Almost 50% of all Brits shower once a day. With all this showering, blockages can occur quite easily.
As anyone knows, a blocked shower drain can be a pain. If left unattended, this inconvenience can damage your shower or bathtub as water builds up and can’t escape.
In this guide, we’ll go over seven useful ways to unblock a shower drain. These techniques are guaranteed to keep your shower water flowing freely.
Table of Contents
What Causes a Blocked Shower Drain?
Clogged drains can occur for a variety of reasons. Usually, blockage comes from loose hair, soap scum, or grease washed from your body.
These are unavoidable side-effects of washing off in the shower. For that reason, it’s best to check your drains periodically to check on any potential build-ups.
A less common cause for blockage comes from dirt and minerals seeping in from tree roots or soil. If this ends up being the case, it means there are cracks or small holes in your pipes, so you’ll want to replace them.
Since hair, grease, and soap build-up are the most common reasons for a blocked shower drain, this article will focus on remedies related to them. We’ll outline more about how to unblock a drain.
How to Unblock a Shower Drain
There are plenty of ways to unblock a bath drain. Starting with the most practical, we’ll move down the list of options that any homeowner can try on their own.
1) Remove by Hand
While this method can get dirt, it might be the best way to unblock a bath drain. Since clumps of hair and soap can get tangled together, sometimes you need a little elbow grease to take them apart.
It may be useful to wear some gloves when using this method. If not, make sure you wash your hands off to avoid illness.
2) Use a Plunger
Even though plunging is better for blocked toilets, it can come in handy if you want to unblock a shower drain. Be aware, deep build-ups of hair and soap may not budge with just a plunger.
Mixing this method with a cleaning solution can help. Conversely, you might try using a lubricating product such as petroleum jelly to help blockages move through your drain easier as the plunger sucks them up.
Either way, a plunger can be a very effective tool for blocked drains. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to deal with a blocked pipe, as plungers are generally inexpensive tools.
3) Pour Boiling Water
Since a blocked drain is often caused by grease and soap, boiling water can be useful for dissolving them. Find a suitable container in your house and get the water steaming before pouring.
Be aware, this method doesn’t always work with larger blockages such as hair or chunks of dirt. However, it’s very useful in loosening up sticky substances, so it can make other methods work much easier.
As with any hot pan, take care not to burn yourself. Wear protective mitts or gloves and be sure to pour the water slowly. Also, consider using a funnel to control the flow of your boiling water.
4) Use Chemical Drain Cleaner
You can purchase plenty of cleaning chemicals specifically designed for unclogging a bath drain. With different options ranging from liquid, gel, and powder cleaners, you can find a cleaner that works for you.
However, any homeowner should be aware of the negative side effects associated with chemical cleaners. They can damage pipes in older homes, and they can burn eyes and skin without proper protection.
Plus, they can potentially damage bathroom fixtures. Always read the directions on the back of the package before using chemical cleaners.
5) Make a Natural Drain Cleaner
If you want to avoid injury or damages when attempting to unblock a shower tray, you might consider making your own homemade drain cleaner. Thankfully, it isn’t too hard to make.
All you need is vinegar and baking soda, and the process is simple. First, mix 1/2 a cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of salt. Then, heat up 1 cup of vinegar can proceed to pour it down the drain. Wait about 15 minutes and then run hot water down the drain for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Give the cleaner a few hours to dissolve any blockages in the drain. For extra cleaning strength, you can repeat the process over again.
6) Buy a Snake Drain
A snake drain is a specially designed tool for removing debris from a clogged drain. You can find one at any hardware store near you.
With its easy design, all you have to do is put the snake down the drain and twist the handle. As you turn the tool’s handle, it wraps itself around matted hair or other materials that might be blocking the drain.
As you pull it up, it takes all the nasty blockage up with it. Quickly, your drain is cleared.
7) Hire a Professional Plumber
If all else fails, hire a professional. Some blockages are too tough to handle, and this could be the best way to unblock a bath drain. As mentioned earlier in this article, you could be dealing with dirt or mineral build-up.
In this case, it may be best to have your pipes replaced, as it can indicate a problem with cracks or openings in your pipeline. At the very least, a professional can offer helpful advice on cleaning and preventing blockage in the future.
Keep Your Shower Clean
Blocked shower drains can become a messy problem. With these tips, you now have a handle on how to unblock a shower drain.
At Shower Enclosures UK, we know all there is to know about showers. If you have other shower cleaning ideas not mentioned in this article, feel free to comment below and check out even more bathroom advice. Keep your shower clean and up to date with these tips!
Hello, my name is Dean.
Together with my business partner we own and operate Shower Enclosures UK.com Ltd.
We’ve been running the business for over 9 years and have amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge and expertise on the subject of shower and bathroom hardware. Enough that we’ve been able to put together a series of blog posts that should make buying bathroom goods that little bit simpler and help answer all the most popular questions.
If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or needs expanding on please let us know in the comments. You can also reach out to me on LinkedIn
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