How to Unclog Shower Drain: Remove Hair and Standing Water

Last Updated On November 30, 2021
how to unclog shower drain

Wading in inches of standing water when you shower in the morning probably isn’t how you want to start your day.

When you have a clog in your bathtub drain, it likely developed as a result of hair and soap scum, which you can dissolve with the right drain cleaner if you catch the problem early enough. 

In this PlumbingNav review, we will cover:

  • How to unclog shower drain with standing water (5 steps)
  • What are the different ways to unclog a shower drain? 
  • What do you look for in the best products to remove hair from a show drain?
  • Review of top 5 products to unclog a shower drain

ImageProduct
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Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Drain Clog Remover
  • All-natural cleaner safe for pipes
  • Includes 5 snakes 
  • Prevent new clogs from developing
  • All-natural cleaner safe for pipes
  • Includes 5 snakes 
  • Prevent new clogs from developing
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Liquid-Plumr 670040 Mini Sink and Drain Plunger
  • Nonslip handle 
  • Compact size
  • Easy to clean
  • Nonslip handle 
  • Compact size
  • Easy to clean
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Bio-Clean Drain Cleaner
  • Natural and non-hazardous
  • Deodorizes
  • Safe for your entire plumbing system
  • Natural and non-hazardous
  • Deodorizes
  • Safe for your entire plumbing system
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner
  • Quick connect handle 
  • Reach 18” into the drain
  • No need to disassemble drain stopper
  • Quick connect handle 
  • Reach 18” into the drain
  • No need to disassemble drain stopper
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Drano Liquid Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner
  • No phosphorous 
  • Cost-effective
  • Safe for all pipes
  • No phosphorous 
  • Cost-effective
  • Safe for all pipes
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On November 30, 2021

Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Drain Clog Remover

This kit comes with 5 snake tools and 2 containers of natural drain cleaner. The snake allows you to dissolve a hair drain clog to create a drain opening right away. You will then use the natural cleaner to dissolve all organic waste. It’s completely safe for your pipes. 

Our Top 5 Products To Unclog Shower Drain

  1. Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Drain Clog Remover (Our Top Pick)
  2. Liquid-Plumr 670040 Mini Sink and Drain Plunger (Best Budget)
  3. Bio-Clean Drain Cleaner (Best High End)
  4. FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner  (Best Manual Snake)
  5. Drano Liquid Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner (Best Chemical Option)

What's In This Guide?

      How To Unclog Shower Drain (5 Steps)

      Step One: Diagnose Clog

      Diagnose what type of clog you have on your hands. 

      In the shower drain, the main culprits include hair and soap scum. Additional causes include clay masks, paint, grease, candle wax, and toothpaste. 

      If the clog developed as the result of an object falling down the drain, you may need to look into alternative methods to retrieve an item from a drain and allow proper drainage again. 

      Step Two: Gather Supplies 

      Gather everything you need to resolve the clog, including gloves and other protective gear to keep you clean and safe while you work. 

      Other supplies you will need include basic tools, such as a pipe wrench and screwdriver. 

      Finally, you will gather the materials you will use to dissolve the clog. For blockage in your shower drain, the best options are a snake drain and drain cleaner. 

      Step Three: Use Natural Cleansers 

      Start with a natural drain cleaner safe for your pipes. While these don’t always work as well as stronger options, if they do the trick, you don’t have to worry about damage to your pipes caused by harsh chemicals. 

      Step Four: Chemical Cleaners 

      You can choose from the following three types of chemical drain cleaners if a stronger option is necessary: 

      • Acidic 
      • Caustic 
      • Oxidizing

      Acidic cleaners are the strongest but carry the most potential of damage. Caustic drain cleaners use lye, and they work best on grease. Oxidizing cleaners use bleach or nitrates, and they aren’t as harsh (or effective) as an acidic drain cleaner or a caustic drain cleaner. 

      Step Five: Plumber’s Snake 

      A drain snake, or auger, fits into the drain to break up the clog at its location in your pipes. 

      Some snakes work manually with a crank, but you can also find powered snakes, too. 

      If not used properly, a snake can scratch your pipes, so always be careful while using it and read the instructions carefully.

      did you know how to unclog shower drain

      What Are The Different Ways To Unclog A Shower Drain?

      Coat Hanger 

      In a pinch, a wire coat hanger works surprisingly well on a shower clog. 

      Bend it to the desired shape and slide it down the drain like a simplistic snake drain. 

      This will only work on clogs that develop near the drain where the coat hanger can reach it. 

      Boiling Water 

      Boiling hot water will dissolve clogs by essentially melting the material. You will pour the water down the drain while it’s boiling, giving it time to work. 

      Do not try this if you have PVC pipes in your plumbing system, since the hot water can melt the plastic and cause the pipes to become loose. 

      Baking Soda and Vinegar 

      When mixed together, baking soda and vinegar are quite powerful in a variety of ways around the home, including acting as a homemade drain cleaner. 

      Mix one part baking soda with one part white vinegar in a safe container. They will react immediately, causing it to fizz. While the material is still fizzing, pour it down your drain. 

