A Quick Guide on How to Clean A Shower Drain

Clean Your Shower Drain Tips

Do you know how to clean a shower drain? If the water level is rising around your ankles during your morning shower, it’s time to clean a shower drain. Shower drains often become clogged with a mixture of hair and soapy residue, building up into a blockage that can cause major hassles for your home’s plumbing system.

If you let them go for too long, the clog can potentially travel downstream and clog a drain trap or sewer trap, or another line. They can also create a mold condition from slow draining inside your shower stall.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a plumbing and sewer drainage expert to remove the majority of shower drain blockages. With some basic cleaning supplies and a little DIY know-how, you should be able to clear the drains and have water flowing freely once again. Here’s how to do it.

Supplies That You’ll Need to Clean A Shower Drain

  • You will need an all-purpose spray cleaner of your choice. Your regular bathroom cleaning spray will do the trick, or you may prefer to use a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda.
  • Paper towels. You’ll use these to collect the gunk from the shower waste and throw it away.
  • A screwdriver. Depending on your shower waste, there may be a few screws you’ll need to remove to get to the clog.

How to Clean Your Shower Waste

In many cases, the same tips to clear a slow-draining bathtub can also be used to cure slow slow-draining shower drain. In most cases, what’s causing the water to back up will be build-up in the shower waste area, which includes a drain pop-up, if one is present. A pop-up is usually only present on a combination bathtub with a shower.

This is the part of the shower that catches debris before it enters your pipes. It’s something you’ll want to clear out regularly to prevent clogs. Manufacturers design these to be easy to do when you need to clean a shower drain, so it shouldn’t be difficult to access once you know how to do it.

Clean a shower drain by removing the drain pop-up.
Clean a shower drain by pulling out the drain pop-up

To access the waste area, you’ll pop off or unscrew the cover over the drain in your shower pan. When you pull it out, get your paper towels ready, so you can start cleaning the hair and build-up inside. Simply wipe up as much as you can and then clean all the parts with your bathroom spray. You may find it easier to clean this by taking it apart (this is where the screwdriver comes in handy again!).

Next, reach inside the drain and remove the water trap that’s inside. It looks like a little cup, and its purpose is to catch debris from the water before it enters your pipes and where it can cause damage. Just clean this out, as well, and spray it with your bathroom cleaner. This is a simple way to clean a shower drain.

Will A Sink Plunger Clean A Shower Drain?

In many if not most cases, a sink plunger will not build up enough pressure to clean a shower drain. Also, remember that if it is a combination bathtub and shower the overflow must be plugged for a plunger to work properly. That is not to say a plunger is not worth a try, just don’t get your hopes up!

A plunger inside a shower to clean a shower drain.
Plungers are not usually successful at trying to clean a shower drain

Carefully Clean Each Drain Component Before You Reassemble the Drain

Before you put all the pieces back together, give the drain a wipe-down with your favorite cleaning product and paper towels. Clean both the inside of the drain (as far as you can reach) and around the entrance of the drain.

The cleaner you can leave this area, the better it will be for your shower and your plumbing. When finished, you can put the water trap and drain cover back in place, making sure you screw it back together if you took it apart.

When done, run your shower to make sure the water is now draining correctly.

Cleaning hair out of a shower drain grating.

What to Do If There Is Still Standing Water in the Shower

If you are still experiencing issues with a slow-draining shower, then it may be time to call in a drain cleaning professional to unclog a shower drain. If you clean a shower drain and there’s still an issue, then there may be a clog in the pipes. A plumber can run a camera into your pipes and take a look to see what’s stopping the water.

In some cases, you may have a grease-clogged drain pipe, it’s not unusual to suffer from a shower drain with grease or fat residue from various animal-based soap products. As many soaps are based on vegetable or animal fat, grease clogs can occur in showers or bathroom sinks. It is advisable to seek out soaps not made using fats, they are readily available.

Don’t Let Shower Drain Issues Linger – They Only Get Worse!

It’s important that you don’t let shower drain issues linger, and that you clean a shower drain in a timely fashion. The longer you let them go, the more damage they can end up causing to your plumbing and sewage systems. Ultimately, it can cause a problem with your drain line located below the shower, and it can become an expensive and time-consuming problem to fix.

Have a question about your plumbing, drain or sewer pipes, or water main? Contact Balkan Drain Cleaning today.