How to Open a Clogged Bathtub Drain

A clog in a bathtub drain is the result of debris getting stuck in the drain. Hair, soap particles and general buildup of grime can cause the drain to become clogged and prevent the water from freely flowing through the drain. If the water in your shower is rising above your ankles, you can unclog a bathtub drain yourself, without spending the money to hire a professional plumber. Best of all, there is no need for harsh chemicals to unclog the drain. You can use everyday household items to get the water flowing again.

Step 1

Remove any hair or other debris from the surface of the drain. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and use your fingers to clean out the drain trap.

Step 2

Boil a quart of water on the stove. Slowly pour the boiling water into the drain. Use caution when pouring the water so that it does not splash and cause burns. Sometimes this is all it takes to unclog the drain.

Step 3

Remove the drain cover from the drain if the clog is still present. It may come off just by pulling with your fingers or you may need to unscrew any screws holding it into place.

Step 4

Clean off the back of the drain cover. Wash the drain cover in a bucket of hot, soapy water.

Step 5

Use a wire coat hanger to clean deeper into the drain. Straighten out the hanger and wiggle it down into the drain. Pull out any debris you may feel blocking the drain.

Step 6

Pour ½ cup of baking soda slowly down the drain. Follow this by pouring ½ cup of vinegar. These two ingredients combined can dissolve particles obstructing the drain. It is a good idea to place a rag over the drain hole because this combination of the baking soda and vinegar can cause bubbling that may splatter if it is not covered.

Step 7

Allow the baking soda and vinegar to work in the clog for about 30 minutes. Boil another quart of water on the stove.

Step 8

Pour the hot water down the drain slowly after 30 minutes has expired.

Step 9

Use a plunger if the water is still not flowing freely through the drain. Fill the bathtub with enough water to cover the clogged drain. Thrust the plunger over the drain at least ten times to clear the debris.