5 DIY Fixes for a Slow Draining Tub

Have you ever found yourself taking a shower only to notice the bathtub is filling up with standing water? Slow draining tubs can be a major annoyance, but luckily they’re not often caused by major problems.

What causes shower drains to clog?

Bathtub and shower drains often become clogged by a collection of hair, soap residue, limescale buildup, or foreign objects. To fix the clog, you’ll either need to retrieve the blockage or break it up, so it passes through the plumbing.

How to unclog a shower or tub drain

If you’re having issues with your bathtub or shower draining slower than you’d prefer, you can try unclogging it yourself with these five DIY fixes.

  1. Give the drain stop a thorough cleaning. In some cases, the drain stop itself might be to blame for water flowing slowly. To determine if this is the issue, inspect the drain stop for any visible signs of buildup such as limescale buildup, soap scum, or hair around the stop. If the drain stop is noticeably dirty, give it some TLC with a deep clean.
  2. Combine baking soda and vinegar. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar (about 1 cup of each) and pour the blend down the bathtub drain after a pot full of hot (not boiling) water. Cover the drain after you pour the mixture for up to 10 minutes. Finish the job by pouring another pot full of hot water down the drain to flush the clog.
  3. Use a plunger. Plungers aren’t only great for removing toilet clogs. Use a plunger on the bathtub drain to force the clog out. Check to make sure the process worked by running water from the tub faucet after plunging. If the flow is up to speed, your work here is done.
  4. Try a drain snake. Drain snakes are relatively simple to use and readily available at most home improvement and hardware stores. Follow the instructions on the drain snake packaging to remove the clog. Be sure not to overdo it so as not to damage your pipes.
  5. Use a bio cleaner. While we never recommend the DIY use of chemical drain cleaners, bio cleaners are a great, safe alternative for removing pesky clogs. When using a bio cleaner, start with a dry drain and follow the directions on the label. Bio cleaner can also be used for monthly maintenance. Simply pour half a capful down your drains once each month to prevent buildup in your plumbing systems.

When to call a plumber about a slow shower drain

If you try all of our DIY suggestions and still can’t get the shower drain to flow normally, then it’s time to bring in a plumber. Clogs can occur deep within the plumbing system, even down into the sewer line, and too much force can damage old pipes. For worry-free service, call Emergency Plumbing & Solar at (808) 691-9309.


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