Home > blog > Bathtub Trends > 5 methods to unclog a bathtub
5 Methods for How to Unclog a Bathtub
5 Methods for How to Unclog a Bathtub

5 Methods for How to Unclog a Bathtub

August 15, 2022

A properly functioning bathtub drain is essential for a smooth and enjoyable bathing experience. However, clogs can happen due to various reasons, causing inconvenience and frustration. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common causes of bathtub drain clogs, signs to look out for, and effective methods to unclog the drain. We will also discuss preventive measures to avoid future clogs and when it's best to seek professional help.

Importance of a Properly Functioning Bathtub Drain

A bathtub drain that functions properly ensures efficient water drainage, preventing standing water and potential damage to your tub and surrounding areas. It also helps maintain a hygienic environment by preventing unpleasant odors caused by stagnant water.

Common Causes of a Clogged Bathtub Drain

Understanding the common causes of clogged bathtub drains can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems. Some common causes include hair buildupsoap scum accumulationforeign objects, and mineral deposits.

Signs of a Clogged Bathtub Drain

Recognizing the signs of a clogged bathtub drain is crucial in addressing the issue promptly. Look out for slow draining waterstanding water in the tub after use, and unpleasant odors emanating from the drain.

5 Methods to Unclog a Bathtub Drain

1. Unclog the Bathtub with Baking Soda and Boiling Water

  • Clear the strainer or stopper. Hair and soap residue may have accumulated beneath the strainer or stopper that is located in or over the drain. Remove any screws holding the strainer in place, and twist and lift the stopper out. Scrub away any gunk or hair that has accumulated.
  • Boil water in a pot. Because there is no precise measurement for how much water to use, fill the pot all the way to the top. Allow the water to begin to boil.
  • Pour the boiling water straight down the drain. This may immediately clear the drain. Keep in mind that splashing hot water can burn you. Turn on the bathtub and check to see if it is draining normally now.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar into the drain. If pouring hot water down the drain did not clear it, use baking soda and vinegar to remove any remaining gunk.
  • Wait 10-15 minutes. Allow the baking soda and vinegar to sit for 15-20 minutes before using. You can keep track of time by using a clock.
  • Pour hot water directly down the drain again. The water will react with the baking soda and vinegar to unclog the drain. Test the bathtub to see if this method unclogged your drain, and if it did not, try another method. Baking soda and vinegar use no chemicals and are generally effective for small clogs, so this may not work every time.

2. Unclog a Bathtub Drain with a Toilet Plunger

  • Scrub the strainer or stopper to get rid of any gunk. Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove any screws that are holding the strainer in place. To remove it, twist and lift the stopper. Remove any hair and soap scum from the strainer and stopper.
  • Fill a few inches of water into the bathtub. Fill the tub with just enough water to submerge the plunger; water is what gives the plunger suction.
  • Suction out any obstructions in the drain with the plunger. Push the plunger down with quick, forceful strokes, then pull up, five to six times. While you're plunging the drain, dirty water and gunk will most likely pour out.

3. Unclog Your Bathtub with a Drain Claw

  • Remove the strainer or stopper. Hair and soap frequently accumulate beneath the strainer, which is usually located in or above the drain. Although many strainers can be removed by hand, some have screws that must be removed as well. Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove the screws.; Stopper is easier to remove because they are not held down with any screws. Simply remove the stopper by twisting and lifting it.
  • Remove excessive gunk around the strainer and stopper. Over time, a lot of gunk could have accumulated on the strainer or stopper. Remove any hair or soap scum; depending on how dirty the strainer and stopper are, scrub them.
  • Insert the drain stick down the drain. When the drain stick is inserted far enough into the drain, it will come into contact with a drain trap, which is a curved section of the drain. Continue to feed the drain stick through this trap. The stick is bendable and flexible.
  • Pull out the drain stick. Because the claw is made up of many small interlocking hooks, it can grab hair and pull gunk out. If you want to reuse the drain stick, clean the gunk off it. Hair and soap can accumulate in as little as a few months, so having a drain stick on hand is frequently useful.
  • Check the bathtub to see if it is unclogged. Water should now go down the drain properly. If this method did not work, try another method.
  • Reset the strainer or stopper the same way that you removed it. You can now replace your strainer or stopper if the drain claw worked. Strainers must be screwed back onto the top of the drain, whereas the stopper can be simply replaced.

