How to clean a shower drain – Four ways to unclog and clean your drain

Mrs Hinch shares tips for cleaning a shower drain

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A clogged or dirty drain means a slow drain. In the case of a clogged toilet or clogged kitchen sink, a large obstruction is most likely to blame. But shower drains, on the contrary, mostly slow down when they are built up with hair, lint or residue from bath products accumulating over time – which goes for bathroom sinks in general. If you suspect your shower drain is clogged, the first thing to do is check for any visible blockages, as clumps of hair are the most common culprit.

Four ways to unclog and clean your shower drains

Remove the clog by hand

Sometimes a clog is immediately visible near the surface, making it easily accessible.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and get the clog out as best as you can.

There are small plastic hooks made exactly for this purpose, so if you’re having a hard time it might be worth investing in some.

You should never use a wire hanger for this step, as it will most likely damage your drain.

Use a drain snake

A drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake, is a retractable, flexible drilling tool you can get at most good hardware stores.

You will have to use the snake’s hand to crank to send a metal wire down your drain to either break up or pull out whatever is clogging it.

Disposable plastic versions of the snake are also available, which means no cranking is needed, and you can even use it again on a clogged toilet.

If you opt for a reusable one, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect after every use.

Use a pot of boiling water

This can be a good method to use when there’s no visible blockages interrupting the flow of the drain.

If the drain snake has proven unsuccessful, contact with boiling water can help dissolve softer build-up, like soap scum, around the edges.

Repeat this process two or three times, or as many times as necessary, until your drain’s flowing smoothly again.

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Use a natural drain cleaner

Conventional drain cleaners created by some of the market’s leading brands often don’t work as well as they claim to.

And as an added negative, they’re normal full of harsh and harmful chemicals.

Natural homemade cleaners can be just as effective, if not more, and will likely save you a penny or two in the process.

Pour boiling water down the drain to loosen the blockage, and then mix one cup of white wine vinegar and one cup of baking soda.

Pour the baking soda-vinegar concoction into the drain and wait 15 minutes before rinsing with more boiling water.

If all the above has had no effect on the speed of the drain, and you think there’s still a clog lurking, it’s time to call a professional.

Get a plumber into your property to fully assess the situation and let you know the best way to proceed.

For future use, a basic rubber or plastic drain cover could be a good investment to avoid any more drain clogs.

Make drain cleaning part of your routine by keeping a bottle of vinegar and baking soda near the shower and pouring a little of it down the drain after every few showers, as this can prevent you experiencing this shower drama again.

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