A relaxing morning shower is a staple of many people’s daily routines. The gentle flow of warm water can wake you up, easing you into the day ahead. However, a few things are more jarring than turning on the faucet, only to be met by a trickle of water from a clogged drain. Standing in ankle-deep dirty water while hair and soap scum swirl around the tub is an unpleasant way to start the day.

Blocked shower drains are a common nuisance that can quickly derail your morning. Hair, soap residue, and mineral deposits from hard water build up over time, eventually forming a thick sludge that blocks water flow. Clearing such obstructions often requires messy snaking or disassembly of pipework. But don’t tear your hair out just yet. With some simple daily habits and periodic maintenance, you can stop a clogged shower drain before it starts.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why shower drains are prone to clogging
  • Daily habits to keep drains clear
  • Periodic maintenance to prevent blockages
  • Warning signs a clog is developing
  • When it’s time to call a professional plumber

This guide from the experienced plumbers at The Brisbane Plumbers will walk you through the most effective prevention strategies. Learn what causes shower drains to clog, pick up good habits to keep them clear, watch for warning signs of trouble, and know when to call in the professionals. With these tips, you can enjoy quick-draining showers and stress-free mornings.

Why Showers Are Prone to Clogs

Showers tend to get clogged more easily than other drains in your home. A few key factors lead to buildup in shower pipes:

Hair – Showers drain away large amounts of hair each time you wash or shave in them. Strands get caught in the drain cover and start to accumulate. Hair binds together with other gunk, getting tangled into large clogs.

Soap scum – The fats and oils in soap products leave behind a sticky residue on shower walls and floors. This scum builds up over time and then rinses down into the drain, clinging to the pipes.


Hard water deposits – Mineral deposits from hard water settle on shower surfaces and drain interiors. These form layers of limescale and sediment that narrow drain passages.

Hygiene products – Hair products, razors, loofahs, and bath toys fall down the drain. They get stuck in pipes along with shed hair and soap scum.

Moist environment – Warm, humid shower conditions allow soap scum, hair, and minerals to easily adhere to gummy buildup. Wet, stagnant drains are breeding grounds for slime and grime.

Shower drain clogs develop slowly over weeks or months before completely blocking water flow. But with vigilant prevention habits, you can stop them before they form and keep your morning routine running smoothly.

Daily Prevention Habits

Practising good drain care habits daily is the best way to keep shower drains free of obstructions. It takes just a few minutes to work these tips into your regular routine:

Use a drain cover or strainer – A drain cover catches hair before it goes down the pipe. Clean hair from it after each shower. Mesh strainers also stop debris from entering the drain.

Limit hair washing to 2-3 times a week – Frequent washing adds more hair to drains. Wash your hair less often to reduce buildup.

Collect shed hair – After shampooing, gather shed hair off your hands and body and dispose in the trash. Don’t let it wash down the drain.

Wipe down shower walls – Use a squeegee or towel to wipe residual soap scum off tiles, screens, and shower doors after bathing. This prevents buildup.


Avoid harsh cleaning products – Chemical drain cleaners and abrasive scrubs can damage pipes and clog drains with residue. Use mild soap and water instead.

Flush with hot water – At the end of each shower, let hot water run for a minute to rinse pipes and carry away debris.

Check/clean pop-up drain plugs – Remove any hair or gunk from the stopper mechanism so it seals properly when closed.

With these easy habits, you can slough away grime before it becomes a stubborn clog. Stay vigilant to keep your shower drain clear.

Regular Maintenance

In addition to daily habits, performing drain maintenance tasks periodically helps keep things flowing freely. Set a reminder to do these simple steps once a month:

Pouring boiling water – Pour boiling water slowly down the drain. The heat melts grease and dissolves soap scum.

Baking soda and vinegar – Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar and pour down the drain. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing with hot water. The chemical reaction breaks up gunk.

Clean the P-trap – Unscrew the curved P-trap pipe beneath the drain and remove any debris caught inside. Rinse thoroughly before replacing it.

Use a zip-it tool – Insert this special cleaning tool into your drain to hook and extract built-up hair clogs.

Snake the drain – For tough clogs, use a plumber’s snake (drain auger) to break up and pull out material stuck deep in pipes.

Enzyme cleaner – Apply an enzyme-based foaming drain cleaner monthly to dissolve organic matter and keep pipes fresh.

Don’t wait until you have a full clog to take action. A regular monthly drain cleaning keeps flow fast and prevents gradual buildup over time.

Warning Signs of a Drain Blockage

Keep an eye out for these red flags that indicate a drain clog is developing:

Water draining slowly – If it takes longer to drain out of the tub during or after a shower, restricted flow means gunk accumulates in the pipes.

Gurgling noise – Draining water makes gurgling sounds as it tries to pass through a partially blocked pipe. This indicates obstructions in the line.

Standing water – When water pools around your feet rather than draining, it’s a clear sign of clogging. Any standing water means the drain needs to be cleared immediately.

Foul odours – The damp environment of clogged drains breeds bacteria that give off rotten egg smells. This means organic matter is stuck and decomposing.

Fly and mosquito infestation – Standing grey water attracts flies and mosquitos. Their presence points to completely blocked and hazardous drains.

Low water pressure – Weak shower flow or sputtery faucets can signify drain blockages are backing up the system and impeding water pressure.

Don’t ignore these warning signs. Addressing them quickly prevents complete clogs. Call a professional plumber if you suspect your shower drain needs cleaning.


When to Call the Experts

While regular maintenance keeps drains clear of minor buildup, severe or recurring clogs often require a professional plumber’s expertise. Don’t hesitate to call in the pros if you notice these issues:

Our licensed plumbers at The Brisbane Plumbers have advanced equipment to inspect and clear all blocked drains thoroughly. We use high-pressure water jetting and snake augers to dislodge even the toughest obstructions. Our CCTV cameras also check your entire drainage system for any underlying issues.

We can restore full flow and prevent future clogs with long-lasting solutions. Our plumbers have proven expertise in permanently solving drain problems.

Don’t waste time struggling with repeated drain clogs yourself. Contact The Brisbane Plumbers at (07) 3040 1039 for professional drain cleaning services today. Our friendly staff is ready to assist 24/7.