4. Unclog a Bathtub with Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Buy a chemical drain cleaner from the store or online shop. Chemical drain cleaners work by using chemicals such as potassium hydroxide or sulfuric acid to unclog drains. They will clear most drain clogs if used correctly.
  • Follow the instructions. These are the manufacturer's instructions, and they will vary slightly between drain cleaners. Some may require you to wear protective goggles, pour only a certain amount of liquid, and so on. It is critical to read the instructions on the back of the chemical drain cleaner before using it.
  • Ensure that there is no standing water in the bathtub. You may need to use a bucket or cleaning cloth to remove any water remaining in your bathtub.
  • Pour the required amount of cleaner into the bathtub drain. For example, pouring half a bottle (32 oz) of Drano down a clogged drain. Crystal Lye Drain Opener, on the other hand, requires only one tablespoon. As you open the bottle and pour the chemicals into the drain, take care not to splash the chemical cleaner.
  • Wait 15-20 minutes for results. Many cleaners recommend letting the chemicals sit in the drain for 15-20 minutes. Set a timer to accurately keep track of time.
  • Flush the drain with cold water. After 15-30 minutes, the drain should be operational. Turn on the cold-water faucet in the bathtub, and the water should immediately drain.
  • Contact a professional plumber if the drain has not been cleared. Because combining different chemicals can be hazardous, do not use a different chemical cleaner if the first one did not clear the bathtub drain. Consult a professional plumber for assistance if something goes wrong.

Read a related blog: How to Clean a Bathtub with These Tips

5. Cleaning Strainers and Stoppers

Prevention is key, and regularly cleaning strainers and stoppers can help prevent clogs from occurring in the first place. We'll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean and maintain these essential components.

  • Remove the strainer. The accumulation of gunk on strainers and stoppers frequently causes slow drainage. Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove any screws surrounding the strainer. Place the screws somewhere safe while you clean the strainer. Stoppers are easier to remove because they are not secured with screws; simply twist and lift the stopper to remove it.
  • Remove any excess gunk from around the strainer and stopper. There could be a lot of gunk on the strainer or stopper. Remove any soap or hair scum; you may need to scrub the strainer and stopper.
  • Reset the cover or stopper the same way you removed it. Strainers must be screwed back onto the top of the drain, whereas the stopper can simply be replaced.
  • See if it worked. Test the drain by turning on your bathtub. If not, you will have to try a different approach.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Clogs

  1. Regularly Clean the Drain StopperCleaning the drain stopper on a regular basis can help prevent hair and debris buildup, reducing the chances of clogs. We'll explain how to clean different types of drain stoppers.
  2. Use a Hair Catcher or StrainerInstalling a hair catcher or strainer over your bathtub drain can effectively trap hair and other debris, preventing them from entering the drain and causing clogs. We'll discuss various options and their installation process.
  3. Avoid Pouring Grease or Oil Down the DrainGrease and oil can solidify and cause blockages in your bathtub drain. We'll emphasize the importance of disposing of grease and oil properly to avoid clogs.

When to Seek Professional Help

While these methods can be effective in most cases, there are situations where professional assistance is necessary. Contacting a professional plumber for more complex clogs or underlying issues.


In conclusion, maintaining a properly functioning bathtub drain is crucial for a hassle-free bathing experience. We have covered various methods to unclog a bathtub drain, including natural remedies, tools, and preventive measures to avoid future clogs. By following the tips and techniques provided in this guide, you can take action and successfully unclog your bathtub drain, ensuring a clean and functional bathroom. Remember, regular maintenance and preventive measures are key to enjoying a clog-free bathing experience.

Share on
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get new content, products & promotions in your inbox.