Your shower should be a place for you to relax and wash away the day’s worries. But if you find yourself standing in a puddle of dirty water, or if disgusting odors keep wafting up from your shower drain, your shower suddenly changes from a place of relaxation to a source of stress. Keep your shower drain clean, fresh and clog-free with these 3 essential tips!
Clear out Clogs
Every drain will clog at some point, so preparing will save you some stress when it does happen. You can always call a plumber, but, you may not want to wait for an appointment or spend the money. Here are some DIY options:
Pulling Out Shallow Clogs
With shower drains, sometimes the problem is a glob of hair that sticks in the top of the drain. You may be able to carefully reach in with your fingertips or a pair or tweezers and pull it out. If it’s slightly deeper, some careful maneuvering with a bent wire hanger can do the trick.
Using a Plunger
For slightly deeper hair clogs, a plunger can sometimes do the trick if the drain is completely stopped up. Fill the tub with a few inches of water, and then plunge the drain vigorously 4 to 5 times. If your drain is the type that has a stopper attached inside of the tub overflow, you’ll need to remove the stopper.
Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can be an easy way to remove a clog, although professionals tend to steer clear of them because of their impact on the environment and because sometimes they can push some clogs deeper into the pipe system. If you try a chemical drain cleaner on a stopped-up drain and it’s not effective, don’t try a pipe snake afterwards. Instead, call a plumber and let him know you what you put in the drain. That’s because using a pipe snake can sometimes cause the liquid in the drain to shoot back out unexpectedly. Also, you don’t want highly caustic drain cleaner to wind up on your skin or in your eyes.
Using a Pipe Snake
Using a pipe snake is an effective ways to clear out a slow drain or open up a stopped-up one. Check out this video from This Old House that takes you through the process step-by-step.
Conquer Stinky Drains
Sometimes the residue that washes down your drain can build up down there and produce a foul odor that can stink up your whole bathroom. Disgusting bathroom drain smells are no laughing matter, and they can resemble rotten eggs, sewage, sulfur, or other stenches that will make you want to call your bathroom anything but a sanctuary. DoItYourself.com has an easy recipe for a homemade drain freshener made with baking soda, vinegar and hot water that will clean out the residue and help you un-stink your shower drain. Repeat the process every 3 months or so to keep the stink from sneaking back.
Keep your Drain Clean and Clear
You can significantly reduce clogs by protecting your shower drain from the number one cause of shower clogs: hair. While some shower drains have built-in grates on them, most of these are only fine enough to catch large objects and will allow a lot of hair to pass through them. You can buy a simple bathtub drain cover for very little money, and those few dollars will save you a whole lot of hassle. Be sure to choose a bathtub drain cover that has a feature that will keep it in place so it can do its job, such as this one that’s weighted, or this one that has little suction cups on the bottom. Just spray your bathtub drain cover with Wet & Forget Shower once a week when you spray your shower, and it will stay soap scum-free and looking like new.
Enjoy your stress-free shower!
Photo courtesy of David Blackwell.