How to Clean Out a Shower Drain

Most of us clean the shower on a regular basis, but we might be neglecting to clean the drain. If you notice that the water in your shower is not draining as rapidly as it used to, chances are the drain needs cleaning out. Clogged drains block the flow of water. They can also cause unpleasant odors to develop, and some clogs get so bad that you may have to call a plumber to fix it. Regular cleaning out of your shower drain can prevent these problems.


Pull on the rubber gloves and pull up the shower drain cover. If yours is screwed on, use a screwdriver to unfasten it. Flip the drain cover over and remove any hair and other debris that may be sticking to it.

Straighten the wire hanger so that you can insert it into the drain. Leave a hook on the end. Use the hanger to grab and pull out any clumps of hair and grime that are clogging the pipes. Put the mess in the garbage bag right away to contain the smell.

Dump 3/4 cup of baking soda into the drain, and pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar in directly after it. Plug the drain tightly with an old rag. The baking soda and vinegar will form a chemical reaction that will eat away at any remaining residue coating the drain. Leave the rag in place for about 20 minutes.

Remove the rag and pour boiling water down the drain to flush out all traces of the baking soda mixture. If you still see a slimy black coating on the walls of the drain (called biofilm), use a stiff brush to scrub it off. Run the shower until the drain flows freely.