Help, my shower drain is clogged!

3:00 AM

August 15, 2014 Update: I originally made this post back in Feb of 2012.  Sine that time the shower drain has been fine.  Last night I noticed that it was running slowly again.  I did the same steps and Voila it'a fixed!

Please enjoy this repost of an old favorite!

So it looks like its home repair night at my house.  I was all set to fix the dripping kitchen faucet when my husband let me know that our shower drain was clogged.  Since fixing the shower drain is MUCH easier than dealing with the dripping faucet I decided to tackle the shower job first.
I’m sure that everyone’s shower is different.  Some people will have a harder time than I did.  All I can tell you is that this is how I fixed my slow/non-draining shower with no chemicals.
We have 3 curious kids in the house so I’m not big on keeping lots of chemicals around.  
For this job I used:
-          Plastic grocery bags
-          Pencil
-          Drain snake
-          Vinegar
-          Baking soda

Standing water in the shower

I’m no plumber to I don’t know the “official” names for any of these parts.  The first step was to remove the drain cover.  I used a pencil.  It just popped right out. 

Remove drain cover
This is what I found!

Next, I covered my hand with a grocery bag and scooped out as much gunk as I could.  It was disgusting and stinky.

My hand in a bag,
ready to scoop out drain
I scooped out as much gunk as I could.
What a stinky mess!

Next I fed a bit of snake down the drain.  When it got to the point that it wouldn’t go any further, I wiggled and pushed it down more.  Once it got to a true stopping place, I turned the crank and snaked the drain until I could feed more snake down.  I continued to snake the drain (feed and crank) until I was out of snake.

This snake is the star of this show!

I pulled the snake out and flushed the drain with hot water. 

All done snaking the drain

Next I poured baking soda down the drain, followed by plain white vinegar.
This entire process left my shower a dirty mess, BUT it unclogged the drain.

Baking soda and vinegar down the drain
The final step was to run hot water down the drain for 10 minutes.

All done!
That’s it – all done.

Tomorrow night I’ll fix the dripping kitchen sink!  

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  1. Sounds like you had a handful of plumbing tasks that week! Anyway, what matters most was you got them done and over with, right? You know, I can’t picture myself getting the gunk barehanded. Even that plastic bag would surely do, as long as you have your hands covered. Next time though, wear some rubber gloves before scooping it with the plastic. You can never know what you’d get, and it might include some sharp objects next time.

    1. Rubber gloves! That's a great idea! thanks for the tip!

  2. Good job! Clearing clogged drains is what I consider one of the easiest plumbing problems in the household to solve. With the help of a DIY guide, anyone can unclog a drain. It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but it’s a handy thing to know. Anyway, thanks for your DIY plumbing tips, I’m sure these will be very useful for everybody at some point in time.

    Levi Eslinger

  3. Yeah, we don't tolerate the use of chemical-based cleaning products as well. Good thing unclogging shower drains works almost the same as with other plumbing outlets! I normally use all the materials in your list plus a piece of stiff wire. I plunge it hand in hand with the snake. And a plunger, I almost forgot. Some pressure really helps. :)