Different Ways to Clear a Bathtub Drain

Of the different types of drains in your home, the bathtub and shower drain likely gets clogged the most often. This is due to soap scum, buildup, and hair that tries to go down the drain but causes a clog at some point. Here are some tips for clearing different types of bathtub drain clogs.

Remove the Strainer From the Drain

When clearing the bathtub drain, you will need to remove the strainer. This allows you to access more of the drain to clean it out, and also lets you see exactly what is causing the water to run slowly. You might find that the hair or soap residue is right underneath the strainer, letting you clear the drains simply by removing it. Some strainers can just be popped off or rotated to remove them, however others require using a screwdriver. After you remove the strainer, look inside the drain to see if there is debris that can easily be removed. You might want to use a small tool to remove hair you find, such as a wire hanger or simple drain auger.

Use Baking Soda and Boiling Water

An easy way to clear a bathtub drain that doesn't have a major clog, but has a small amount of soap scum or hair in the drain is to use a combination of baking soda and boiling water. Start by pouring a small amount of baking soda into the bathtub drain, which will soak up some of the scum and grease that has accumulated in the drain. Let it sit for several minutes, then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. It will work together with the baking soda to clean the drain effectively.

Try Using a Drain Snake

By this point, you have already removed the strainer and attempted to use natural ways of removing the clog. However, if the water is still running slow, the residue, debris, or hair clogging the drain is probably a little further down. It is now time to try using a more heavy-duty drain snake or drain auger. You might want to use one that connects to your electric drill. They tend to be made of higher quality materials and the drill helps to pull up the debris as opposed to doing it manually with a crank auger. If it still doesn't work at clearing the bathtub drain, it is time to call a plumber.