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How To Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain – Tips From A Plumber

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

How to clear a clogged shower drain? This question has plagued millions of homeowners over the years. The problem is often caused by hair or soap scum buildup. If left untreated, these blockages can cause serious damage to your plumbing system.

Clogged shower drains can be a pain to deal with. There is nothing more irritating than trying to take a shower to clean, only to feel dirty water pooling around your feet. The first thing to do would be to check for hair in the drain, though sometimes this doesn’t work. 

If you need to clear your clogged shower drain, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will be walking you through some tips and tricks that plumbers use to clear a clogged shower drain. 

How To Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain

Why Do Shower Drains Clog?

The most common reason why shower drains get clogged is that they are not cleaned properly. Over time, hair and soap scum build up inside the drain. When it gets too thick, it causes the water to back up and form a puddle on the floor. 

To prevent this from happening again, make sure to keep your shower drain free of hair and soap scum. Make sure to clean it regularly, especially after using it.

How Can I Tell My Shower Drain Is Blocked? 

There are a few tell-tale signs that your shower drain is blocked. The easiest one to notice is that the water floods the bottom of your shower when showering instead of draining. Another sign that your shower drain is blocked is the water does not drain quickly after turning the shower. 

There is sometimes a horrible odor that comes from the drain when the shower drain is blocked. If your shower drain has a serious blockage it can cause the bathroom to flood. If there is water standing in your pipes, this can cause leaks to occur.  

Tips To Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain

Now that we know why a shower drain blocks and how you can tell your shower drain is blocked, let us look at how to clear a clogged shower drain. 

Boiling Water

One of the first methods to try, when clearing your clogged shower drain, is pouring boiling water down the drain. Boiling water helps to dissolve some softer soap scum. However, this method may not clear the drain completely. You may need to repeat this weekly to ensure the drain is clear. 

Plumbing Snake (Drain Snake)

Drain snakes can be manual or electrical. Drain snakes are a drilling tool that helps to remove any dirt and debris stuck in the drain. All you need to do is feed the wire into the drain. Then depending on if it is a manual or electrical drain snake, you use the hand on the drain snake to break apart any dirt or pull it out of the drain. 


Before you go out and buy any new equipment, you should try clearing the clogged shower drain with a plunger first. Plungers are great for clearing blockages caused by hair. The best way to remove hair clogs from your drain is to put petroleum jelly on the edge of your plunger. 

The petroleum jelly helps to create a tighter seal meaning there is better suction. Then all you need to do is place the plunger around the shower drain and plunge. 

Use Your Hand

Sometimes it is best to start by using your hand to remove clogs. If you can see the clog in your shower drain, it might be better to see if you can remove it yourself, without any assistance from tools. 

All you need to do is remove the shower drain cover and pull the clog out. Make sure to wear rubber gloves. 

Baking Soda And Vinegar

Baking soda is a wonderful thing and is known to help with many different tasks. For clearing clogged shower drains, baking soda and vinegar work as a natural cleanser. This is a method that can be used to get rid of blocks that are further in the drain. 

The combination of baking soda and vinegar helps to dissolve any hairs that might be clogging the drain (see also ‘Drain Clogged With Hair: 5 Simple Tips To Dissolve it‘). All you have to do is pour a cup of baking soda down the drain. Then you pour a cup of vinegar down the drain as well. 

Do not pre-mix the vinegar and baking soda. You should let it sit in the drain for a minimum time of one hour. Then rinse away the mixture using boiling water. 

Chemical Cleaner

When all else fails, it would be good to give a chemical drain cleaner a go. This is something that you should use as a last resort as chemical cleaners can damage your pipes as well as any exposed shower accessories it accidentally touches. 

Chemical drain cleaners are easy to use and they work fairly quickly. All you have to do is pour the chemical cleaner down the drain and follow the instructions. It is important that you do not allow children or pets to touch the chemical cleaner as most are poisonous. 

Call A Plumber

If none of these methods have worked then it would be wise to call a plumber. They will be able to come out and clear your shower drain. Whilst this might cost you more than you wanted, they will be able to remove the blockage without causing further damage to your pipes. 

How To Prevent Your Shower Drain From Clogging

Now you know how to clear a clogged shower drain, we should look at how to prevent it from clogging. After all, it is better to prevent clogs than to keep removing them. 

Regular Cleaning

It is always recommended to clean your shower drain regularly. This includes cleaning the shower drain before each use. When cleaning the shower drain, make sure to use soap and warm water. 

Also, ensure that you scrub the inside of the shower drain. This is where the majority of the debris will collect. 

Get A Drain Cover

If you notice that your shower drain keeps getting clogged by hair, then there is a simple solution to this. Get a drain cover. 

A drain cover will catch all the long hairs that fall out when showering. Then after you have showered, you remove the hair from the drain cover. It stops hair from entering the drain. 

Don’t Throw Waste In The Shower

When we are cleaning, it can be very tempting to throw waste from the mop bucket or even the shower rug into the shower. This can cause all sorts of debris to enter your drain and block it. So a good rule is to not flush anything down the shower drain that shouldn’t be there. 

Ease On The Body Scrubs

Many of us use a body scrub from time to time. However, body scrubs can be the root of a lot of drain problems as the oils harden in the shower drain. So instead of saying never use a body scrub, maybe lessen the number of times you use them. 

If you do use body scrubs, ensure that you have properly cleaned the shower drain to avoid a blockage. 

Place Your Soap Away

This might seem like an odd prevention method, but as we said before, soap scum is one of the leading causes of shower drain blockages. That is why you should place your soap away after using it. This way there is no more soap than necessary going down the drain. 

Final Thoughts 

Clogged shower drains can be quite frustrating. However, with these handy tips and tricks, they can be incredibly easy to clear. Hopefully, you now have everything you need to get rid of those annoying clogs once and for all. 

Please share this guide with others who may benefit from reading it. Thank you for reading! 

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases. When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, many homeowners turn