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5 Ways To Clear A Clogged Bathtub Drain

My bathtub drain is clogged. We have 4 girls showering daily and need a good solution. All the long hair that goes into the drain gets stuck and clogs up the bathtub/shower drain way too often. This time the clog is bad. I tried running just really hot water and the bathtub is just filling up. Can you give me a few simple ways to fix this and keep this from happening? I do not want to call a plumber.

unclog a bathtub drain

If there are many people with long hair showering daily, you may want to get a bathtub drain filter or strainer. It fits right over or on top of the bathtub/shower drain. It will collect all the hair instead of going straight down into the drain and eventually clogging it. Empty the strainer when needed. Do this frequently to keep your drain clean. If hair still gets down into the drain and clogs frequently, a product specially made for hair clogs is called ZEP 10-Minute Hair Clog Remover.

To unclog a bathtub drain

1. Toilet Plunger:

Use as normal on the bathtub drain by getting a good seal over the drain and moving the handle up and down. The vacuum that you create should PUSH and PULL the gunk up and down therefore loosening it and letting it go down and into the drain system. NOTE: You will need to plug the overflow drain. Do this so the gunky water does not flow out and get on you. Also plugging the overflow drain will allow for a better seal which will be more effective when unclogging the bathtub drain using a plunger.

2. Coat or Wire Hanger:

Open the wire hanger and get it straight. Bend the end to have a very small bend around 10 degrees. Slide the wire hanger straight down and into the bathtub or shower drain. Once it is down far enough, twist and keep twisting while moving the hanger up and down to get all areas of the drain. Slowly pull UPWARDS and the hair and soap scum buildup will come out. You may need to do this multiple times to get the drain unclogged.

3. ZIP-IT Strips:

These are long plastic strips with a small handle. A zip strip simply goes down into the drain opening and the tiny ribs on the sides of it pulls up all the hair and gunk that is deep down in the drain. Get the extra long ones as they will go further down and collect more hair. Usually the soap scum will collect on the hair and cause the clog, a zip strip will yank it all out in one or two tries. Very easy to use and inexpensive. Can be found here.

4. Snake or Auger:

Slide the end of the snake down into the drain. Turn, push and keep turning and pushing until you feel the resistance of the clog. Once you “feel” the clog, pull back and remove any hair or gunk that the snake pulled out. Wear gloves when possible. When you do get the clog out, it will not be something you want to touch with your bare hands.

5. Bleach:

Pour 2 to 3 cups of bleach down into the clogged drain. Wait overnight, 12 hours or so, and the bleach will more than likely have cleared or loosened the clog. After 12 hours or so, run hot water down the drain for a few minutes to be sure the drain is fully clear and unclogged.

Do you know of some ways to clear a clogged bathtub drain we do not mention here? Please leave your ideas and methods in the comments below.

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