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How to Unblock a Clogged Bath or Shower: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Raj b 09 Mar 2024 0 Comments
How to Unblock a Clogged Bath or Shower: A Step-by-Step Guide

Table Of Contents:

Introduction :

Clogged bath or shower drains can be a real headache. Not only do they disrupt your daily routine, but they can also lead to more significant issues like slow drainage and hygiene risks. 

However, fear not! This comprehensive guide on how to unblock a clogged bath or shower will walk you through the process step by step. 

We'll cover various methods, from using simple household items to more advanced techniques, ensuring you can enjoy your relaxing soak without any worries.

Tools and Materials You'll Need

Before we dive into the unblocking process, gather the following items to ensure you have everything on hand:

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Protective Glasses
  • A Plunger
  • Duct Tape
  • A Drain Snake
  • A Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Bleach

How to Unblock a Clogged Bath or Shower

unblock a shower

Now that you're well-equipped, let's begin the unblocking process.

Step 1: Get Yourself Prepared

Your safety comes first. Put on those rubber gloves and protective glasses. These simple precautions will help keep your hands clean and protect your eyes from any splashes of water or chemicals.

Step 2: Find the Blockage

  • Remove the plughole cover to access the drain.
  • Clogged drains are usually caused by a buildup of hair, soap, and dirt.
  • Attempt to remove the blockage using your fingers.
  • If the blockage is difficult to reach, consider using pliers or an unwrapped coat hanger.
  • Be cautious to avoid damaging the pipe or the bath/shower tray surface.

Step 3: Use a Plunger

bath or shower blockage

  • Soften the rubber end of the plunger by running it under hot water for several minutes. This increases its flexibility for better suction.
  • Ensure the bath or shower is filled with enough water to cover the plunger's head.
  • Seal the overflow in the bath using duct tape or a dishcloth to create a tight seal.
  • Hold the plunger handle firmly and vigorously plunge up and down for approximately 30 seconds.
  • Inspect the drain to check if the blockage has cleared.
  • If the blockage persists, repeat the plunging process.

Step 4: Use the Drain Snake

  • If the plunger doesn't resolve the issue, proceed to use a drain snake.
  • Make sure you have a drain snake with a 1/4 or 5/16-inch cable to prevent pipe damage.
  • For a bath blockage, insert the drain snake down the overflow pipe beneath the taps.
  • As you feed the snake, be cautious not to unscrew the pipe; instead, gently twist it clockwise into the blockage.
  • Once you've reached the clog, carefully pull the drain snake back up to the surface.
  • If dealing with a shower blockage, follow the same steps as for the bath.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until the blockage is fully cleared.

Step 5: Baking Soda and White Vinegar

baking soda for shower drain blockage

  • Baking soda, combined with white vinegar, is a natural and eco-friendly way to tackle drain blockages.
  • Begin by pouring a kettle of boiling water down the drain to help loosen any grease and debris.
  • Next, add two tablespoons of baking soda directly into the drain and allow it to sit on the blockage for several minutes.
  • Afterward, pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain. This will create a fizzing reaction that helps break down the blockage.
  • Let the mixture work for about five minutes to ensure it penetrates the clog effectively.
  • Finish by flushing the drain with another kettle of boiling water.
  • Turn on the taps to check if the blockage has been successfully cleared.

Step 6: Use a Natural Drain Cleaner

Consider using natural drain cleaners containing enzymes. These are effective for clearing organic materials such as grease and hair. You can find them at most DIY stores, and they're environmentally friendly.

Step 7: Soda Crystals and White Vinegar

Soda crystals can be an alternative to baking powder for unblocking your bath or shower. Follow the same instructions as with baking soda, using soda crystals and white vinegar to break down any blockages.

Step 8: Biological Washing Powder or Washing Up Liquid

Both biological washing powder and washing up liquid can be used to tackle a buildup of grease and soap scum. However, they may not be as effective against hair accumulations.

Step 9: Using Bleach to Clear Blockages

Bleach should be your last resort due to its harsh chemical nature. Start by pouring a small amount down the drain and leave it to work for five minutes. Then try flushing the bleach down using hot water from the taps.

Step 10: Avoid Using Stronger Chemicals

While it might be tempting to use stronger chemicals like caustic soda or sulphuric acid, these should be avoided as they can produce dangerous fumes and generate enough heat to damage your pipes.

unclog shower drain

Prevention: The Best Approach

Taking steps to reduce the risk of future blockages is essential. Clear excess hair from the bath or shower after each use, and consider adding an additional drain cover to catch smaller objects.


Unblocking a clogged bath or shower drain doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and methods, you can keep your drainage system running smoothly and avoid the risks associated with slow drainage and hygiene issues.

 So, the next time you face a blocked drain, follow these steps on how to unblock a clogged bath or shower to ensure a clean and functional bath or shower. Remember, prevention is key to a hassle-free bathing experience.

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