A clogged bathtub or shower drain is a real nuisance. Over time, hair, soap scum, and other debris can collect in your drain, leading to slow drainage and foul odors. Good news, though! You can easily tackle this problem with some basic tools and a bit of know-how. The experts at Billy the Sunshine Plumber in Tampa Bay walk you through the steps to clean your bathtub drain and keep it flowing smoothly.
The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Bathtub Drain
Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, let’s gather a few tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rubber Gloves to protect your hands from any debris and “yuck” you might find in the drain.
- A Drain Snake or Auger to help remove blockages from your drain. Find them at your local hardware store
- Plunger for dislodging minor clogs.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar to help break down grease and debris.
- Boiling Water to flush away the loosened debris.
Now that you have everything ready, let’s dive into the cleaning process.
Step 1: Remove the Drain Cover. Start by removing the drain cover. You might need a screwdriver or simply your fingers, depending on the type of cover. Make sure to clear away any visible hair or debris from the surface.
Step 2: Plunge the Drain. If your drain is only partially clogged, you can try using a plunger. Fill the bathtub with enough water to cover the plunger head, place the plunger over the drain, and give it several strong, quick plunges. This can help dislodge minor clogs.
Step 3: Use Baking Soda and Vinegar. For a natural and effective way to break down debris and eliminate odors, pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain. Follow it up with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Then, cover the drain with a cloth or plug to contain the fizzing reaction. After 15-20 minutes, pour boiling water down the drain to flush away the loosened debris.
Step 4: Employ a Drain Snake or Auger. If the clog is more stubborn and won’t budge with the methods above, it’s time to use a drain snake or auger. Insert the drain snake into the drain until you feel resistance. Rotate the snake’s handle clockwise to help break up and pull out the clog. Keep doing this until you no longer feel resistance and the snake moves freely. Remove the snake and dispose of any debris it brought up.
Step 5: Finish with Boiling Water. To ensure the drain is clear, pour boiling water down the drain one more time. This will help remove any remaining debris and leave your drain smelling fresh.
Step 6: Reassemble and Maintain. Once your drain is clear, reassemble the drain cover and give it a final test by running water to ensure smooth drainage. To prevent future clogs, consider using a drain stopper to catch hair and debris and cleaning it regularly. Additionally, you can use a hair-catching device in your drain to reduce the accumulation of hair in the first place.
Yay! You did it! (We knew you could). With a few simple tools and the methods outlined above, you tackled the clog. If you need a little more “muscle” in your efforts, Real Simple Magazine offers a review of the 9 Best Drain cleaners of 2023. And yet, if the clog still turns out more difficult than expected, remember you can always call Billy the Sunshine Plumber. Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Days, nights, weekends, or holidays, Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here for you.
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