7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent Clogging

Bella is a skilled copywriter who holds a degree in English studies. Her lifelong passion for decor and interior design is evident in her work, which is inspired by the beau read more
Reviewed By
Expert Consultant
Tommy is an expert consultant at HouseAndBeyond, with extensive experience in home improvement. A master of all trades, he offers invaluable expertise in areas such as carpe read more
Last updated: August 18, 2023
HouseAndBeyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Taking a cold shower after a hot day is one of life’s best pleasures. However, few things cause discomfort than getting ready to have a refreshing bath or shower only to find that the shower drain is smelly. If that weren’t bad enough, you might observe that the used water simply doesn’t run off as quickly, or it even fails to run off. In our experience, it is best to avoid the additional cost of hiring a plumber to help you clear the mess. In this post, we will show you how to clean shower drain.

If you don’t want to hire a plumber, then you should learn how to clean the shower yourself. While it might seem an unpleasant task, unclogging the shower drain is not as difficult as you might expect. Most of the problems associated with a clogged shower drain can be solved using very simple methods. We will consider all of the problems you might encounter and show you how to solve the problems. After knowing how to clean the shower, check out this post about the best showerheads.

What causes drains to clog and smell?

7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent CloggingA clogged shower is very irritating. If it is something that happens in your bathroom often, it can be no small cause of discomfort. Whether it is from soap scum, hair or anything else, this is a problem that you certainly want to get rid of. But, first, what causes the drain to clog up, and end up smelling so horribly? Well, we will answer that in this section. Knowing what might cause clogging and smells is the first step to getting rid of the problem.

  • Drain Clogs

Drain clogs are relatively frequent occurrences in most bathrooms, so if you notice a smell from the drain, it is likely due to a clog. You know that your shower drain is clogged if it drains very slowly or it doesn’t drain at all. These clogs are a major cause of smells in the shower. What causes the clogs? Well, different things might be responsible for clogs in the shower. Some of the most common factors are hair, dirt, sand, soap scum, toothpaste, and so on. Most clogs are a combination of two or more of these factors.

  • Dry or Dirty P-Trap

Another thing that might cause your shower to smell is a dry or dirty P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe that dips below the shower drain line before it is then connected to the main stack. If your drain has this, then it is possible that it is the problem. The function of the part is to hold water all the time so that gases from the sewer Trusted Source Sewer gas - Wikipedia Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases produced and collected in sewage systems by the decomposition of organic household or industrial wastes, typical components of sewage. en.wikipedia.org do not escape through the drain. If you start smelling the sewer from your shower drain, then your P-trap might be the issue. It might be that the water in the P-trap has evaporated or is no longer there for some reason. The solution to this is relatively easy as all you need is to run the water for a while.

  • Mold

There are different reasons why the drain might smell. One of the things that might cause the smell might be mold. Lean down and take a quick whiff of the drain. If the smell that you perceive is musty, then chances are pretty high that there is mold growing beneath the drain cover.

Instruments you’ll need

7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent CloggingNow that we have determined the different causes of a smelly and clogged drain, it is time to get down to the business of cleaning the drain and unclogging it. However, before you begin, there are several things that you will need. Get all of these ready in advance so you can have an easier time cleaning and unclogging the drain.

  • Water
  • Plunger
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Coat hanger
  • Chemical Cleaner
  • Mold Remover

Since there are different causes of the smells and clogging, you might not need all of the instruments listed above to eliminate the clog or the smell. For example, if you want to remove clogs, you might do with a chemical cleaner like the Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner. On the other hand, if the aim is to remove the mold that has grown in the drain, you could use a specialized cleaner like the Tilex 01100 Mold and Mildew Remover.

How to clean shower drain pipe

Before you get down to pouring anything down the shower drainpipe, sometimes all you need to do is to remove an obstruction.

The first thing to do is to use a toilet plunger. Here is how to use it.

  • Fill the shower will enough water that the plunger is covered.
  • Then start plunging the drain.
  • Keep plunging until the water drains quickly.

Reviews indicate that the construction of the iDesign Una makes it a very reliable option that will serve you well.

Another thing that is used in place of the plunger is the Drain Snake. This is also known as the toilet auger. Here is how to use the drain snake.

  • Remove the drain cover
  • Then insert the snake and crank the handle
  • Continue doing this until you meet resistance.
  • Keep rotating the snake as it pushes the obstruction through the pipe.
  • Continue until you don’t feel any obstruction anymore.
  • Run the water for some minutes to confirm that the drain pipe is now clean.

The Oriflame 25 Feet Plumbing Snake is regarded by many users to be one of the best and most reliable drain snakes.

How to clean smelly shower drain

If the problem with the shower drain isn’t clogging but bad smells persists, then you can resolve these issues with these solutions.

  • Use boiling water. You use it by pouring it down into the drain
  • Adding baking soda and vinegar can help with reducing the smell from the drain.
  • Another thing that you can do is to change the filters of the drain. It can help to eliminate any unpleasant odors.

How to clean a clogged shower drain

Looking to have a refreshing shower with the best steam shower, only to observe that the water is pooling around your feet instead of draining away? Then this section is for you as it will show you how to get a clean clogged shower drain

There are some pretty easy solutions for fixing the clogged shower drain, all of which can be done without needing the help of a professional. All you need are the correct tools and a good gag reflex control. With these in place and some DIY expertise, you can have your clogged drain flowing freely in no time.

How to clean hair out of shower drain

Removing hair from the shower drain is rather straightforward as long as you try the tips that we provide.

One way to clean hair out is by using your hand or tweezers.

