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How often do you hop into a shower only to notice water pooling under your feet? If you tend to neglect plumbing maintenance, the answer is: too often!

In general, shower drains get clogged due to hair and soap scum. The hair traps some of the soapy residue, creating an impermeable clog. The longer they’re left to accumulate, the slower your drain will run.

Dealing with a slow draining shower drain in Stillwater, OK? Read on for eight methods that will help you unclog it without damaging your plumbing!

1. Clear Visible Debris

Before you start relying on cleaning products to unclog your drain, try using your hands. Sometimes, all you’ll need to do is clear the visible debris.

First, remove the drain cover. If the cover is attached with screws, use a screwdriver to remove them and lift the cover. Some covers allow you to untwist them or simply pull them up with your fingers.

Now look into the drain for any surface-level clogs. If you see any loose hair, soap, or fallen objects, pull them out with your hands. Once you’re done, put the cover back on and try running the water again.

2. Pour Boiling Water

Hot water is great at breaking up and dissolving most drain gunk. That said, don’t try this method with PVC pipes, as it could damage them.

Not sure if you have metal or PVC pipes? You can check by finding the area where the main line enters your home, which is usually near the shut-off valve. Touch the pipes to feel their texture or look for labels and markings.

If you have metal pipes, feel free to pour boiling water down the drain. Do it little by little, as this gives the liquid a chance to work through the clog. For bigger clogs, you may need to use several kettles of boiling water.

3. Use a Plunger

A plunger is one of the most reliable shower drain cleaning methods out there. Any simple plunger with a rubber cup can do the trick here.

Remove the drain cover and place the plunger so the cup covers the drain opening. If you’re struggling to get a good seal, smear some petroleum jelly over the edge. Then, run enough water to cover the bottom of the cup.

Once there’s enough water, start rapidly pushing the plunger up and down. Do so for about 30 seconds, then lift the plunger. If you’ve managed to clear the clog, you should see some debris around the drain.

4. Create a DIY Solution

When it comes to home remedies for drain clogs, nothing beats vinegar and baking soda. Combining them creates bubbles that break up most clogs.

First, mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of salt. Pour them down the drain, then add 1 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for about an hour, then run hot water down the drain to get rid of any remaining material.

While using this method, stay away from bleach. The chemical reaction between white vinegar and bleach can create hazardous gasses. If the natural solution doesn’t help, you can try bleach another day.

5. Insert a Plumber’s Snake

Using a plumber’s snake is an effective way to fix a slow-draining shower. If you don’t have this tool, you can buy it at most hardware stores in Stillwater.

Most plumber’s snakes consist of a long cable attached to a hand crank. After removing the drain cover, slowly insert the cable until you feel resistance. Turn the crank to bring the cable back up, along with any clogs it grabbed.

Even if the snake didn’t grab the clog, it likely pushed it further down. If so, try running hot water to clear the pipes. If the snake can’t grab or push whatever is causing the clog, you may need to call a plumber.

6. Fashion Your Own Snake

Don’t want to buy a specialty tool like a plumber’s snake? If so, good news: you can make your own snake using nothing but a coat hanger!

The easiest way to do this is to unwind and straighten the hanger with some needle-nose pliers. Then, create a 1/4-inch long hook at the end. This will make it easier to fish out hair and other debris from the drain.

The rest of the process is similar to the above method. Keep in mind, however, that a coat hanger snake may not be long enough to reach the clog. Commercial plumber’s snakes can be up to 100 feet long.

7. Try a Chemical Cleaner

If all else fails, you can remove shower drain blockages with a chemical cleaner. These solvents are very effective at clearing out hair and soap scum.

The exact method of application will depend on the product. Some cleaners, like Drano, act fast and can clear clogs in standing water. Enzyme cleaners usually need to sit overnight but contain less harmful chemicals.

Whatever product you opt for, make sure to use it carefully. Wear gloves, read the instructions, and keep these products away from kids and pets. Use chemical cleaners sparingly, as they can be toxic to the environment.

8. Hire a Plumber

Did none of the DIY drain unclogging tips on the list help you clear the clog? If so, all that’s left is to call in the professionals.

Before hiring a plumber, make sure they’re licensed and registered. Getting a license involves having three years of experience and having liability insurance. You can also look at their website for reviews and testimonials.

When the plumber comes over, tell them what you’ve already tried. This goes for both chemical cleaners and homemade solutions. As long as they have the full picture, they’ll be able to avoid nasty surprises.

Unclog a Slow Draining Shower Drain Today!

Depending on the nature of the clog, removing it may not always be easy. That said, the above methods will help you cover all eventualities!

Need to unclog a slow draining shower drain in Stillwater, OK? Our highly-trained plumbers at Advantage Plumbing Heating and Cooling offer emergency services and efficient results! Contact us here to find out why we’ve been in business since 1968!

Stillwater Sapulpa