After a long day, a nice shower is a perfect way to unwind and destress — unless the drain is clogged. Hair and soap gunk accumulates over time, which can cause water to pool in the tub or shower. Before calling Gainesville plumbers at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc., grab some rubber gloves and be ready to get your hands dirty with these at-home methods for fixing a clogged shower drain.

Use Boiling Water

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. Boiling water helps break down grease and soap holding the clog together to clear the blockage. This method is easy and only requires one or two steps. Most important is to boil water on a stove using a kettle or saucepan. It’s also smart to use a funnel or another object to prevent overflow while you pour the boiling water down the drain. Note that this method is most effective for cleaning out the shower drain when used in conjunction with another method, especially if there’s a large amount of matted hair and buildup.

Try Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you want to avoid using chemicals in the clogged shower drain, try this all-natural and sworn-by method using baking soda and vinegar. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of distilled white vinegar. Just like the classic volcano science experiment, the mixture will begin to bubble in a matter of minutes. Quickly cover the drain using a stopper or bathtub plug, and wait at least 30 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain to dislodge the clog. If you don’t have vinegar on hand, you can also try the same method with salt instead.

Go At It Manually

No one wants to stick their hands down a shower drain clogged with hair, but it’s often one of the best fixes for a slow shower drain. You’ll need a sturdy pair of gloves, a screwdriver, and some willpower to pull clogs out of the drain manually. Before sticking your gloved hand down the drain, remove the drain cover. Sometimes there’s a tiny screw in the middle that needs to be taken out, but other times it’s as easy as prying the cover off with the screwdriver. Once this is taken care of, it’s time to locate and extract the clog, using a flashlight if necessary. If the clog is within reach, pull it out. If not, use a plastic drain cleaning tool or the wire hanger hook method (below). However, if the clog is caused by a mineral buildup, using chemicals or calling the experts at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. is recommended.

Construct A Wire-Hanger Hook

Sometimes clogs are just out of reach but still visible. This is when you use a handy dandy wire hanger and fashion a makeshift hook. Use wire cutters to help sculpt the hanger into one long hook with the rounded end at the top. Once the hanger is ready, gently lower it into the drain and guide the curved end toward the clog until you feel resistance. Rotate the hook and slowly tug at the clog to pull it out of the drain. Repeat this step a few times to unclog the shower drain.

A Last Resort: Chemicals

If all else fails, it’s time to bring in the big guns — heavy-duty chemicals. These understandably require more finesse and patience since they can cause damage to you and your drain if used incorrectly. Always wear gloves and goggles when pouring chemicals down the drain. Most grocery and hardware stores sell chemical cleaners designed to unblock drains; it’s vital to read the instructions carefully because the amount needed to unclog the drain varies based on the type of cleaner. Many of these products are poisonous, so don’t ingest them or use around children or pets. Chemical solutions offer a quick, easy, and affordable fix to a clogged shower drain, but you should minimize how often you use them.

Contact Gainesville, FL, Plumbers

If you’re not comfortable taking apart your drain and want to avoid harsh chemicals, it’s time to call plumbing professionals at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. We specialize in drain cleaning, as well as other plumbing services, and use the highest quality equipment and video camera inspections to tackle the root of the problem, whether it be with water jets for a quick drain cleanup or a sewer line cleaning for more severe pipe issues.

If you’re tired of a clogged drain or believe you have other drain issues, contact us today to schedule services!