Everybody hates a clogged shower drain. It turns one of the most relaxing rituals of your day into a gross and stressful mess. Shower drains clog with great regularity, which is understandable given the amount of hair that ends up going down them. But don’t worry; if you suddenly find yourself showering in a puddle that isn’t going anywhere, you can quickly and easily unclog your shower drain all by yourself.
Use a Coat Hanger
A quick solution that works most of the time is to force out the clog with a coat hanger. Just take a standard metal coat hanger, and untwist it so that you have a long piece of metal. Bend the point a little bit to create more surface area at the end. Then stick it down the drain, and go fishing! Assuming the clog is near the surface, you should feel it quickly, and you can begin to push it through. If you’re unable to push the clog through, you can hook it with the end of the hanger and pull it back out of the drain.
Use a Snake
If the coat hanger doesn’t work, you can use a plumber’s snake, which serves the same purpose as a coat hanger but is designed specifically for this job. Snakes are longer and stronger than coat hangers, so if the hanger isn’t quite up to the task, you can try a snake.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is a fun and cheap home fix for clogs. It’s also a safe alternative to toxic chemical solutions designed for unclogging drains. Simply pour 3/4 cup of baking soda directly down your drain, then add 1/2 cup vinegar. This will create a chemical reaction much like an erupting volcano. Cover the drain with the plug or a rag to keep the reaction in the pipes; this allows it to break down the clog. After you have let the baking soda and vinegar work its magic for a half an hour, flush out the drain with a pot of boiling water. If this helps but does not completely alleviate the problem, you can try doing it another time or two.
Use a Plunger
You can use a plunger on your shower drain much as you would with your toilet. Just make sure that, like in a toilet, there are a few inches of water in the bathtub before you plunge the drain. This will provide additional pressure, but it will also let you know when your plunging has been a success. Then plunge away, using powerful strokes to force the water through the clog, disrupting and dislodging it.
There are specialty products designed specifically for drain clogs. They attach to a hose and shoot water down your drain in pulsating bursts, essentially mimicking the action of a plunger. If you feel like saving effort, you can purchase one of these to do the job for you.
Call a Plumber
While these suggestions may help you with small clogs, it’s best to call a plumber for more serious problems. In addition to making sure that the job is done right, doing so would prevent you from potentially causing more issues which would probably cost more to fix than if you called a professional from the get-go.