      Let the solution sit for 1 -2 hours and flush with warm water. 

      Plunger 

      A plunger creates a tight seal around the drain and creates pressure to break up the clog. 

      If you can, use a cup plunger or flange plunger specifically designed to break up a clog in a sink or a drain as opposed to plungers made for a toilet clog. 

      How Do You Unclog Hair From A Shower Drain?

      Since hair is the main cause of a clogged shower drain, it’s important to focus on how to break up hair more than anything else. 

      Enzymes eat at hair. If that doesn’t work, you can try a chemical drain cleaner. Finally, you can use a drain snake or auger to break up the clog.

      How To Unclog A Shower Drain With Standing Water?

      Unclog a shower drain with standing water using a plunger, plumber’s snake, or liquid drain cleaner. 

      What Do You Look For In The Best Products To Unclog A Shower Drain?

      Natural Ingredients 

      While chemicals tend to work better, natural ingredients, such as enzymes and bacteria, will keep your plumbing safe. 

      It’s also important to look for organic products and non-toxic products that won’t irritate the skin, either. 

      Powerful 

      Many cleaners work better as part of your plumbing maintenance routine than as a solution for a stubborn clog. 

      Be careful to buy a product that has enough strength to handle the clog in question. 

      Multi-Purpose

      You can get a blocked drain anywhere in your plumbing system. The best cleaner will work in a variety of situations, including your garbage disposal, septic tank, and washing machine. 

      Best Products To Unclog Shower Drain Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Drain Clog Remover

      Green Gobbler Liquid Hair and Grease Drain Clog Remover

      Our Top Pick

      This kit comes with 5 snake tools and 2 containers of natural drain cleaner. The snake allows you to dissolve a hair drain clog to create a drain opening right away. You will then use the natural cleaner to dissolve all organic waste. It’s completely safe for your pipes. 

      Pros

      • All-natural cleaner safe for pipes
      • Includes 5 snakes 
      • Prevent new clogs from developing

      Cons

      • Snakes only good for one-time use
      • Won’t work on non-organic materials
      • Short, low-quality snake

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Liquid-Plumr 670040 Mini Sink and Drain Plunger

      Liquid-Plumr 670040 Mini Sink and Drain Plunger

      Best Budget

      This 5” cup plunger, specifically designed for your bathroom sink and tub drain, comes in a compact size that fits most sinks and a nonslip handle to ensure you have proper traction. It’s easy to use and easy to clean after the fact. 

      Pros

      • Nonslip handle 
      • Compact size
      • Easy to clean

      Cons

      • Not for use on toilet or deep clogs
      • No stand included
      • Cost-effective

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Bio-Clean Drain Cleaner

      Bio-Clean Drain Cleaner

      Best High End

      This multipurpose, natural drain cleaner eats at the organic waste in your bathtub, including hair, at the very first sign of shower drain blockage. 

      This large container has enough power for up to 100 applications, which will keep your entire plumbing system, including your grease trap and septic tank, clean. 

      Pros

      • Natural and non-hazardous
      • Deodorizes
      • Safe for your entire plumbing system

      Cons

      • Won’t dissolve non-organic waste
      • Not made for stubborn clogs
      • Requires monthly use

      Our #4 Rated Pick: FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner

      FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner

      Best Manual Snake

      This 18” plastic plumber’s snake reaches into your slow shower drain to break up the clog. It comes with 5 additional thin wands that can fit into most drains. 

      To operate, turn the crank to rotate the wand after it reaches the clog. When done, throw the wand out for easy cleanup. 

      Pros

      • Quick connect handle 
      • Reach 18” into the drain
      • No need to disassemble drain stopper

      Cons

      • Not appropriate for main line 
      • Plastic handle 
      • Only 5 applications

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Drano Liquid Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner

      Drano Liquid Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner

      Best Chemical Option

      Draino makes its way through standing water in the clogged drain to reach and dissolve hair, grease, and soap scum using bleach and caustic chemicals. 

      Simply pour the liquid drain cleaner down the drain and let it sit overnight before flushing with hot water. This cleaner is safe for both plastic and metal pipes. 

      Pros

      • No phosphorous 
      • Cost-effective
      • Safe for all pipes

      Cons

      • Chemical ingredients 
      • Not for complete clog
      • Toxic

      Final Thoughts On How To Unclog A Shower Drain

      If you have a shower drain clog or a slow drain, remove the gunk with the products in this review. 

      Prevent a shower drain clog in the future by installing a drain screen in the shower and regularly use an enzymatic drain cleaner. 

      FAQs For Unclogging Shower Drain

      What can dissolve hair in a drain?

      Enzymatic drain cleaners can dissolve hair in a drain. 

      How do you unblock a shower drain with standing water?

      Pour boiling water down the drain. If that doesn’t work, use a chemical drain opener. 

      How do you unclog a hairy shower drain?

      Start by using a natural drain cleaner. If that doesn’t work, use a plumbing snake.

      Meet Your Plumbing Expert

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      Brant

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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