How to unblock your shower drain

If when taking a shower, you have the horrible experience of standing in lukewarm, scuddy water, it may be time to take a look at your shower drainage system. If the wastewater from your shower isn’t flowing freely down your drain, you may have a blockage that if left could cause you bigger problems in the not too distant future.

Here’s a few top tips on how to unblock your drain.


Hot Water

Before you start reaching for the phone and calling your local handyman pouring hot water down the blocked drain may help to just free things up. It may not resolve the issue completely, but it is a good place to start. Use boiled water from your kettle but make sure you leave the boiling water to stand for a couple of minutes before pouring down your drain to ensure you don’t distort or warp your pipes.

A good old fashioned plunger

Another safe way to try and shift build-ups of soap residue, hair and scum is to reach for the good old fashioned plunger. If the blockage is close to the plug hole, creating suction with a plunger will help to dislodge the block. If you’re finding it hard to create a vacuum, try adding some vaseline around the seal.

White Vinegar

The trick of using white vinegar and baking soda as cleaning agents have been used for many generations and once again in the cleaning of drains they can help. For drainage problems pour a cup of baking soda down your drain, wait a couple of minutes, and then pour a cup of white vinegar down. They will start to react together and bubble away. Put the plug in and leave it to works its magic for an hour or so. When the hour is up, pour some very hot water down the drain. If it doesn’t clear your drain on the first go, try again and see if this helps to remove the blockage.

clogged sink in house - release the blockage with rubber plunger

Physical removal

If none of the tricks above have worked then you may have to try and prise the blockage out yourself. Firstly, remove the plug hole cover, shine a torchlight down the drain and see if you can see what’s causing the block. If you haven’t got a plumber’s snake, unbend a coat hanger and use the hooked part to try and get hold of the blockage. If this doesn’t work then you may have to invest in a plumber’s snake which are easy to use. You simply push it into the drain until you reach the blockage, then simply twist the handle and pull it back out. For more information visit this blog:


Your last resort before calling a plumber is to try and shift the blockage with chemicals. You can buy drain unblockers at your local hardware store but remember they are very caustic and therefore shouldn’t be used often. Follow the instructions on the bottle, then flush the drain and hopefully your blockage will have gone. Overusing these type of chemicals can corrode your drains so use sparingly.

If you need the help of a plumber you can look for recommended companies in your area on the Checkatrade website –