  • Remove the drain cover
  • Locate the clump of hair.
  • If it is within your reach, pull it out with your hands.
  • If it is harder to reach, use tweezers or a clothing hanger to hook the hair
  • Continue until the drain is clear.

How to clean weep holes in the shower drain

Here are the steps to cleaning the weep holes.

  • Remove the drain cover and locate the small holes around the drainage pipe.
  • Remove any debris in the holes with a hanger
  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow with vinegar
  • Cover the pipe and the weep holes with a thick cloth or rubber plug
  • Remove the plug and rinse the weep holes and pipe with hot running water

How to clean shower drain without chemicals

The natural alternatives to chemicals are baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. Follow the steps that we have provided in this post.

How to clean shower drain with baking soda and vinegar

7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent CloggingThis is one of the most popular ways of cleaning a clogged drain pipe. It is a natural method that doesn’t require the need of any chemicals. It is pretty easy to achieve too.

The things you will need for this method are vinegar, baking soda, water, a kettle, and a drain plug.

The first thing to do is to boil some water in the kettle or a pot. Then pour this right down the shower drain. After pouring the hot water, and about half a cup of baking soda straight into the drain. Leave it for around 10 minutes. After ten minutes, add a half cup of vinegar and another cup of hot water. You will need the drain plug to keep the reaction under the drain surface. If you don’t have a drain plug, you could use a thick cloth.

Keep the drain covered for up to ten minutes. Afterward, pour another cup of boiling water to flush the entire clog out. This method has been used by many is reported as being a very effective way of cleaning a clogged drain pipe.

Why is this method so effective? Well, it is so effective because it works to loosen the grim that is found at the bottom of a clogged shower drain. The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will displace all of the impurities. It is pretty easy and very effective too.

Some have used the baking soda and vinegar combination in a different way to get rid of a clogged shower drain pipe.

In the other method, you will follow these steps.

  • Mix one-third full cup of baking soda with an equal amount of vinegar in a measuring cup.
  • Then as it begins fizzing, pour the solution into the clogged drain.
  • In this method, leave the solution in the drain for at least an hour.
  • After enough time has passed, run hot water down the drain to ensure that the solution passes through the entire pipe.

How to clean shower drain with baking soda only

7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent CloggingBaking soda is something that is found in almost all kitchens. It is used for many things, especially in cleaning solutions. Therefore, it is no surprise that it can also be used alone for cleaning a shower drain.

In your bathroom, most of the clogs are a result of hair, scum, and similar stuff. Baking soda is slightly alkaline in nature, which means that it can dissolve mineral deposits and organic materials easily.

Furthermore, it comes with properties that help with combating bacteria and fungi. When cleaning the shower drain, some people opt to use chemicals. However, these come with some drawbacks. For one, they might not eliminate the clogs, and the chemical can be bad for your skin. No wonder professional plumbers and some buildings do not allow for using chemical cleaners for drains.

Before you use a chemical cleaner for your drain, try out baking soda. Here is how to clean your drain using just baking soda.

  • The first step is to boil water. Heat the water in a kettle or a measuring cup.
  • Next, pour some soap into the drain and pour the boiling water into the drain. The soap will help with some of the clogs.
  • The next thing is to pour a cup of baking soda into the drain. You can measure out the baking soda with a measuring cup.
  • Wait for five minutes then flush the drain with boiling water. If the drain is unclogged, you should run hot water. If you have done all we recommend and it doesn’t drain, repeat the methods. If you haven’t cleaned the drain in a while, it might take two or more repetitions of the steps before your drain is completely clean.

How to prevent shower drain clogging

If you have finally succeeded in cleaning your drain, you certainly do not want a repeat of the problem. In this section, we offer you some useful tips that will help you to prevent any clogs in your shower drain.

  1. Use a drain cover

7 Ways to Clean Shower Drain and Prevent CloggingOne of the most frequent causes of clogs in the bathroom drain is an accumulation of hairs. Therefore, installing a drain cover will help you to prevent hairs from getting into the drain. You can buy rubber or plastic drain covers to catch any stray hair strands in the shower.

  1. Eliminate Body Scrubs

While using body oils in the bathtub might feel great on your body, most of the oil will get stuck in the drain. And since it is oil, it will not dissolve in the water. Instead, it will harden as the drain pipes cool. This can cause clogs in your pipe. The only solution to this particular problem is to avoid using body oils in the shower.

  1. Eliminate Excess Waste

You might be tempted to dust your clothes, rugs, or other stuff in the bathroom and wash everything off through the drain. However, as tempting as that is, you should avoid it. The dust and debris that you shake off can get into the drain, accumulate over time, and cause clogs in the shower.

  1. Regular Maintenance

As with everything you use, you must maintain the drain as well as you can. When cleaning the room or shower, ensure that you also clean the drain. Have a bottle of baking soda handy in the bathroom and pour it down the bathroom after a couple of showers. Flush off with hot water.

According to most reviews, the best drain is the Neodrain 32 Inch Rectangular. Thanks to its construction, it is very reliable and will remain clean for longer.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning the shower includes cleaning the drain pipe, weep holes, and other parts. Use the tips that we have provided in this post to keep your shower clean all the time. It will help you to remove any clogs and any smells. Apart from showing you how to clean shower drain, we have also discussed some tips on preventing clogs and smells. We hope this helps you to correctly keep the shower clean and have a good time.


Sewer gas - Wikipedia
Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases produced and collected in sewage systems by the decomposition of organic household or industrial wastes, typical components of sewage.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *