If you have long hair or furry pets you’re probably aware of how quickly your shower drain can clog. And, to be fair, these aren’t the only things that can mess with your shower drain. Excess undissolved soap, grease, dead skin cells, and even mineral deposits from hard water can clog your shower drain.
Here are several proven methods if you want to unclog the shower drain the DIY way.
Using a Plumber’s Snake
The plumber’s snake is a very handy tool to have in your home. It can be used to unclog the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and even the shower drain. Using one may differ slightly, depending on its design, but the main operating principle remains the same across the board.
In order to successfully remove the clog you have to feed the plumber’s snake slowly down the drain until you reach an immovable object. Try pushing it a bit harder at that point to make sure that you’re not just pushing it against a drain wall. If it feels soft, twist and pull the snake slowly until the clog is out.
Pouring boiling water down the drain isn’t always advised. However, when grease or soap is clogging your shower drain, you might want to consider this method. Boiling water can break down grease and solve your problem.
There’s no right or wrong amount of water that you should pour in. But, you will need to use a funnel to avoid spilling it and to make sure that you’re pouring the water in at a controlled rate.
Using a Plunger
This is a hit or miss kind of method. Plungers are effective tools, but their success rate is often dependent on the design of your shower drain. Plungers can solve hair and grease clogs, as long as they’re not too big.
You’ll have to plunge hard and fast. This may take some time and will also require a specific setup. First you’ll have to let enough water accumulate in the shower to submerge the plunger. Finally, you should also use some gel on the edge of the plunger’s suction pad for a better seal and more plunging power.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution
It’s amazing how many things can be solved with a bit of baking soda and vinegar, especially when it comes to cleaning around the house and in the shower (shower heads, for example). To dissolve shower drain clogs and avoid damage to plastic piping, you’ll need one cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar.
First, you’ll want to make sure that there’s no water in the drain. Then you can pour one cup of baking soda. Use a funnel to get it as deep as possible. Wait for a couple of minutes and then pour in a cup of vinegar.
You should let the solution sit and work for at least two hours. The final step involves pouring some boiling water down the drain to rinse off the solution and dissolve what’s left of the clog. Use a funnel to pour in about half a gallon of boiling water.
Use Commercial Products
Using commercial products should be your last resort. One reason you should avoid using them is because certain chemicals can produce toxic fumes. Another reason why you should be careful with chemical products is that they can cause damage to your pipes, especially if they’re plastic.
If you do decide that you need chemicals to unclog your shower drain, make sure you have gloves on. Don’t mix chemicals that shouldn’t be mixed, and make sure you’re wearing a mask. Run of the mill disposable masks you can get at your local pharmacy should be good enough, as long as you don’t stay in the bathroom during the dissolving process.
Use Your Hands
You can always get down and dirty and try to remove a clog by hand. Unscrew the shower drain cover or pry it off if it’s glued down. Use a flashlight to locate the clog. Put a pair of gloves on and reach in to pull it out.
If the clog is out of reach and you don’t have a plumber’s snake, you can always make your own. A makeshift hook made from wire should do the trick. If you don’t have that laying around, use the hook from a coat hanger.
Do note that this won’t work against mineral deposits.
A Plumber May be Your Last Resort
In some situations, nothing you can do on your own may be enough to unclog a shower drain. Remember that there’s no shame in calling in a plumber. A good plumber will have all the tools necessary to unclog your shower drain. Besides, plumbers have access to much longer and better plumber snakes.
A hardcore woodworking and welding enthusiast, Russ is the editor-in-chief of TAH. In his spare time, Russ loves watching sports, and (binge) watching Netflix.