A clogged bathtub drain can be very frustrating. It slows the flow of water via the pipes leaving standing water in the tub. The clogged bathtub can result from soap scum, hair, or other different debris. In fact, hair is the worst drain-clogging perpetrator. Clogs need to be removed as soon as possible. Plumbers take both time and money. Unclogging the drain using a DIY method can help avoid this cost. Here are numerous techniques to unclog the bathtub drain:
1. Remove the clog by hand
Sometimes, the clog in the drain is within reach and can be easily removed by hand. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pull it out. A cord coat hanger or spoon may also work.
2. Cleaning the Strainer/Stopper
- Remove the strainer or stopper.
- Clean the excessive gunk from across it. Scrubbing the strainer can help get rid of the tougher particles.
- See if it worked. Run the water into the tub to see if the water is draining now. This procedure works best on small quantities of gunk. If there’s a big quantity tucked, then this procedure will not be effective.
3. Boiling Water + Baking Soda
- Firstly, remove the strainer/stopper by twisting and lifting it out of the drain. There maybe hair and soap residue gathered below the strainer that’s placed in or over the drain. Scrub it out.
- Boil water in a kettle or a big pot.
- Pour the boiling water into the drain. This step alone might unclog the drain. Turn on the water to see if it’s draining normally. If not, proceed to the next step.
- Pour ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar into the drain. Wait 15-20 minutes, and permit the baking soda and vinegar to sit. It will get rid of the excessive gunk gathered inside the drain.
- Again, pour boiling water down the drain. The water will react with the baking soda and vinegar to unclog the drain. Test the bathtub to look if this technique works. Generally, this technique is used for unclogging small clogs.
4. Bathroom Plunger
- Remove the stopper or strainer by twisting its screw and lifting it. Scrub it to pull out any visible gunk.
- Fill the bathtub with water up to some inches, sufficient enough to submerge the plunger.
- Use the plunger to suction out any obstruction inside the drain. Place the bowl of the plunger over the drain and press and pull it rapidly. Most likely, grimy water and gunk will pop out of the drain even when plunging. After about 10 plunges, check if dirty water and gunk are still coming out of the drain. If nothing popped out, use another technique.
5. Drain Claw
- Remove the strainer/stopper.
- Remove the excessive gunk. It may also require further scrubbing depending on how grimy it is.
- Insert the drain claw down the drain. When the drain stick is inserted deep enough, it’s going to hit a drain trap, that’s the curved part of the drain. Keep pushing the drain stick through this trap. The stick is flexible and can bend easily.
- Pull out the drain stick. The claw has many small interlocking hooks, so it’s going to grab hair and other impediments on its way, bringing it out of the drain pipe. Clean the gunk off the drain stick.
- Test the bathtub to see if the drain is now unclogged.
- If the bathtub has unclogged, put the stopper back into its place.
6. Chemical Drain Cleaners
- Buy a chemical drain cleaner from the store. It unclogs drains with chemical substances like potassium hydroxide or sulphuric acid. When used properly, they can clean most drain clogs.
- Read the instructions to understand the utilization method and the precautionary measures.
- Remove any standing water from the tub using a bucket or a big mug.
- Pour the quantity mentioned into the tub drain. Be cautious as not to cause any splashing while pouring.
- Wait for 15-30 minutes (or as mentioned in the instructions), allowing the chemical substances to sit for some time. The time can vary depending on the chemical. Make sure to read the instructions carefully.
- Flush the drain with cold water. The water should be able to pass through if the clog has been removed.
7. Call a Plumber
If none of the above-mentioned techniques work, it’s time to call an expert (plumber!).
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Maintaining hygiene and following good practices can help avoid such drainage problems. For example, keeping a strainer that prevents hair from moving into the drain and regularly cleaning the drain with warm water will ensure that soap and oil residue does not build up.