How To Unblock A Shower Drain

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If water has started rising in your shower and isn’t draining properly, chances are you have a blocked shower drain. You might be wondering “why is my shower drain blocked?” although we can’t give you a definitive answer, blocked bathroom drains are most often caused by the accumulated build-up of hair. The hair traps soap and shampoo residue and together they create hair clumps. These clumps of hair then become clogs which cause the water to back up into showers, basins, and bathtubs.

How to Unblock a Shower Tray

Unblocking a shower tray sometimes doesn’t require the help of a drain cleaning company. In fact, if the clogged drain is addressed quickly, a DIY drain cleaning method can put you right back on track with your bathroom drains. Here at MZR Drainage, one of Birmingham’s drain cleaning companies, we have put together our top tips for unclogging your bathroom drains. 

Baking Soda and White Vinegar

A quick way to unclog the shower drain is by using a mix of baking soda and white vinegar. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of white vinegar. These two ingredients will prompt a fizzing reaction which will help to erode the blockage. This all-natural drain cleaner is a great alternative to strong chemical products – we recommend trying this first before resorting to chemical drain cleaners. To maximise the impact, you should pour the mixture down the shower drain and leave it there for a few hours; this will ensure the baking soda and vinegar will have plenty of time to work properly. Once finished, pour hot water down the drain to flush everything away. 

Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you have tried the above method and are still facing a blockage, chemical cleaners should be tried next. There are plenty of blocked drain solutions on the market, all of which have been specially designed to clear shower drain blockages. Chemical drain cleaners are usually a quick and cost-effective way to unblock drains and can be found at most supermarkets and home improvement stores. 

Drain cleaning solutions will have their own set of directions on the label, but usually they must be poured straight down the drain and left to work. Check out another of our blogs for more information on the Best Drain Unblockers In The UK

When working with chemical drain cleaners, be sure to take the appropriate precautions beforehand. Keep the room well-ventilated and protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves.

Boiling Water

Your shower drain may be blocked by a simple case of soap scum or debris that is stuck to the sides of the pipes. In order to get rid of this, you can flush boiling water down the drain which should help to remove the debris. This method can also be used as a preventative measure for blocked drains; pouring boiling water down your drain will ensure  smooth running and draining of the shower system – you’ll be sure to see an improvement!


Using a plunger to unblock the shower drain is one of the most popular DIY drain unblocking techniques. Although a relatively old-fashioned method, plungers are certainly timeless when it comes to the effectiveness they have for unblocking a drain. Removing the drain cover and using the plunger will create a suction to help dislodge anything that is blocking the drain. If you are struggling to get enough suction, petroleum jelly can be used on the plunger to make a better seal. Adding water to the shower drain to submerge the end of the plunger will also help create a better suction. 

Manually Removing The Blockage

If you can physically see the blockage in your bathroom drain, removing the clog yourself can also be a successful unblocking method – but be sure to wear rubber gloves. Remove the drain cover, and use a torch to see if you can see the clog; if it’s within your reach, try and pull it out yourself. Should the clog be caused by hair, pulling it out and flushing the pipes through with water should help to restore a normal flow again. If you can see the clog but it is not within reach, using a bent coat hanger to fish out the debris can also be effective. 

Preventative Measures

It goes without saying that the best way to avoid blocked rains is by taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Drain screens can be used to trap debris, soap scum, and hair from washing down the pipes and causing clogs – and they are very simple to install. Should you make the decision to install a drain screen, it is important to remember that they still require regular cleaning to make sure that they can do their job properly. 

Enlisting The Help Of A Drain Cleaning Company

If you have tried the above methods but still have blocked drains, then it may be time to call in the help of a drain cleaning company. Here at MZR Drainage, we are highly experienced in drainage repairs and can support you with 24 hour drain unblocking services, on hand when you need them the most. So, if you have found yourself searching for “blocked drain services near me” or you are looking for Birmingham drain services then rest assured, you’ve come to the right place. 

Get in touch with one of our experienced drain specialists today or call 0121 663 1060 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team. 

If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on Top Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Drain System.

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