What To Do When Your Shower Drain Is Completely Blocked?

Blocked Drains Interventions

Dealing with a completely blocked shower drain can be a frustrating experience. As a homeowner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but understanding the root cause is the first step in resolving the issue.

If you notice water pooling around your feet during a shower and stubbornly refusing to drain, it’s a clear sign of a severe blockage that demands your attention. The good news is that with a bit of know-how, you can tackle this problem head-on.

In most cases, a clogged shower drain is a result of a gradual buildup of hair, soap scum, and other debris. It’s like the unseen residue of countless showers finally deciding to make its presence known.

Assessing The Clogged Shower Drain

Take a moment to assess the severity of the blockage. Is the water draining slowly, or is it not budging at all?

This initial evaluation will guide your approach to tackling the clog effectively.

Identifying the Severity

Picture this: you’re enjoying a relaxing shower, and suddenly, you find yourself ankle-deep in water. It’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a clear indicator that a severe drain clog is disrupting your daily routine. Understanding the severity of the issue is crucial.

If there’s standing water, it’s time to gear up for immediate action. However, even if the water drains slowly, it’s a red flag signaling an impending clog that you’d be wise to address sooner rather than later.

Possible Causes

Now, let’s play detective and think about what might be causing this inconvenience. Hair vlog is a notorious culprit, forming an alliance with soap scum and other foreign objects to create a barrier against the smooth flow of water.

It’s essential to identify the cause because it will influence the blocked drains interventions you employ to unclog the drain. By figuring out what you’re up against, you’re better equipped to choose the most effective solution to get your shower back to its refreshing best.

DIY Ways To Unblock A Shower Drain

Unclogging a shower drain doesn’t always require a plumber’s expertise; sometimes, a few DIY tricks can save the day:

1. Boiling Water

Boiling water might seem like a simple solution, but its effectiveness is often underestimated. As a homeowner who’s faced this issue a couple of times, I’ve learned that patience and a kettle of hot water can work wonders.

Carefully pour boiling water down the drain, allowing it to work its magic. The heat can melt away the grease or soap that’s causing the blockage. However, exercise caution not to scald yourself and pour steadily to prevent splashing.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Ah, the classic science experiment that doubles as a rescue remedy for a blocked shower drain! I’ve personally tested this natural drain cleaner, and the fizzy reaction it creates is both fascinating and effective.

  • Mix a cup of baking soda with an equal cup of vinegar, and don’t be surprised when it bubbles and fizzes.
  • Pour this solution down the drain, giving it ample time to work—around 30 minutes should do the trick—before rinsing it with hot water.

It’s a natural and budget-friendly way to break down stubborn clogs.

3. Plunger Power

Grabbing a plunger might not be your idea of a fun afternoon, but trust me, it’s a lifesaver in this situation. As someone who’s had their fair share of tussles with a blocked drain, I’ve found that a plunger can be surprisingly effective.

Create a seal around the drain and plunge vigorously several times to dislodge the blockage. It might take a few attempts, but the satisfaction of hearing that telltale gurgle as the water drains freely is unmatched.

4. Wire Hanger or Drain Snake

When all else fails, improvisation becomes your best friend. Crafting a makeshift drain snake using a wire hanger is a trick I’ve picked up along the way. Bend the wire and insert it gently into the drain, twisting and maneuvering to catch onto the clog.

Alternatively, investing in a drain snake tool can be a worthwhile purchase for future emergencies. It might seem a bit daunting at first, but with a steady hand, it’s an effective method to fish out the stubborn clogs.

5. Remove the Drain Cover

Sometimes, the solution is right in front of us—literally. If you can easily access the shower drain cover, removing it can provide a clearer view of the clogged drain. This is where my trusty pair of gloves comes into play.

Removing the cover allows you to inspect and clean any visible debris that might be contributing to the drain blockage. Once cleaned, you can employ other ways to unclog your shower drain with better access to the drain.

6. Commercial Drain Cleaners

Now, commercial drain cleaners might not be everyone’s first choice, but in dire situations, they can be a saving grace. As a homeowner who prefers natural remedies, I approach these chemicals cautiously.

