Clogged shower drains can be a massive pain in the backside. Water fails to drain away, leaving you with water pooling that can make your shower extremely dirty and harder to clean. Thankfully, there are plenty of drainage unblocking tips you can use to let the water flow freely once more!
Before we get into these tips, you should understand why your drain is clogged. A common issue is a build-up of hair that’s matted in the drain and stops water from running down the pipes. But, clogs can also be caused by dirt and grime inside the pipes leading to blockages.
The following tips will address both of these problems:
1. Use a plunger
Every household should have a plunger just in case you experience drainage issues. Here, you can use the plunger around the plughole to try and force up the blockage. This can be useful for sucking up clogged hairballs or other things that are stuck in your drain. However, it mainly works on minor issues or ones that are close to the plughole.
2. Remove the blockage by hand
Probably not the most glamorous drainage unblocking tip, but it works pretty effectively. Sometimes, you can remove the issue by reaching in and pulling it from your drain. If you have a drain cover, remove it, then reach in wearing rubber gloves and pull out all the hair and grime from inside. You’ll be pretty disgusted with what you see, but it works all the same.
If you struggle to get your hands in the plughole, you could use a coathanger or another type of hook to scoop out the debris. Again, this method typically only works on blockages near the surface of your shower drain. For issues that are deeper in the pipes, you’ll need another avenue of attack.
3. Pour boiling water down the shower drain
Boiling water won’t help you clear blockages caused by hair or other organic matter. However, it does work as a drainage unblocking technique if your drain is clogged up by soap scum and grime inside the pipes. Boil a kettle and pour it carefully down your drain.
This does a good job of cleaning the shower drain pipe and removing lots of scum and dirt from inside. Over time, both of these things can accumulate in drain pipes, which is why the hot water technique is highly effective at regularly flushing things out and refreshing your pipes.
4. Use baking soda and vinegar
Next, you have a DIY drain cleaner that works very well in lots of instances. All you have to do is combine some baking soda with a bit of white vinegar. It includes no chemicals, which can be better for the health of your shower drain.
From here, pour the concoction down your drain. You should use equal parts baking soda and vinegar. There will be some fizzing right away, and this is basically a chemical reaction that helps to clear away the blockage. Leave it like this for at least half an hour – overnight is best – before flushing it away with boiling water.
Of all the methods, this is probably the best DIY option you can choose. If you have baking soda and vinegar handy, give it a go right away.
5. Use a plumber’s snake
Sometimes referred to as a drain snake, this is an essential tool that every professional plumber will have at their disposal. But, you can buy these at pretty much any DIY store. Places like B&Q and Screwfix sell a variety of them, as does Amazon.
Effectively, this tool is a slender ad flexible device that you can insert into your shower drain. It goes all the way down to the blockage, where you can then lift it back out. Because of the way the plumber’s snake is designed, it can hook onto and catch things on the way back up, clearing a pathway in the drain.
It’s a good alternative to a plunger or using your hands if the blockage is further down the drain. You could also follow this technique with the baking soda method and hot water, just to give your drain a thorough clean.
6. Get your hands on drain cleaning products
Now, you can use drain cleaning products that are available in supermarkets and various stores. The only issue is that most of these products contain a lot of chemicals, but these are necessary to fully unblock your drains.
Our advice is to try and use these sparingly or reserve them for serious blockages. Follow the instructions on the bottle – which usually involves pouring the cleaning product down the drain and waiting overnight. In truth, you will see impressive results from a chemical product, but we understand if you’re against using them.
7. Opt for professional drainage unblocking services
Finally, your shower drain might be so clogged that none of the above solutions provides any relief. Why could this be the case? Perhaps the drain has been blocked for so long that it’s accumulated a massive amount of biological matter, soap scum and various other things deep in the pipe. This has all fused together and solidified, meaning regular methods aren’t working.
Here, the best course of action is to look for drainage unblocking services from professional plumbers. As a result, you can call upon years of expertise to get deep into your drain and unclog it for good.
Naturally, unclogging a shower drain isn’t where your work should end! Once you’ve done this, focus on preventing it from being blocked and clogged again. This could include purchasing a drain guard/sieve, which you place over your plug hole and traps things like hair and other debris from falling down your drain. You just remove it after every shower, get rid of the hair and your drain should be fine.
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid the frustration of a clogged shower drain once and for all!