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3 Simple Ways To Fix A Clogged Shower Drain

3 Simple Solutions: How to Unclog Your Shower Drain

Shower drains can get clogged up with all sorts of hair and gunk, making it difficult to shower or take a bath. 

Anyone who’s ever had a clogged shower drain knows just how frustrating it can be. Not only is it a huge hassle, but it can also be pretty smelly too.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve put together a list of 3 simple solutions that will help you unclog your shower drain in no time at all. We will also give a few tips on how to clean your shower drain and prevent it from getting clogged in the future.

Why Does Your Shower Drain Get Clogged up in the First Place?

image of a shower drain

If you have ever wondered why your shower drain gets clogged up there are a few reasons why. Here are some of the most common culprits:

Reason #1: Hair

One of the most common reasons why shower drains get clogged is because of hair. Even if you don’t have long hair, small bits of hair can still build up over time and cause a blockage.

Reason #2: Soap Scum

Another common reason for clogged shower drains is soap scum. Soap scum is the residue that’s left behind after soap products (like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash) mix with water and harden.

If you don’t clean your shower regularly, this soap scum can build up and eventually cause a blockage and a bad smell from your drains.

Reason #3: Debris Build up

Lastly, debris can also build up over time and cause a clogged shower drain. This debris can include things like dirt, sand, and even small rocks that get washed off your body during a shower. If you live in an area with hard water, the minerals in the water can also contribute to a clogged drain.

3 DIY Solutions For Unclogging Your Shower Drain 

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common causes of clogged shower drains let’s take a look at the 3 best ways to unclog the shower drain.

Solution #1: Unclogging a shower drain with a plunger.

plunging the drain to clear the blockage

 One of the simplest and most effective ways to unclog a shower drain is by using a plunger. A plunger can help to break up the clog and clear the drain. Here’s how to use a plunger to unclog your shower drain:

  • Start by filling the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger. This will help create a seal so that the plunger can work more effectively.
  • Place the plunger over the drain and make sure that the suction cup covers the entire opening.
  • Push and pull the plunger up and down with a steady rhythm. 
  • After a few minutes of plunging, you should notice the water start to drain. If not, continue plunging for a few more minutes.

Solution #2: Unclogging a shower drain with a snake/auger machine.

plunging the shower drain to clear the blockage

If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, you can try using a snake/auger machine. A snake or auger machine is a long, flexible rod that’s designed to reach deep into drains and break up clogs. Here’s how to snake or auger a shower drain:

  • Remove the stopper from the drain and feed the auger down the drain until you feel it hit the clog.
  • Start cranking the handle in a clockwise direction. 
  • As you’re cranking, the auger will start to spin and break up the clog.
  • As you continue cranking, you should feel the auger start to move through the clog.
  • Once the auger has broken up the clog, pull it out of the drain and flush the area with hot water.

If you want to know more about how to clear a clogged drain with a snake or auger machine, check out this helpful article How To Use Drain Auger or Plumbing Snake: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Solution #3: Use chemical drain cleaners to clear a shower drain. 

chemical drain cleaner for unclogging the shower drain

If you don’t have a plunger or an auger machine, another effective way to unclog a shower drain is using chemical drain cleaners. These shower drain cleaners have powerful chemicals that can break up even the toughest clogs. However, they should be used as a last resort because they can be damaging to your pipes.

Here’s how to use a chemical drain cleaner to unclog your shower drain:

  • Start by pouring the drain cleaner down the drain.
  • Follow the instructions on the bottle and let the cleaner sit for the recommended amount of time. 
  • After the recommended time has passed, flush the area with hot water.

To learn more about using chemical drain cleaners, check out this helpful article here. 

If you don’t have a plunger, an auger machine, or a chemical drain cleaner, you can also try using baking soda and vinegar. If the problem still persists, you may need to call a professional plumber.

How To Prevent Future Clogs From Happing In Your Shower Drain

Now that you know how to unclog a shower drain let’s look at how you can prevent future clogs.

Prevention Tip #1: Use boiling water to maintain your shower drain 

Boiling water is an effective way to clear and maintain any drain. Boiling water can help to break up soap scum and dissolve hair. To do this, simply boil a pot of water and pour the boiling water down the shower drain once every week. This will help to maintain a clear drain and prevent future clogs.

Prevention Tip #2: Use a strainer to catch your hair. 

Another effective way to prevent hair from clogging your drain is by using a hair catcher. Hair catchers are designed to catch hair before it has a chance to go down the drain. You can find hair catchers at most hardware stores.

Prevention Tip #3: Buy a hand snake and clear your drain every couple of months 

If you want to take a proactive approach to drain maintenance, you can buy a hand snake. A hand snake is a long, flexible rod that’s designed to reach deep into drains and clear away any buildup.

You can use a hand snake to clear your drain every couple of months. This will help prevent clogs from forming in the first place.

If you follow these prevention tips, you should be able to keep your shower drain clear and clog-free.

What To Do If You Can’t Clear Your Shower Drain?

calling a plumber if the problem is out of hand

If you’ve tried all of the solutions in this article and you still can’t clear your shower drain, it’s time to call a professional plumber. A professional plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and come up with a solution quickly.

It would be best if you don’t try to fix the problem yourself if you are not confident in your ability to do so. Otherwise, you could end up making the problem worse. Calling a professional plumber is the best way to ensure that the problem is fixed correctly the first time.

So, if you live in Lower Mainland Canada and you’re having problems with your shower drain, don’t hesitate to call our experts at Your Guy Plumbing. We’ve been serving Greater Vancouver for over decades and our plumbers are some of the best in the business. For more information or to schedule a service call, contact us today.


A shower drain that is not draining can be very inconvenient. The good thing is, with a little know-how, you can easily unclog your shower drain yourself. If you’re having trouble clearing your shower drain, there are a few things you can try that we mentioned above.

However, if you can’t seem to fix the problem, it’s best to call your local professional plumber. You can avoid the hassle and wasted time by letting the experts handle it.

At Your Guy Plumbing, we’re always here to help. If you have any questions or need assistance with your plumbing, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

John Relampago

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