If there happens to be stagnant water or liquid that goes down very slowly after turning the faucet off, then you probably have a clogged drain. A clogged drain occurs when an item gets lodged within the pipes, impeding your drain from working as efficiently as it should. Clogged drains in the shower can also become worse over time and are caused by numerous things from a build-up of grease to soap and hair trappings. Although dislodging debris is typically not for the faint of heart, clogged drains are usually very easy to fix. Learn how to unclog a drain five different ways!

1. Boil It Away

Running water

When hair and soap get trapped within a drain, it can be very difficult to get out unless you are using a specific tool to clean your pipes or draw the hair out. One of the easier methods, however, is to utilize boiling water. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and when it comes into contact with hair, it can break down its chemical bonds, therefore making it much easier to slip down the pipe. Grease or soap also melts the same way. However, if you have an expensive drain, this method may not be ideal, as the boiling water can damage it. Additionally, if your shower drain is deeply clogged with hair and soap that has hardened over time, then you may need to use this method in conjunction with other techniques to partially or fully clear your drain. Here is what you can do:

What You'll Need

  • A pot
  • Water
  • A stove
  • A funnel

What To Do

1. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.

2. Turn off the heat and take your hot water to the bathroom tub.

3. Pour the water through the funnel and down your drain to dislodge hair, grease, oil or other debris.

4. Turn on the shower faucet to help clear out the drain even more. Water should pour down without puddling.

5. Repeat if needed.

2. Use Baking Soda And Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar go hand-in-hand when it comes to dislodging grit and grime. Not only is it used to refurbish stainless steel, the reaction between the two creates a powerhouse of chemicals that produces carbon dioxide gas to help remove dislodged items within your drain. Baking soda is made of sodium bicarbonate, while vinegar is made of diluted acetic acid. When the two combine, the carbon dioxide forms as bubbles. After applying the hot water boiling method, you can try this method to help further dislodge any difficult particles from your drain.

What You'll Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • A drain plug

What To Do

1. Pour a pot of boiling water down your drain.

2. Pour about 1/2 a cup of baking soda into your drain and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

3. Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar, and then one cup of extremely hot water down the drain.

4. Take your drain stopper and cover for about 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Once the setting is complete, flush the mixture down the drain with another pot of boiling hot water.

3. Use A Plunger

toilet with plunger
Flickr/Gary J. Wood

Toilet plungers can be just as effective for a clogged drain as they are for a clogged toilet. While plungers work pretty well, things can get a little trickier and may require more suction when dealing with hair. Plunging your drain is also a low-cost way of helping remove particles in your drain without the hassle of hiring a professional to do it for you. It is more effective to utilize a plunger with a little water, than just air, to increase suction.

What You'll Need

  • A plunger

What To Do

1. Remove the stopper from your drain.

2. Fill the tub or shower with enough water to completely immerse your drain hole.

3. Place the plunger directly over the drain to seal it.

4. Plunge the drain by applying force with your arms and releasing without taking the plunge off the drain.

5. Then remove the plunger quickly to break the seal.

6. Repeat if necessary.

4. Use Your Hands

Hand submerged in water

Though utilizing your hands works well when it comes to dislodging a clogged drain, you should probably wear cleaning gloves so that you don't cut or get your hands dirty. This is ideal for removing hair or other objects stuck in your drains. But if you're dealing with sharp objects or a build-up of grease you'll either need to apply other methods or hire an expert.

What You'll Need

  • Your hands

What to Do

1. Remove the drain cover.

2. Look inside the drain to locate the clog. Sometimes using a flashlight helps.

3. If the clog is visible and within reach, simply pull it out with your fingers. If not...

5. Use A Shower Hook

Wire hanger

A shower hook may be easily improvised by utilizing the hook of a wire hanger. Simply bend the hook to fit the drain and flex the shoulders of the hanger into a straight line until you've created a linear hook. Again, if you have a buildup of oil or other greasy mixtures, this method isn't as ideal but works perfectly for removing hair from your shower drains. If all else fails, a plumbers' snake also works well in removing a number of particles that have accumulated over time.

What You'll Need

  • A wire hanger

What To Do

1. Remove the shower drain plug or cover. If you have a perforated shower piece, then remove it with a screwdriver and clean it thoroughly since it tends to be full of hair and debris. Set aside.

2. Take your wire hanger, bending the hook in a little more to form a hook and straightening out the hanger.

3. Using a firm grip, place the hook into the shower drain as far as possible.

4. Next, jiggle and shift the hanger until to find any debris. Once you've located debris, carefully pull it out of the drain and onto a paper towel and discard.

5. Repeat if necessary, until your drain is completely gunk-free.

6. Replace your shower drain and your shower is ready for use.

A clogged drain is a pesky, yet common problem that many of us have encountered at least once in our life, but you don't have to live with it. Try these tricks at home to combat any sign of blockage so you can utilize your shower, problem free.

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