How to Unclog a Shower Drain – 7 Easiest Solutions at Your Fingertips

shower drain sewer with clean water

Unclogging the drain in your shower doesn’t always require making a call to the local plumber for service. There are many items available in your home or the local hardware store that could assist in getting the job done easily. As a result, you won’t be standing in several inches of dirty water as you shower. The following sections will show you how to unclog a shower drain with minimal effort so the water once again flows without issue.

1. Use Boiling Water

pan with boiling water

Many of the soaps, body washes, and conditioners being used in the shower contain large amounts of detergent and ingredients that can solidify inside the drain. Instead of poking around and risking doing damage to the drain, a simple solution is to boil some water in a large pot. Afterwards, pour the boiling water directly down the shower drain.

Depending what caused the blockages, this method will certainly liquefy soap and allow the water to flow again. This moment will give you the chance to find out if the clog is from soaps or not.

2. Natural Drain Cleaner

For those who prefer a green way to clear a clog in the shower, all you need is some baking soda and vinegar to create a natural drain cleaner. Begin by pouring a cup of the baking soda directly into the shower drain. Then wait two minutes. Follow this up by pouring one cup of vinegar down the drain. This solution has the best chance to clear the clog as long as you can leave it overnight or at least for a few hours.

This solution can not cause any damage to your pipes. It can be rinsed away by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain after a few hours have passed.

3. The Bathroom Plunger

Wondering how to unclog a shower drain with your toilet plunger? This method works best if the clog is near the top of the drain. That’s because the plunger relies solely on suction to break the clog free.

Remove the shower drain so the clog can be eliminated once it comes to the surface. Here is an effective tip for adding some suction power to your toilet plunger: rub some Vaseline or petroleum jelly along the edges to create a better seal.

The plunger works best under water, so try to fill the shower area with an inch or two of water before plunging. Press with some force down. Afterwards, pull up quickly to create the needed suction to break the clog free and bring it to the surface. Here you will be able to grab it.

4. Getting down and Dirty

Now here is a way on how to unclog a shower drain that involves nothing more than your bare hands. Remove the shower drain, grab your flashlight, and put on a pair of rubber gloves. Scan inside the drain for the blockage. It might be a large hairball stuck in the curve of the drain. If this is the case, it might be pulled out with your fingers a little at a time. Keep pulling up the debris until the drain appears clear.

If the clog is visible with your flashlight but appears too far down the drain for your hand and fingers to reach, proceed to the next step.

5. Make a Small Hook

many wire coat hangers on a horizontal poll

Now that you have the drain cover off and you can see if the clog is just out of reach, you need to create a small hook. You can use a wire coat hanger to grab the clog. These wire hangers already have the hook-shape at the top. Therefore, simply unwrap the metal until you have one long straight piece of bendable wire with the hook at the end.

Slowly guide the hook down into the drain. Once you reach the clog, twist the end of the wire until you get the hook tangled in whatever is trapped down there.

Don’t jerk the wire. Gently pull the wire back up through the drain to retrieve the clog and take it off the hook. Repeat the process until all the clog is out of the drain.

6. Powerful Drain Cleaners

If you tried several methods on how to unclog a shower drain and still have standing water under your feet, it might be high time you took things to the next level. The local supermarket and hardware store have several commercial liquid drain cleaners that can get the job done.

However, you should proceed with caution. The chemicals in these drain cleaners are powerful. Not only will they eat away at the composition of the clog in the drain, but  they can also strip away paint or damage chrome in the shower.

Read the label of the drain cleaner carefully and follow those instructions to the letter. Always wear gloves and protective eye-wear to avoid a splash getting poison in your eyes.

7. The Plumbing Snake

electric drain cleaner

If all else fails and you still want to tackle this job on your own, the plumbing snake should do the job. You can rent a manual plumbing snake from the local hardware store or home center. This should only take a few minutes to clear the drain.

Remove the shower drain cover, then slowly push the end of the snake down the drain until you feel it coming in contact with the clog. Now turn on the handle so the edge of the snake wraps itself into the clog and punches a hole through it at the same time.

Run water down the drain every few minutes to see if the snake head has opened the clog. Once water begins to flow down the drain freely, grab the handle and retrieve the snake. Cover the drain. The water flowing trouble in the shower should be eliminated at this point.


These tips on how to unclog a shower drain should help free the clog and improve the flow of water once again. If you have discovered a solution or trick on how to unclog a shower drain that worded for you, please feel free to share it here. It might benefit another person who is looking for a simple solution to this common household problem.

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