Most homeowners and renters have dealt with a clogged shower drain at some point in their lives. For bathroom drain clogs, hair is the primary offender in the vast majority of cases.
Long hair is the most common culprit for blocking drains in showers and bathtubs. Buildup of soap scum and other debris can also play a large role in drainage obstruction.
To your relief, there are a variety of tools available to assist you to maintain the drains in your bathroom. There are also many products available to help level up your bathroom’s cleanliness. Keeping your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets spick n’ span has never been easier!
Don’t rush out the door and buy any of these products yet – there is an easy habit change you can make to reduce drain clogs. You should first make sure that you brush your hair well before you get in the shower. This is a simple precaution you can take to protect your drain.
Before taking a bath, give your long hair (or the long hair of a member of your family) a few quick strokes with a hairbrush. Collect any stray hairs that may otherwise go down the drain of the bathtub.
Also, if you have any large pets you bathe indoors, consider moving the process outside. Doing so will spare your drain of any matted fur that falls off during the wash.
Matted fur can accumulate and cause a blockage within your drain if you wash your furry friend often.
To avoid this, try placing a washcloth over the bathtub drain before removing the stopper. This will assist capture any stray fur that may fall down the drain.
So you’ve done all you can, but are still having issues with drainage. Worry no more! Allow us to walk you through various gadgets, tools, and methods you can use to keep your drains clog free.
Why do clogs happen in the first place?
In a drain clog, debris obstructs the flow of water. The result is the slowing or stoppage of water flow within the pipe. Hair, lint, and other debris from bath products are the primary causes of most shower drain clogs.
A significant blockage may be to blame in the event of a clogged toilet or kitchen sink. But, this is not the case with shower drains. (This also applies to blockages in the sink in the bathroom. Can you just imagine all that toothpaste!?
What to do if you suspect a clogged shower drain
- First things first: make sure there isn’t anything obvious blocking your drain. The most typical offenders are mass accumulations of hair. If you see nothing on the outside, you should check behind the drain cover and within the drain itself. If necessary, use a flashlight. Take care to remove anything that might be obstructing the drain that you find.
- After that, check the drain one more time to ensure that it is open. Does your drain stopper provide enough space for water to flow through it when it’s attached to the pipe? The style of drain and stopper of your shower drain will determine how you remove it. There are drains that have stoppers you can unscrew and lift out. You can open and close the drain on a bathtub shower via a switch that you can find under the faucet. Investigate the possibility that your drain has some kind of stopping mechanism. If it does, check to see whether the stopper isn’t obstructing the drain by accident.
After performing the above steps, yet water remains obstructed, unclogging will be necessary.
Different Ways to Clear Out Clogs in Your Shower Drain
You can try to remove or dissolve the blockage using these strategies:
- There are instances in which a blockage is close enough to the surface to remove. Wear rubber gloves before attempting to remove the blockage. Small hooks made of plastic are available for this application. (Do not use a wire coat hanger in this situation, as doing so may damage your drain.)
- Use a drain snake. You can pick up a drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake, at any hardware shop. It is a flexible drilling instrument you can retract into its case. You will use the hand crank on the snake to feed a metal wire down your drain. The metal wire is for both drawing out the obstruction or breaking it up. There is also a variant of the snake made of disposable plastic that is available. This one does not need any cranking, and you can even use it to unclog a toilet. After using the drain snake, be sure to clean it.
- Fill a kettle with boiling water. If there are no visible obstructions, and if snaking the drain didn’t work, boiling water may help. This may help dissolve softer build-up, like soap scum build up. Pour about 1L boiling water down your drain. Wait about 10 minutes and repeat once more.
- Use a natural drain cleaner. Traditional drain cleaners like Drano do not perform compared to natural cleaners. They also often include chemicals that are hazardous to your health. When it comes to removing mild clogs, natural DIY cleansers can be as powerful as chemical ones. Combine 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar. For the greatest results, use distilled white vinegar. To begin, pour boiling water down the drain. Next, pour the baking soda and vinegar mixture down the drain, and then wait 15 minutes. Repeat the process with hot water to rinse.
If none of the solutions above were helpful with clearing out your drain clog, then it’s time to call the experts.
Best Tools for Dealing with Hair Clogs
It looks like either you or someone else living in your household has long hair. A never-ending struggle takes place between the hair and the shower drain. We are here to assist you if you are sick and tired of dealing with a slow draining shower.
Despite your best attempts, a significant amount of hair will always end up going down the drain.
Here are a few helpful tools you can use to address those pesky blockages, whenever they may arise:
Ultimate Hair Catcher: The TubShroom
For drain blockages caused by hair, prevention is the best thing you could do. The TubShroom’s patent design excels at its job: stopping hair from going down the drain. All the while ensuring good water drainage while it is being used.
It is different from other hair catchers, as there’s no need to empty the catcher after every shower. Hair which falls into the drain collects, well rather, coils around the TubShroom. The hair resides there, hidden and invisible until the day you choose to clean it out.