However, when all other methods fail, using a commercial drain cleaner according to the instructions can dissolve tough clogs. Remember to wear protective gear and ensure adequate ventilation when handling these chemicals.

7. Combination Methods

Sometimes, the most effective approach is a combination of methods. For instance, starting with boiling water to soften the shower drain blockage, followed by the baking soda and vinegar solution to break it down further, might yield better results.

Additionally, using a plunger over the drain after applying these solutions can dislodge the loosened debris, ensuring a more thorough unclogging.

8. Seek Professional Help

There comes a point when our DIY prowess might not cut it. If the clog persists despite multiple attempts or if you’re unsure about handling chemicals or tools, it’s time to call in the experts.

Plumbing professionals, like those at Optimised Plumbing, have the expertise and tools to tackle stubborn blockages efficiently without causing damage to your pipes.

How To Prevent Shower Drain Blockage?

Maintain Regular Cleaning Habits

Prevention is often the best cure when it comes to a blocked shower drain. As someone who’s had their fair share of drain dilemmas, I’ve learned the importance of regular maintenance. Incorporating a monthly drain cleaning routine into your schedule can work wonders in preventing future blockages.

Simply using a drain cover to catch hair and debris before they venture down the drain can make a significant difference. Trust me, it’s a small step that can save you from major blockage headaches down the line.

Regular Flushing and Maintenance

Think of your shower drain like a road—regular maintenance keeps it flowing smoothly. Even when there’s no apparent clogging, sparing a few moments for preventive measures can be invaluable.

Periodically flushing the drain with boiling water or the baking soda and vinegar concoction ensures that any potential blockages are nipped in the bud. It’s a proactive approach that keeps your shower drain clog-free, giving you the peace of mind for those long, relaxing showers.

Install a Drain Screen

If you’re not a fan of dealing with surprise blockages, installing a drain screen might be your best investment yet. I’ve found that these screens act as a first line of defense against hair, soap scum, and larger debris.

It’s a simple yet effective way to prevent these elements from entering your drain and causing trouble. Plus, they’re easy to install and maintain, making it a hassle-free preventive measure.

Professional Maintenance

Every now and then, it’s beneficial to bring in the professionals for a thorough check-up. Plumbing services like those offered by Optimised Plumbing can conduct routine inspections, identifying and resolving potential issues before they escalate.

Their expertise ensures that your drains stay clear, leaving you to enjoy your showers without worrying about clogs.


1. How often should I clean my shower drain?

Cleaning your shower drain at least once a month is ideal for preventing blockages. It’s a simple routine that can save you from the hassle of dealing with severe clogs.

2. Can I prevent hair from clogging my shower drain?

Absolutely! Using a drain screen or catcher can effectively prevent hair from entering the drain and causing blockages. It’s a proactive measure that’s worth the effort.

3. Why does my shower drain get blocked frequently?

Frequent blockages are often caused by a buildup of hair, soap scum, and other debris. Implementing regular maintenance and cleaning routines can help prevent this recurring issue.

4. When should I call a professional plumber for a blocked shower drain?

If your DIY attempts haven’t resolved the issue or if the blockage persists, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. They have the expertise and tools to handle stubborn blockages effectively without causing damage to your pipes.


It can be an exasperating experience to unclog a shower drain. However, armed with the right knowledge and a few handy DIY tricks, you can resolve this issue efficiently. Remember, understanding the blockage’s severity and identifying its possible causes are key initial steps.

From using simple household remedies like hot water and baking soda to employing tools like a plunger or a drain snake, there are several effective methods to unclog the shower drain.

Moreover, adopting preventive measures, such as regular cleaning habits, installing drain screens, and seeking professional assistance when needed, can significantly reduce the chances of future shower drain clogs. By implementing these methods and staying proactive, you can keep your shower drain clear and enjoy uninterrupted, refreshing showers.

We’ve detailed the best DIY solutions and preventive measures to keep your shower drains running smoothly. If you’re experiencing persistent issues or need expert assistance, Optimised Plumbing is just a call away for swift and reliable solutions.

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