water flowing down a shower drain.

Having a clogged shower drain can be stressful and most likely not something you want to deal with on top of everything else the day demands. With daily showers, it’s actually very common for debris like hair to collect in the shower drain and cause a clog.

While you might think it requires a complicated process and getting your hands dirty to fix the clog, this isn’t necessarily true. Before you call the plumber to come remove the clog for you, stick around and hear us out. We’ve got all the trusted tricks for unclogging a shower drain on your own. These techniques involve very little effort or experience, which means you can get your showers draining again with ease.

Being able to unclog your drains all on your own will save you time and money, as well as the headache of having to deal with the mess until the professionals can finally arrive. We’re here to help you take charge of your home so you can be your own handyman when it matters most. Read on to add a new skill to your arsenal that can help you for the rest of your life.

Different popular methods for fixing a clogged shower drain

Is your shower not draining? There’s no need to throw in the towel. We’ve got the insider tips to help you clear up that clogged shower drain in no time. You don’t have to worry about showering in a tub of pooling water or water spilling over and messing up your entire bathroom. These helpful tricks will get your shower or tub back to business as usual with only a little bit of work on your part.

Using hot water to unclog shower drains

This might be one of the most common solutions for a clogged shower drain. Many people don’t realize that this simple fix even exists. With some boiling water, you can easily break up a clog and get your shower draining properly once again. The hot water will help loosen up the debris that is causing the clog and force it down the drain. The steps for this unclogging method are simple.

  • Fill up a pot or tea kettle with water. You can easily boil some water on the stove, and that’s the only tool you will need for this unclogging method. You’ll want to ensure the water is boiling before you use it. You want the water to be hot enough to actually clear the clog. If the water isn’t hot enough, it’s not likely to make any sort of difference for the drain.
  • Slowly pour the boiling water down the clogged drain. It is important to note that you need to slowly pour the hot water. You want to only pour a little bit of water at a time to avoid causing further issues. This way, you’ll steer clear of risks like burns and damage to your shower.

You should also be aware of the circumstances where this method should not be used. If your shower plumbing utilizes PVC pipes or joint connections, you should look for a different way to address the clog. PVC plastic is quite resilient, but pouring boiling water down the drain can damage or even melt these plumbing implements. If your shower does have PVC anywhere in the plumbing system, don’t worry. We have more tips that will better suit your specific situation.

Can a clothing hanger unclog a shower drain? 

If you need to unclog your shower drain in a hurry, try using a clothing hanger as your tool of choice. While a drain snake is a more conventional option, a clothing hanger can definitely suffice. Here are the steps to take if you want to try this method. 

  • Remove any drain covers
  • Bend the hanger into a shape that will work for this method
  • Insert the end of the hanger down the drain
  • Fish out the debris that is causing the clog
  • Use hot water to flush what’s left over

Best ways to unclog shower drains

a clogged shower drain

Some of the top methods for fixing a clogged shower drain involve using items that you already have lying around your house. The answer to your problem doesn’t have to involve complicated techniques and expensive tools. You can resolve your chronic shower drain clogging issue without calling for help or breaking the bank at the hardware store.

Where to start

The starting point for resolving this type of clog is assessing the situation thoroughly. As we addressed previously, you need to be aware of the plumbing materials used in your shower. You also need to try and narrow down what could be causing the clogged drain. Different types of debris can require specific methods of removal. Though a certain method or tool can be incredibly helpful with one type of clog, it may not work at all on a different type of debris.

What you need 

There are various household items that can be utilized to easily clear a clog. You don’t have to stress out when your shower drain has a clog and buy a bunch of materials to fix it. The following are some of the best tools you can use for the shower drain that you already have in your home. 

  • Plunger: While you might assume this tool can only be used for the toilet, it can actually be extremely effective in clearing clogs in drains. The suction and pressure that the plunger creates can force down the clog and break apart the mess. Just be sure to flush the drain with hot water to make sure the clog is fully addressed. 
  • Baking soda and vinegar: You’ve probably used these items to make a model volcano in science class as a kid, but did you know that this mixture can be used as a household cleaner? They can also be used to break up a shower drain clog. While you have to let the solution sit longer than store-bought unclogging liquids, it’s a cheap and convenient option that fits your busy lifestyle. 

How to prevent clogged shower drains

a photo of a bathroom that shows a full-size mirror above the sink with gray cupboards. The toilet is next to the sink between the standing shower. The mirror is rimmed in gold and there's a plan on the counter.

There are steps you can take as a homeowner to prevent future clogs in your shower drain. As we touched on earlier, there are specific things that are the most common culprits for clogged shower drains. The most common offender is hair. In order to effectively prevent future clogs and plumbing issues, addressing the problem at the source is the best way to go. The following are some must-haves in shower drain clog prevention. 

  • Install a hair catcher on your shower drain. If you can cut off the debris before it can even enter the drain, you can essentially prevent the large majority of future clogs. The hair catcher will collect all the debris, and it can easily be removed and cleaned so you can keep using it regularly. 
  • Snake your drain regularly. While this might not be the most pleasant household chore, it’s definitely super important. If you get a good quality drain snake and try to use it on your shower semi-frequently, it can keep clogs from developing. 
  • Keep a liquid clog dissolver on hand. If you know that your drain is prone to frequent clogging, it can be a good idea to have a liquid clog-removing solution at the ready. You can find these dissolvers at almost any store, and it doesn’t have to be the brand-name product to be effective. 

These are just a few simple methods and products that you can use to keep your shower draining properly. The best thing to do for a shower that clogs easily is to prevent clogs before they can even happen. We hope these tips have informed you and will help you feel empowered about handling household issues and aggravations that can arise. 

Schedule a visit from a professional to help you properly investigate your shower plumbing.


How to Unclog a Shower Drain (2022).

How to Unclog a Shower Drain (2022).

Learn How to Unclog a Shower Drain with Confidence (2021).