cleaning detergent
When worst comes you can get yourself a good detergent specifically made to help unclog the drain with ease. You can use the Rorax gel which does a pretty decent job in unclogging the drain. In Germany, Rorax can be purchased for example at Rossmann (link). It is quite easy to use and it goes a long way in ensuring that the bathroom remains fresh and clean.
You may be required to use more than one of the above tips at one go to get all the dirt out of your drain hole. Even so, if all of the above easy tips on how to unclog your drain do not seem suitable, your next best possible solution is to call the plumber. A professional will ensure that all the dirt is cleared. After you have successfully cleaned your drain, the next step is prevention. You should consider buying a drain catcher and using degradable soaps and cleaning solvents.
Unclogging the drain is a messy job and if your bathroom or sink drain is already blocked, seeking professional cleaning services is advisable. Apart from the dirt, your entire bathroom might need sanitation after you unclog the drains. It is better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that no germs and bacteria live on by getting a deep cleaning done. To prevent blockage, try to clean the bathroom drain every month.