There’s almost nothing more irritating than a clogged bath or shower drain. With all the hair and debris that goes down the drain with every bath or shower someone takes, it collects in the pipes and drain until water no longer wants to go down as quickly as it should. Then, one day you notice that you’re stepping of inches of dirty water as you’re trying to get clean in the shower. Don’t fret- you may not have to call a plumber quite yet.
There are several steps you should take when it comes to unblocking a bath or shower drain. These steps should be done in precise order and carried out exactly as recommended. If all steps are followed, your drain should be free of whatever it is clogging it and draining efficiently once again. If the problem persists, you may have a bigger issue and should contact a professional plumber right away.
Step 1 - Gear Up
Before you begin the process to unclog your drain, make sure you have the right gear and tools. Since you cannot see inside the drain to know what is exactly causing the clog, you will want to have the proper protective gear. Make sure you have gloves, safety glasses, baking soda, white vinegar, and bleach before you begin.
Step 2 - Baking Soda First
After you get dressed in your safety gear, remove the screen or metal plate blocking large debris from going down the shower drain and pour a small amount (about a couple tablespoons full) of baking soda down the drain pipe.
Step 3 - Use White Vinegar to Activate the Baking Soda
White vinegar causes baking soda to react when the two substances come into contact. After you have dumped some of the baking soda in the drain, pour a decent amount of white vinegar down it next. You should hear or see the mixture bubbling. Give the drain a few minutes with this combination. This alone may do the trick and unclog the drain. Once the bubbling begins to fade, use warm water to gently rinse the mixture down. If the drain is still clogged, proceed to the next step.
Step 4 - Bleach
Bleach is known for its caustic quality. It is very important that you wear protective gear while handling bleach. If the drain has not become unclogged from the vinegar/baking soda solution, try the popular lightening peroxide. Bleach also acts as a great alternative to the all-natural mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Just pour a little down the drain and give it some time to sit. Make sure all kids, adults and pets are kept away from the bath or shower during this time, even open a window for ventilation so the fumes from the bleach don’t cause any harm.
Step 5 - Rinse the Shower or Bath Out
If you gave the bleach some time and you believe the issue is resolved, rinse the drain and the shower out well with warm water. Bleach will sit around in a drain so it is important to rinse out the shower the best you can. If the tub or shower begins to fill up with water as you perform the rinsing process, you still have a clog in your drain and should contact an experienced local plumber. They’ll have other tools and methods of getting your drain back to working order.