How to Unclog Shower Drain

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Today, I’ll be sharing a simple yet effective method to unclog a shower drain. By removing the shower drain, I was shocked by the gross buildup of hair and scum inside. It’s mind-boggling to think that unscrewing the shower drain could have easily resolved my problem all along! 

Before resorting to drain cleaner like baking soda and vinegar, Drano, or other remedies, take off the shower drain cover and give it a thorough cleaning! If you are wondering how do you clear a slow draining drain, this post is for you! Prepare to be amazed by the unpleasant surprises lurking beneath! Let’s take a look at how I fixed our slow draining issue in under 5 minutes!

How to Unclog a Shower Drain in 5 Minutes 

A clogged shower drain with hair is one of the most annoying things ever. I was so grossed out by the hair and soap scum in the drain once I removed the screw and pulled out the drain. 

Needless to say, I clean it more often now.

How to unclog a shower drain in 5 minutes
This is what happens if you don’t unclog shower drain!

I originally wrote this post a few years ago when my grandfather was still alive and I’ll never forget his face when I told him I didn’t know how to unclog a shower drain.

He said, “how long have you been standing in shower water for?”

When I told him it was for weeks he rolled his eyes and said, “kid, I wouldn’t ever tell anyone that 🤪.” haha. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Clean Shower Drain:

1. To prevent clogs and overflowing drains that can lead to water damage in the bathroom.
2. To eliminate mold, mildew, and bacteria that can cause health problems.
3. To reduce unpleasant odors that can linger in the bathroom and beyond.
4. To preserve the life of your shower drain by removing hair, dirt, and soap scum build-up which can cause corrosion over time.
5. To keep your home’s plumbing system functioning properly and reduce costly repairs down the line.

How to Clean Shower Drain

Step 1: Remove Bathtub Drain Cover

The first step is to remove the shower drain cover to expose the shower screw. I had no idea that the shower drain top unscrewed and that the drain plug completely comes out.

how to unclog a shower drain
The secret to unclogging a shower drain lies beneath this screw!

The only tools needed is a screwdriver and if you do not have a tools, use a butter knife to unscrew the drain screw. Once you remove the drain screw, the plug will pull out.

Cover your eyes if you don’t want to be grossed out!

Once the screw was removed, I pulled out the drain plug and almost vomited.

how to unclog a shower drain
I was shocked at how easy it was to unclog a shower drain by simply removing the drain cover!

Step 2: Remove Hair and Wash Drain

I had to use scissors to remove the hair it was so tangled and gross from the soap scum buildup.

What can dissolve hair in a drain? Absolutely nothing! I tried several products and had I known I could easily remove the hair from the drain, I would have saved so much money on products!

Step 3: Screw Bathtub Drain Back in Place

Once the drain plug is cleaned, put the plug back inside and tighten the screw back in place.

Unclogging a shower drain can be easy with just a few simple steps. Once you have removed the air, run hot water down the drain to flush away debris so your shower is back up and running properly.

how to unclog a shower drain
how to unclog a shower drain in minutes

How to Unclog a Shower Drain Naturally

My grandmother would use a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar and said that was the best way to unclog a shower drain. I also read on google that boiling hot water, a hook or a plumbers snake can help. 

Google shows that bathroom drain covers can help with catching the hair before it hit your drain.   I have not tried one yet but I did find this drain cover to stop hair (they come in cute colors too!) with great reviews on Amazon.

how to unclog a shower drain

Products to Unclog A Shower Drain

I have not found a way to dissolve hair in the drain before it builds up but Drano seemed to help a little. While Drano is not a natural way to dissolve hair, I figured it was worth mentioning. 

I think I used 2 bottles of Drano trying to fix the problem. There was so much hair in the bathtub drain, it didn’t help. I tried several attempts to unclog the shower drain naturally as well and was not successful. 

how to unclog a shower drain

Please tell me I am not the only one who had no idea how to unclog a shower drain.

Don’t be like me and wait until the water is rising above your feet in the shower and you are standing in water for weeks! 

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Your not the only one in the shower with yucky water not draining. lol.
    blessings on your day!

  2. Diane Buckner says:

    My favorite tool, a super cheap length of teethed plastic, is the Zip-it drain cleaner. It’s marvelous, and posts about it make your hairball look tame. It’s sold everywhere, and using it is to your drains as flossing is to your teeth.

    Get one and clean everybody’s drains, sinks and all. Your sweet family deserves it!

  3. Cherie Brantner says:

    I have been battling with a sloooowwwwwwww drain for months now. Drain cleaner never really worked very well. BUT, now that I’ve found your post, Tah Dah…..my bathroom shower drain is clear. Never have I heard a more beautiful sound as the water racing down the drain. Thank you for helping this female divorced homeowner care for her domicile.

  4. I too thank you for my shower water not lapping at my ankles anymore! But as I read through this pin and read that you have four generations under one roof, all I could think of is how blessed your family is! In this day and age, many people can’t even name four generations and that is so sad. I wouldn’t miss one minute of caring for my parents until they passed. There is a lot to be said for not living or dying alone. Take care of each other.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂 yep, four generations and you are right, it’s a gift for sure. Somedays it may not feel like it (we have our drama days for sure) but all in all, it’s a gift 🙂

      1. Hey there, Jessica…for sure there are some drama moments! Things get more difficult as aging and illness begin to be an issue. Still, there is a lot to be said for having no regrets or guilt once the older generation has passed. I think the rough times fade and then the good times are what we remember. I just can’t imagine my parents being in a nursing home even though my mom developed Alzheimer’s, a hideous disease. On the bad days, I would remember that my mom had been through a lot with me!

        1. Thanks Lisa for the encouragement 🙂 It’s definitely a little roller coaster at times. I agree with you, nursing homes are a last resort but some I know, are necessary. Hopefully we will always be able to keep everyone home 🙂

  5. N. Hernandez says:

    Thank you for this. Nice to know I’m not the only one that needed the info. I always relied on my ex husband to handle this fun task but I’m so grateful for people like you who make it easy to do it myself now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much! I saw the screw on the top but was afraid if I took it out, I wouldn’t get it back in. I’m going to clean my drain now!

  7. Jane M Leydon says:

    I was today years old when I found out there is a screw in the drain! THANK YOU for sharing.

  8. The toothed plastic strip will go farther down the drain. You pull it back and forth and be amazed.
    The draino can ruin your pipes and drainage system. I hope you don’t have a septic tank as it will destroy the needed bacteria for this.
    There are green strips more like a stick you can put in each drain about once a month and is suppose to help stop clogs but I still believe in the toothed strip.

    Also, which I won’t use, is permanent wave solution. It melts the hair but doesn’t take it out of the drain. Hair remover which melts the hair on your arms and legs. This isn’t the best way to handle this problem.

  9. Jennifer@decorated chaos says:

    I use a zip it and yes, it grosses me out every time. 🙂

  10. I have tried everything imaginable. I unfortunately do not have the ability to remove my shower drain and stick anything in it. But the one I did try for cleaning my shower drain was Instant Power Hair and Grease Drain Cleaner. that did the job 30 mins or less depending how clogged it is, run hot water for 10 mins or so and no more clogged (bathing again in your water) at your feet again. I would say just to be on the sure side after using that solution, add boiling water to make sure that the clog is for sure gone.

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