DIY Methods

Luckily, a clogged shower drain is typically a mild inconvenience, rather than a costly expense. Usually, it’s a result of hair, grease, and soap building up in the pipe. If your shower drain is clogged, there are a few DIY methods you can try before calling in the big guns.

Boiling Water

This method is as simple as it sounds. Take a kettle of boiling hot water and slowly pour it down the drain. Once you’ve emptied the kettle of water, run the tap to see if the clog has cleared. If not, it may be a result of tangled up hair, in which case your best bet is to snake the drain.

Note, that if your pipes are made from PVC, this is not the recommended method; the heat from the water can damage your pipes.


Plungers are great for unclogging anything from your toilet to your kitchen sink. First, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the edge of the plunger; this can help you get a good seal. Then, seal the plunger to the drain, making sure to run the water so that it’s covering the lip of the cup. Then plunge how you would a toilet.

Snaking the Drain

Snaking the drain is a relatively simple process. Just take your plumber’s snake and feed it as far down the pipe as it can go. Then, twist it around to gather debris and slowly pull the snake back out.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

For this method, simply mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. Then, pour your homemade cleaning solution down the drain. You’ll want the solution to immediately begin fizzing. Let the solution sit for one hour, and then run hot water to flush out any debris.

Wet fat, hair loss, waste accumulating, clogging shower bath drain, top view of plug hole


Clogged shower drains happen to the best of us, but you can take steps to prevent them from happening as frequently. Invest a drain cover to place over your drain and catch any loose hairs. Empty this at least once a week. In addition to a drain cover, you can perform both the boiling water and the vinegar and baking soda remedies monthly; this will help prevent any debris from building up.

If you notice you’re frequently dealing with clogged shower drains, it may be time to call in a plumber to assess the problem. At First Chicago Plumbing, we can handle all of your plumbing needs — from maintenance to emergencies. Learn more about our services by giving us a call at (773) 661-7969 or contacting us online.