Cleaning up is easy as well – takes a wipe and you’re done! No chemicals, no mess. Only peace of mind knowing your drains are in good hands.
The Shroom Company offers solutions for a variety of drains. For instance, they have the ShowerShroom for shower stalls with larger drains.
Snake That Bends: Meet the Zip-It Drain Snake
When you think of drain snakes, those enormous steel wire monsters plumbers use come to mind. But for removing hair blockages near the drain opening, you’d need something a lot lighter.
The Cobra Zip-It is a durable, flexible plastic rod that is 17 inches long and has a pull ring on one end. The other end of the rod has a small shaft that has barbs on it.
You feed the rod down the drain until the barbs slip past the clog. Then, you wiggle it and draw it back out. The barbs penetrate and grip the blockage, allows the entire item to slide out. It is quite effective.
The Zip-It is not intended for single use, despite the manufacturer advertising such. To remove the hair from the Zip-It, you need only to take a paper towel and wipe it down from the tip to the handle.
A Bathroom classic: OXO Good Grips Toilet Plunger
There is a good chance that you already have a plunger in the bathroom. Or perhaps, you’re more of a bare-knuckle boxer when it comes to unclogging the toilet. Either way, we won’t pass judgment. If you’re in the market for a plunger, definitely invest in a high-quality model like this one by OXO.
So what makes OXO’s plunger so special, it’s only a plunger? OXO’s Good Grips plunger features a sleek compact design. This allows you to fit it anywhere – utility closet, under the sink. Wherever you wish to hide it.
It also comes with a cover, but this cover is pretty neat. The cover remains on, even while you carry the plunger. No more drips, spills, or extra clean-up.
Don’t let its small build fool you. While designed to be compact, it does not lack in power. With a durable head and wide, flat handle – you are able to easily leverage your full strength to clear any clog.
Believe it or not, plunging is the most effective way of clearing a drain blockage in your bathtub or shower. Clogs caused by hair always appear next to the trap or beyond it. If you don’t have a snake, or if the clog is further down the drain, best grab that plunger.
To use your plunger, first wait for the bathtub or shower pan to partially fill with water (about an inch or two). After, plunge vigorously until the obstruction is clear.
When plunging bathtubs, try to limit the amount of air that may pass through the overflow drain. Do so by stuffing an old, wet towel into the aperture. Otherwise a lot of the pressure will go up the overflow and spit drain gunk out (you don’t want this).
Good ole’ Drain Cleaner: Liquid Clog Dissolver By Green Gobbler
So far, we’ve mostly focused on preventing hair clogs and removing them mechanically. These are by far the most effective and secure methods for dealing with bathroom hair clogs. Prevention and manual removal of clogs should always be the preferable way.
Drain cleaners are risky, as they can potentially damage your plumbing. They can also be quite dangerous to handle. Because let’s face it, if it can dissolve hair, it probably has the ability to dissolve you as well.
Sometimes, the situation leaves you with no choice. For a safe and reliable chemical drain opener, we recommend Green Gobbler. It can dissolve most debris that can cause a clog, like hair, soap, and even wet wipes.
Safe to use on various plumbing from pipes, toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and septic systems. They use a formula that is non-corrosive to plumbing. Can use it with PVC, ABS, copper and cast iron piping.
The formula doesn’t contain bleach or sodium hydroxide. This allows the ingredients to break down naturally in the environment. It is also odorless and fume free.
All in all, if you need a chemical drain opener, this is the one. Safer than your traditional drain opener. Works much faster and far more effectively as well.
4 Tips to Keep Pipes Clear of Clogs
Put a cover on It
It is usually always the case that tangles of hair are to blame when a shower drain becomes clogged. After each shower, you can collect any stray strands of hair using a simple drain cover.
Ditch the body scrubs
Majority of them end up going down the drain when you rinse them off. They then become solidified overnight as the pipes cool down between usage. Stay away from greasy bath products, or save them until after you get out of the shower.
Keep trash Out
It may be tempting to clean a wastebasket or shake out a rug in the shower. But doing so may cause larger particles of dirt and debris to build. This can worsen any existing blockages.
Regularly care for your drains
Include the cleaning of drains as part of your regular cleaning practice. Keep a bottle of baking soda or distilled white vinegar in the bathroom. That way, after every few showers, you should pour a small amount of either or both of these down the drain. After that, follow this up with some boiling water.
Drain Services With True Service Plumbing
Dealing with a stubborn drain clog that just won’t budge? Give us a call.
Our licensed plumbers will assess your home’s plumbing system and determine the root cause of your issue, and perform the services necessary to get your drains working again.
From home drain cleaning, drain unclogging, to plumbing fixture repair or replacement, True Service Plumbing has your back when it comes to all things plumbing.
Contact True Service Plumbing today to schedule a free estimate and consultation.