When it comes to clogs, the bathtub drain is not only one of the most common locations these can occur but can also be one of the most inconvenient. Luckily, it is possible to unclog your bathroom drain using these simple and effective home remedies.

Before You Begin

Before trying to unclog your bathtub drain, you’ll want to first remove as much debris from the drain as possible. An old pair of tweezers can work very well for this purpose. For bathtubs with drain stoppers that lift up, simply remove the stopper by unscrewing the top and removing the strainer.

Tip 1: Use Hot Water

Stainless faucet for hot water in the bathroom

Once you’ve removed the surface debris from your bathtub drain, you can try pouring boiling water into it. This is a great place to start because it helps you check if the clog is still there, while dissolving soap and other buildup that can cause clogs. If the water is still slow to drain, it’s time to try the next tip.

Tip 2: Combine Vinegar with Baking Soda

baking soda with white vinegar

This powerful combination of household ingredients is safer than chemical drain cleaner and can be all you need. All that’s needed is to pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a half to a full cup of plain white vinegar.

What will follow is lots of fizzing as the two ingredients react. You can think of baking soda and vinegar as Alka-Seltzer for your drain; as it fizzes, the acid in the vinegar eats away drain-clogging soap scum, while the baking soda’s rough granules work to scrub the inside of your drain clean.

Leave the mixture until it stops fizzing, then follow by pouring hot water down the drain. You may need to repeat this process more than once before getting results, depending on how clogged your drain is. Still no success? On to tip 3!

Tip 3: Get the Plunger

Woman hand holding a plunger to clean bathtub drain

A plunger can be your best friend when it comes to clearing clogs quickly. Before you apply this tip, be sure that you’ve blocked your tub’s overflow plate. This will allow the pressure needed to move the clog through the pipes.

Ensure your tub has between one and two inches of water in it. Then, place the plunger directly over the drain, ensuring the drain is completely covered. You should have a hard time moving it back and forth.

Next, move the handle up and down five or six times, break the seal, and check the water flow. Repeat this process as many times as is needed, but, if you’re still unsuccessful, try the next tip.

Tip 4: Snake the Drain

Plumber using drain snake to unclog bathtub

Another great tool for clogs is the drain snake. This tool can be purchased in the plumbing section of any hardware or department store, but you can also make your own from a wire coat hanger. However, if you’re doing the latter, you’ll want to take care not to place too much pressure when pushing it down into your drain, as it isn’t flexible like a drain snake product.

Drain snakes are available in both manual and motorized forms. For the manual tool, simply insert it into the tub drain, twisting and turning as you go. Then, remove the snake, clean it, and repeat the process until all drain debris is gone. Follow this by running hot water down the drain to test.

The motorized version can be rented or purchased. For this form of drain snake, insert the cable into the drain, turning the crank until you feel the clog. Then, push and pull the snake to get it inside the clog before turning the crank in the reverse direction and pulling it out. Repeat this process if nothing appears on the cable.

Tip 5: Call a Professional

Young woman complaining to technician about drain in bathtub

If you’ve tried all of the above methods for clearing your drain with no luck, the last tip is to call a plumber. While you may be considering resolving the issue on your own, this can end up becoming a much larger—and costlier—problem if you are inexperienced.

A plumber has the skills, knowledge, and tools to address other issues that may be preventing your drain from unclogging. They know how to accomplish this task without doing damage to pipes, your tub, and other areas of your bathroom.

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Modern bathtub of stylish interior

Unclogging your bathroom drain can quickly turn into unexpected problems that you may not know how to fix. Bath Planet by Clean Choice USA of SWFL can help. We know how to solve plumbing issues of every size, and we complete each job efficiently and on time.

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