How to Clean a Shower Drain

Have you ever wondered how to clean a shower drain while cleaning your bathroom? 

Taking a couple of minutes to clean your drains each month can prevent them from smelling bad and clogging. 

Whether there’s a bit of standing water in the shower or you want to learn how to keep your drains fresh and clear, here’s what you need to know.


How to Clean a Drain Clogged with Hair

How to Clean a Drain Clogged with HairView in gallery

If there’s standing water in the shower, you have a clog. Hair is the primary source of shower drain clogs. In many cases, you can fix the shower yourself.

Here’s a look at the best methods.


Remove the Clog by Hand

If there’s hair sticking out of the drain, grab it with your hands and pull. Be gentle while pulling so the hair doesn’t rip, leaving some inaccessible.


Use a Plumber’s Snake

A plumber’s snake looks similar to a wire coat hanger. These bathroom unclogging tools attach to power drills. 

To use a plumber’s snake, remove the drain cover on your shower, stick the metal piece down the drain hole, and turn the drill on. The hair will wrap around the snake, and you can unclog the drain.


Dump Boiling Water Down the Drain

Boiling water is effective at flushing drains. But before you try this, use your hands or a plumber’s snake to unclog hair. Then dump a large pot of boiling water in the shower drain to flush leftover pieces.


Use a Chemical Drain Opener

Chemical drain openers can clear clogs caused by hair and soap build-up. If you suspect that’s the cause of your blockage, pick up a drain cleaner for showers or bathtubs. 

There are many products to choose from, and you can find them at your local hardware store, Walmart, or Amazon.


When to Call a Plumber

Call a plumber if you’ve tried the above methods and have yet to clear your drain. It’s even more urgent to call in a professional if more than one sink or shower is having trouble draining – this can indicate a severe blockage.


How to Deep Clean and Deodorize a Shower Drain

With your drain unclogged, you can deep clean and deodorize it. 

To deep clean and deodorize your drain:

  • Dump a pot of boiling water down the drain and allow it to cool
  • Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by one cup of vinegar
  • Place a rag over the drain hole and wait 15 minutes
  • Rinse with a second pot of boiling water

To refresh and deodorize your drain:

Do this each time you clean your bathroom. But, skip if you’ve bleached the bathtub – you never want to mix bleach and vinegar.

  • Add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the drain.
  • Wait five minutes and flush with hot water.

When you use this combo to clean your drain, the vinegar will kill mold spores, and the baking soda will deodorize.


Keep Your Shower Drain Clean

If your shower gets clogged by hair often, invest in a mesh drain catcher. These inexpensive tools go over the drain, trapping hair and other large particles. Also, don’t use exfoliating scrubs or soaps with chunks (like oatmeal) since they can cause clogs.