Nothing ruins a relaxing shower like watching your feet slowly disappear under rising water. You wiggle the drain with your toes, trying desperately to dislodge whatever clogs it up. But the water continues creeping higher as you stare in frustration, late for work with shampoo still in your hair.
Sound familiar? Shower drain blockages are a common nuisance that can really put a damper on your daily routine. Whether it’s wads of hair, globs of soap scum, or mystery gunk causing the holdup, a clogged drain is no fun to deal with.
But don’t worry – you’ve got this! In this guide, we’ll arm you with proven techniques to quickly clear any shower drain clog and get water flowing freely again. We’ll walk you through how to use handy tools like plungers and drain snakes to bust through even the toughest blockages. And I’ll share natural solutions using simple kitchen ingredients.
Follow these expert tips, and you can outsmart those pesky clogged drains. We’ll troubleshoot the root causes, equip you with the right gear, and teach failproof methods for drain-clearing success. With the right know-how, you can enjoy quick, frustration-free showers once more. Ready to bid farewell to clogged drains? Let’s get started!
What’s Causing Your Clogged Shower Drain?
Before we can fix a clogged shower drain, it helps to understand what’s causing the blockage in the first place. There are a few common culprits that tend to obstruct shower drains:
- Hair – Strands of hair that shed naturally can collect and tangle into clogs. Shower drains are prime collection points.
- Soap scum – Residue from soap, shampoo, and other bath products can gradually build up on drain walls and harden.
- Mineral deposits – Minerals in tap water, like calcium and magnesium, can crystallise into scale deposits that restrict water flow.
- Objects – Small items accidentally dropped down the drain (e.g. jewellery, bath toys) can get lodged in pipes.
- Grease and oil – These slippery substances coat drains and attract other debris.
- Tree roots – Over time, invasive roots can grow into drain lines seeking water sources.
- Rust – Corroding metal drain parts can flake off and clog pipes.
Knowing the most likely causes of clogged shower drains allows you to take steps to prevent blockages from occurring in the first place. But when a clog does strike, understanding the source will help you better remove it. Let’s look at effective removal techniques.
Assembling Your Drain Unclogging Toolbox
Having the right tools and supplies on hand will make shower drain cleaning easier and more effective. Here are some must-have items for your drainage unclogging toolbox:
- Plunger – The suction force of a standard sink or toilet plunger can dislodge many clogs. Get one with at least a 6-inch cup diameter.
- Drain snake/auger – A 3-foot flexible metal snake can reach deep into drains to break up stubborn clogs.
- Baking soda and vinegar – These household staples create bubbly chemical reactions to dissolve blockages.
- Bucket or pan – Used to mix and hold drain remedies for pouring.
- Hot water – Heating water helps melt fatty blockages.
- Gloves – Protect your hands from grimy drain contents.
- Eye protection – Safety glasses prevent splashing remedies from contacting your eyes.
- Old towels – Soak up any splashes and leaks while working over the drain.
- Flashlight – Illuminates the drain so you can inspect the inside.
Having these supplies ready before tackling a clogged drain makes the process quicker and safer. Always exercise caution when using any drain-clearing chemicals, tools, or high-pressure water. With the proper gear, you can power through shower clogs in no time.
How To Unclog Your Shower Drain
Method 1: Plunging the Drain
A simple plunger is often the quickest and easiest way to vanquish a clogged shower drain. First, completely seal the plunger over the drain opening. You want an airtight connection so you can generate maximum suction. Fill the sink or tub with enough water to submerge the plunger cup completely.
Next, vigorously plunge up and down rapidly 10-15 times. The force of the abrupt up-and-down motion dislodges the clog by displacing the water below it. It helps to vary the force. Apply slower, more vigorous plunges along with some lighter, quicker ones. This agitation helps break up the blockage.
Repeat the plunging process if needed until water begins draining freely. Removing stubborn clogs may require several rounds of concentrated plunging. Occasionally, pull up firmly on the plunger to use its suction to extract pieces of the clog physically. This is key to fully clearing tough blockages.
