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Clear Blocked Shower Drains and Steps to Prevent Them

Updated on October 14, 2019
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Brian Fang is a writer for MR Drains Ltd, a drainage clearance and lining contractors in UK. He writes about blocked drains.

Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain

It is such a disgusting moment when, after a shower, you find yourself in an ankle-deep pool of murky water. If you notice the water not draining fast enough or if it doesn’t drain at all, your shower drain might be clogged. Another tell-tale sign that you have a clogged shower drain is if it is emanating a disgusting smell.

Clogged Shower Drain

A clogged shower drain can either be due to a simple blockage or a full-blown obstruction in your sewer. Whatever the problem is, you need to do something about it.

Why do you need to do something about it? The collection of pools of dirty water is unsanitary. You and your family could get sick from that dirty pool. If left untreated for a long time, it can be an attractive habitat for mosquitos, bacteria, and viruses.

What Causes Drainage Blockages?

The slow draining of water characterizes simple drainage blockage. This could mean that there is a partial blockage of hair, scum, and dirt in one of the pipes. If a partial blockage is treated early, the treatment would be easy and finished in just a minute.

On the other hand, a full-blown blockage is hard to treat. Years and years of dirt and hair build-up is the cause of why your pipes developed a full blockage situation.

Do not leave your pipes and drainage untreated for years, as this might cause irreversible damage to your pipes. Let’s delve further into the most common causes of a clogged shower drain.

  1. Bodily Debris
    Every time you take a bath, you shed hundreds of hair strands and millions of dead skin cells. Dead skin cells and hair can get stuck in the walls of the pipes, thus, creating blockage overtime. There is a higher chance of debris build up if numerous persons are living in one house, and the house hasn’t been maintained for a very long time.
  2. Soap Build Up
    Soap; innocent as it sounds can be one of the culprits of drainage blockage in your shower drain. The debris in the soap from a washed body is called soap scum. Soap scum can add to the hair and dead cells that got stuck to the pipe walls.
    Soap scums can be easily cleaned compared to hair. If you suspect a scum-based blockage in your drainage system, a mixture of laundry bleach and hot water does the trick.
  3. Trash
    You or anyone might accidentally drop toothpaste caps, shampoo caps, and other trash in your shower without knowing it. This can be the worst type of blockage your drainage can have. A drainage catcher (plunger) always comes in handy to prevent trashes from dropping.

Steps to Prevent Future Clogging

There are steps that you can do to clear away clogging as well as preventing future clogging. These methods can only be used for simple and semi-hard drainage blockage. If the problem goes deeper than simple clogged drainage, you need professional care or a machine like an aqua blast. Deep-seated problems of blockage can come from mainline sewers and needs immediate attending to.

  1. Pour boiling water: If the water in your shower drainage doesn’t drain fast enough, pour boiling water on your bathroom floor. The high temperature of the water will help melt the partial build up in your drainage system. This is also the first aid of unclogging complete clogged drainage. Hot water will soften the debris, paving the way for a fast and easy unclogging action of the chemical-based unclogging product.
  2. Setting a plunger: Plungers can prevent big and solid debris like hair to stop from falling into the hole. Maximize your plunger’s function by putting petroleum jelly on your plunger’s seal. Also, whenever you see hair strands in the plunger, always pick it up to dispose.
  3. Vinegar and baking soda: The vinegar and baking soda duo is a natural way of unclogging semi to heavy drainage blockage problems. Pour one cup of baking soda powder down the drain. After a few minutes, pour one cup of vinegar in the drain. Wait for an hour for the solution to work on the build-up. Finally, pour boiling water into the drainage.
  4. Educating the members of your household about proper bathroom etiquette: Let your family understand the benefits of good bathroom etiquette and hygiene. Teach them how to pick trash and hair out of the plunger for proper disposal. Make them understand that no debris should fall in the drainage hole and that the plunger should always be intact in the drainage hole.
  5. Chemical-based products: This method should be listed as a “last resort” emergency. If nothing can ever treat your drainage blockage dilemma, try to use chemical-based unclogging products. These products are cheap and oftentimes fast-acting solutions to clogs. However, most people do not want to use these types of products due to the irreversible damage that it brings to both pipes and the environment. Chemical-based products are corrosive, meaning, it can diminish the strength and durability of your pipes. If used regularly, it can break your pipes open.

Another reason why it is unadvisable to use chemicals is because of its threat to nature. Harmful chemicals can mix with water. Even if the water is recycled through the Earth’s natural water cycle, traces of these chemicals can still be present in the environment. If you can, try to help the environment by purchasing chemical-based products that are non-corrosive and non-pollutant. Check the other packages or labels of the product.


Any household can experience a “Clogged Shower Drain” situation. It is a common experience than you think. So, it’s always handy to know what to during these hassle events. It’s a commendable asset to be able to fix anything in your house without professional help. Your family and wallet will thank you at the end.

Finally, protect your family from a possible bacterial or viral breakout due to clogged shower drains. Do the following prevention tips and possible remedies before it’s too late.


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