If you’re finding that your shower drain is slower to drain than usual, so that you end up standing in a pool of water every time you have a shower, then it’s probably time to unclog your drain.
Other signs of a blocked shower drain are bad smells coming from the drain, which are caused by bacteria multiplying in the stagnant water or leaks.
Shower drains generally get clogged up with the soap, dirt, and hair rinsed off you when you shower. Over time the hair, in particular, builds up in the pipes, and the soap and dirt can’t get past and so gets stuck to it.
Eventually, a clump of hair, dirt, and soap will form and keep getting bigger until it gets so big that water can’t get past to drain. An effective way to prevent these clumps from forming is to use a drain guard, which will catch all of the hair when you have a shower. You can then put it in the trash.
It’s important that you unclog drain as soon as you can because the longer the blockage is there, the more damage can be done to your plumbing. If you are unable to remove the blockage yourself, call a plumber who will help.
To use a drain snake to unclog your drain, you will first need to remove the grate over the drain opening, and this is usually held in place with screws, so you will need a screwdriver.
Next, put on a pair of rubber gloves (clogged drains are a breeding ground for bacteria) and insert the drain snake. Unwind it slowly, as if you try to insert it too quickly, it will probably end up doubling back on itself.
You may be able to feel when the snake has reached the clog, or you can test it by running water. If the water still backs up, then the snake probably hasn’t reached the clog and needs to be inserted further.
Finally, extract the drain snake and then rinse the drain with boiling water.
Baking soda and vinegar
When combined, baking soda and vinegar make a pretty powerful drain cleaner!
Start by flushing the drain with boiling water to remove as much of the blockage as you can that way. Then, pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes.
Combine a cup of hot water with a cup of vinegar and pour that down the drain. If you have a drain plug, cover the drain with it as this will keep the reaction below the surface of the drain where it is needed the most. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
Finally, flush the drain through with boiling water again.
The final method you can try to unclog your shower drain is plunging.
Remove your drain cover and place the plunger over the opening. Then run enough water in the shower to just cover the lip of the plunger. Move the handle up and down rapidly to force the clog out. Plunging needs a good seal to work; if you’re struggling to get a good seal, then try adding some petroleum jelly to the edge of the cup.