How Do I Fix A Clogged Bathtub Drain?

Imagine having enjoyed a relaxing bath, only to become frustrated and upset because the bathtub drain is clogged and is taking a long time to drain all the water. There’s no doubt that a clogged bathtub is annoying—and the problem can worsen if you don’t do anything about it soon. Usually, clogging is caused by dirt, soap scum, and hair that has accumulated over time. There are many ways to fix the problem, such as by using a strong shower drain cleaner or applying a more natural solution (i.e. vinegar and baking soda). But which method is best for your situation? We’ll go over each of them here:

Inspect and clean the drain

Once the slow-draining water is gone, it’s time to check the drain thoroughly for clogs. If the clog is caused by a buildup of debris, cleaning the shower drain should do the trick. Pick up any soap scum, hair, or dirt that has accumulated on the drain cover.

In some cases, you will have to remove the drain cover, as some debris may have ended up going deeper into the drain. In that case, you may have to reach in with a plumber’s snake. If you have to use that, access the drain from the overflow after removing the stopper. You can also reach through the drain opening, without the drain cover or strainer.

When using the plumber’s snake, turn the handle, and bring it back up. Then, run the water to check if the clog has been removed efficiently. You may need to repeat that process several times until you are sure that the debris has been removed.

Use a plunger

Depending on the location and nature of the clog and blockage and your drain’s design, the good old plunger might work. It will require suction to work, so it may not be that effective if the clog is too deep and mostly made of hair.

When using a plunger, don’t forget to apply petroleum jelly on the suction pad’s edges to create a better seal. There should be enough water in the tub to keep the plunger submerged. Plunge the tub drain opening as vigorously as you can.

 You can also try the two-plunger method where one plunger is placed over the overflow panel to allow the cup to seal it off and provide better suction, and then simultaneously plunging the drain opening with another plunger.

Avoid using any shower drain cleaner in your bathtub drain if you are planning to use the plunger, as it could cause the solution to splash out, and it may cause injuries or damage to other bathroom fixtures.

Remove the drain stopper

Unscrew and remove the overflow plate before removing the stopper. The stopper lifts and drops the plunger to open and close your drain, and it works with a small lever. If it is working incorrectly, it can result in a semi-closed position that restricts water flow, so you will have to adjust the lock nuts holding the plunger to a threaded rod.

Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda

If you prefer a more natural solution that can be effective at unclogging and cleaning your shower drain, consider using baking soda and vinegar. This method should be able to work on minor to moderate blockages.

Use half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain opening, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the ingredients combine. When they do, they should cause foaming in five minutes. Then, you must run the water for a minute or so. Check the tub to determine if it is still slow.

Call the plumber


If a regular shower drain cleaner or plumber’s snake is ineffective or you simply do not want to go through the trouble of cleaning your shower drain by yourself, then it is best to call a professional.

Use a high-quality drain cleaner

high-quality drain cleaner

But in most cases, all it takes is a high-quality shower drain cleaner and opener like TruFusion Powerplay Pro-Strength Drain Opener. With a strong formula, it can easily break through clogs in as little as 10 minutes. This professional-grade and pro-grade drain opener is formulated to dissolve the toughest clogs caused by hair, grease, and soap scum, and suitable for residential use.

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