Clean the plunger after each use to remove any gross debris. Proper plunging technique requires patience but pays off by restoring unobstructed drainage.
Method 2: Using a Drain Snake
When a plunger fails to dislodge a stubborn shower drain clog, it’s time to unleash the drain snake. A drain snake is a long, flexible metal cable you feed down the drain to mechanically break up and remove clogs.
Start by fully inserting the drain snake into the shower drain opening. Angle it slightly to ensure it enters properly. Slowly begin feeding the snake further down into the drainpipe. Once fully inserted, twist the crank handle clockwise as you gently push the snake deeper inside. This rotates the snake to help it bore through the clog.
When you encounter resistance, that’s the clog. Respond by alternately cranking the handle and slowly advancing/retracting the snake. The spinning and movement will steadily break up the blockage. Keep working the snake until you feel the clog give way. The snake will be able to penetrate past the cleared blockage fully. Extract any loosened debris by slowly pulling the snake out.
You may need to repeat the insertion and rotation process several times to fully clear stubborn obstructions. Rinsing the snake in hot water between attempts helps dislodge particles.
Method 3: Natural Remedies
For an eco-friendly way to dissolve pesky shower clogs, try these clever homemade drain remedies:
Baking Soda and Vinegar
The classic combo! Baking soda is alkaline, while vinegar is acidic. When combined, they create a bubbly chemical reaction that breaks up gunk. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated white vinegar. The foaming action will help disintegrate the clog. Rinse with hot water.
A kettle of boiling water can melt and clear fatty oil clogs. Carefully pour the steaming water down the drain. Wait several minutes for it to work before flushing it with cold water.
Salt and Baking Soda
Mix 1/4 cup salt with 1/4 cup baking soda and pour down the drain. Let it sit for an hour. The abrasive salt scrapes away gunk while the baking soda dissolves it. Rinse well.
Sodium Bicarbonate and Vinegar
For tougher clogs, use 100% sodium bicarbonate instead of baking soda. It creates an even stronger chemical reaction with vinegar.
Preventative Measures to Avoid Future Shower Blockages
Recurring shower drain clogs can be a headache, but with simple preventative care, you can avoid dealing with blocked drains altogether.
Start by installing a drain cover or hair catcher strainer. These devices sit over or inside the drain to intercept shed hairs and debris before they can go down the pipe. Just be diligent about cleaning them off regularly to prevent gross build-up.
Make drain maintenance a monthly ritual. Flush pipes with hot water and baking soda, which will keep the flow clear and free of obstructions. While you’re at it, pour some baking soda down the shower drain, too. Its alkaline properties dissolve soap scum and break up gunk before it hardens into a clog.
Reduce residue directly at the source. Lather up with hair-minimizing shampoos, which result in less shedding and strands going down the drain. After showering, take a minute to rinse down the walls, doors, and floor using a squeegee. This simple habit prevents soapy film build-up that can slowly clog drains over time.
Never pour fats, oils or grease down the drain, no matter how liquid they seem. Allow them to cool and solidify, then toss them in the trash instead. The slippery substances cling to pipes and attract other gunk. For extra insurance, install a removable drain screen. Take it out monthly to clean away any accumulated hair or debris. This regular maintenance helps curtail clogs before they start.
Get Proactive Against Shower Clogs
As we’ve covered, proactive prevention goes a long way when avoiding clogged shower drains. Implementing small maintenance habits and installing protective devices can help stop problems before they start. But even with the best care, persistent clogs can still occur now and then.
When DIY drain-clearing efforts fail to get the job done, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. The licensed experts at The Brisbane Plumbers have seen it all when it comes to shower drain clogs. Our techs have industrial-strength equipment to clear even the toughest blockages. And we determine the root cause so it doesn’t happen again.
Don’t spend another shower with rising water at your feet. Contact The Brisbane Plumbers for prompt clog removal and preventative drain care. We offer reasonable rates with quality workmanship guaranteed. Get your shower’s drainage flowing freely once more! Call today or visit our website to request service.