Unclogging Your Shower Drain: A How-To Guide

Unclogging your Shower Drain

Have you ever tried to enjoy a nice, warm shower, only to have grey, run-off water start pooling up around your feet? Kind of ruins the whole endeavor, right? You can avoid that experience by making sure your shower drain is always clean and clear.

Cleaning and unclogging your shower drain is as simple as following this how-to guide. Before we go any further, don’t forget that unclogging a shower drain is only a preventative measure. Make sure it doesn’t get clogged in the first place, by taking simple steps like installing drain protectors.

Pour hot water down the drain

This is your first – and usually successful – defense against difficult clogs. Boiling water can damage certain varieties of pipes, so you don’t want it that hot, but you still want it hot. Gather ten to fifteen cups of hot water in a bucket and slowly pour it down the drain.

The heat and movement of the water should help clear the blockage. If it doesn’t, at least it’ll start the unclogging process.

Give a plunger a try

Plungers aren’t just for toilets. Sometimes the movement of air that is created by putting a plunger over a drain can be effective in clearing out a shower clog. At the very least, it’ll help you get one step closer toward opening things up.

Reach down and use your hands

This one is kind of gross, since most shower clogs are the result of hair getting tangled into clog-sized balls. Put on a rubber glove, reach your fingers in, and (if you’re lucky) you should be able to grab a few strands that lead to a bigger clog for you to pull out.

Once that’s out, more likely than not, you should be able to get the water moving.

Try a homemade chemical solution

We never recommend using store-bought chemical drain cleaners because of their inherently abrasive nature. Yes, they can clear a clog, but they’ll eat away at the pipes too. However, there are gentler, homemade options you can try.

First, pour a cup of baking soda down your drain, wait a couple minutes, and then follow it up with a cup of vinegar. Give the two a few hours to mix – hopefully dissolving whatever is blocking your drain – and then clear out the rest of the drain by following it up with warm water.


One, or all, of these suggestions are more than likely to help you unclog a tricky blocked shower drain. Sometimes, though, even your best efforts don’t help.

When that happens, call the expert technicians at Ben Franklin Plumbing in Houston. We’ll bring an expert’s touch to clear your shower drain and get the water (and your life) back to flowing properly.