Natural Ways To Clean Your Shower Drain (Easy DIY Guide)

Long hair, don’t care… Until water starts backing up and filling up the tub while you’re trying to take a shower. Now you’re stuck looking up natural ways to clean your shower drain. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure out how to solve this simple and incredibly common plumbing problem yourself, using a variety of different cost-effective methods. 

Baking Soda

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Salt (optional)
  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Immediately follow the baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar. 
  2. Watch for fizzing in the drain and wait until about 5 minutes after the fizzing stops to pour about 2 quarts of hot water down the drain.
  3. Repeat the previous 2 steps until the clog clears! For more stubborn clogs, you can try pouring 1 cup of baking soda + ½ cup of salt down the drain. Let the mixture stay in the drain overnight and flush it out with 2 cups of hot water in the morning.

This is just one of the natural ways to clean your shower drain that won’t harm you, your pipes, or the environment and can be used as a regular maintenance process to help keep your drains clear. 

Clothes Hanger

What you’ll need:

  • 1 wire clothes hanger
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Paper towels
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  1. Remove the shower drain plug and/or cover using your screwdriver, if needed. If the cover is full of hair and soap scum when you remove it, clean it thoroughly as it could be contributing to your drainage problem. 
  2. Using your needle-nose pliers, carefully straighten out the hanger but keep the hook. Bend the other end slightly to cream a small handle or loop. 
  3. Stick the hook end into the shower drain hole as far as it’ll go, rotating the hanger as you push it down. (If the hook doesn’t fit through the opening of your drain, flip it over, loosen the handle or loop you created and form it into a smaller hook.) Be careful when doing this so you’re not pushing the clog further down the drain! Jiggle the hanger to lift out any caught hair or gunk. Pull the hanger out and remove the gunk with a paper towel. 
  4. Continue step 3 until your hanger comes out clean. 
  5. Replace the shower drain plug or strainer. 

Plunger

What you’ll need:

  • Standard cup plunger
  • Wet towel
  • Petroleum jelly (optional)
  1. Begin by covering the overflow drain, if you have one, using the wet towel. For extra suction, create a tighter seal by lining the rim of the plunger cup with a small amount of petroleum jelly.
  2. Place the rubber bell of the plunger securely over the drain. Push down the handle to force the air out. Continue plunging with quick and heavy thrusts, directing the pressure down the drain without lifting the plunger enough to break the seal. Keep doing this for 20 seconds or so. When you pull the plunger away, the clog should be cleared.   

While this method is primarily for sink clogs, it can be effective for tub clogs as well. It does require a little muscle but it’s quick and relatively mess-free. Plus it’s great since you probably already own a plunger. 

Catch the clog

The best way to clear your clogged shower drain is to prevent hair-clog build-ups in the first place! Running the faucet when you’re shaving, brushing/combing your hair before you step into the shower, and having a drain screen are just a few ways to prevent hair clogs from happening. 

Can’t fix the clog?

Sometimes clogs are too large and become lodged too deeply into the drain to be dealt with on your own. And trying to use natural ways to clean your shower drain just isn’t enough! If this happens, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber. Our team at A-Abel is here to help with professional and affordable service that won’t harm your pipes. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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