how to unclog a shower drain when drano doesn't work
Kristina Davis

Do you know how to unclog a shower drain when Drano doesn’t work?

Don’t treat Drano as the only solution to your clogged drain, that was my mistake, and I don’t want it to be yours.

So, I put up this guide to help and guide everyone who has been finding it a challenge to unclog their drains without Drano.

Even without using Drano, you can unclog your drain by using a plunger, pouring boiling water down the drain, using baking soda and vinegar mixture, or by snaking the drain.

Can You Unclog Your Shower Drain Even Without Drano?

unclog shower drain

While Drano is the go-to solution for clogged shower drains, it’s not the only solution.

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In fact, it’s just one of the many solutions to that problem – there are still a lot more! And that’s what I am going to discuss with you below.

This will be a list of the many different methods and ways how you can successfully unclog your shower drain.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain When Drano Doesn’t Work? – 6 Easy Methods

how to unclog shower drain

All my daughters’ hair strands and mine kept clogging the drains.

Luckily, Drano is to the rescue! But what if you find your shower drain clogged Drano not working?

Over the years, I was able to try out a few different DIY solutions to clear my drains of hair, stubborn dirt, debris, and even plastic!

Method #1: Using a Plunger

use plunger

The first method is the simplest, and probably the safest method of all – using a plunger.

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In case you didn’t know, yes, a plunger can also be used for drains, not just toilet bowls.

Using this method, you wouldn’t really have to set foot outside your home to get one because you probably have one already.

In case you don’t have one, though, the product is inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any type of expertise.

NOTE: I recommend using an accordion plunger because the shape is flexible and versatile, and you can use it for many different drains and holes.

Method #2: Pour Hot Boiling Water

pour boiling water

This next method comes next in terms of ease and convenience as it will only require you to pour boiling water down the drain.

Yes, I meant that – you want hot boiling water, not just the standard or the regular hot water, you want it boiling.

So, without further ado, here’s how you unclog your drains using hot boiling water:

  1. Clear out still or standing water from the area.
  2. Once done, pour a liter of boiling water down the drain to soften stubborn dirt.
  3. Wait for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour another liter to flush down the loose and softened dirt.
NOTE: 2 liters would usually be enough for light drainage problems, or if you see that the water flows down, but slowly. For heavier ones, though, 4 liters would be what I’d recommend.

One thing to take note of is the way you pour it down the drain. You don’t pour the entire liter down.

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You want to pour it gradually. When you still see water accumulating, stop the process, and let the drain be free from standing water.

Method #3: Using the Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

baking soda and vinegar

Two of the best pantry staples you can use for these types of plumbing concerns are vinegar and baking soda.

In case you didn’t know, the combination of vinegar and baking soda has been the go-to of most plumbers as a substitute for a chemically induced solution.

So, here’s how you can leverage your pantry ingredients to free up your shower drains of clogs and blockages:

  1. Remove any still or standing water.
  2. Pour hot boiling water down the drain to warm the pipes up.
  3. When the coast is clear, pour in about half a cup of baking soda.
  4. After the baking soda is set, pour in a cup of white vinegar.
  5. Then, cover the drain and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  6. When done, rinse it with hot water.
  7. Repeat steps 1 to 5 until you see improvement.
NOTE: You don’t want to mix these 2 ingredients while they’re still outside the drain, it wouldn’t work.

Method #4: Pouring Safe and Non-Toxic Products Down the Drain

pour non toxic products

Other than vinegar and baking soda, there are other non-toxic, household staples and products you can use to clear out your drains.

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Here’s a list of these products and combinations:

  1. Hot boiling water and dish soap
  2. Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
  3. Hot boiling water and coarse salt

Taking from my experience, I have tried hot boiling water and dish soap before I snaked the drain – it worked pretty well after a few minutes.

That brings us to the next method, which is…

Method #5: Line Snaking the Drain Manually

line snaking

Line snaking is usually a procedure done by professional plumbing service companies.

The term “snaking,” refers to the idea of inserting a thin wire with a head to break down stubborn dirt and debris that could’ve been situated in the pipes.

You can find line snakes in many different retail shops and stores, and it’s not something you have to order somewhere else.

However, you can also create your very own line snake! All you’ll need is a wire coat hanger and a pair of pliers. 

What you want to do is use the pliers to straighten the wire coat hanger so that it’ll form like a long snake.

At the top of that, attach some type of ball that you’ll use to scrape off or break down stubborn dirt.

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The idea of the line snaking is to loosen up or break stubborn dirt down, and then flush it through the main drainage system, which is the total opposite of the last method, which is by using a hook.

TIP: Find an angle where you can push the drain snake further down the pipe so you can reach far areas of the drain.

Method #6: Using a Hook

use hook

Last, but most definitely not least is by using a hook.

Now, out of all these different methods, this is the method I found to be the most challenging as it required knowledge of what the pipes of the drain looked like.

A hook is simply like a snake, but instead of attaching a ball, you want something that could tackle and “hook” stubborn debris out of the pipes through the drainage.

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It’s the exact opposite of line snaking because you really don’t have to break stubborn dirt down – you just want to hook them and take them out from the drain.

Out of the many solutions I’ve ever tried, these six have been, by far, the most effective. 

I’m saying this based on my experiences because all of them were effective.

What You Should Avoid Using

what to avoid

In case you find that Drano is not the solution to your dilemma, what you want to avoid doing is shove down other chemicals and compounds that you’re not sure of down the drain.

The reason why is because of the reaction these chemicals can have when they mix with Drano.

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While it’s safe to assume that the possibility of witnessing a harsh reaction is low, it still is an “assumption.”

So, I would highly recommend straying from these harsh chemicals until you get some insights from your local professional plumber.

It’s Still Clogged, What Should I Do?

still clogged

If any of these 6 methods isn’t the solution to your slow-moving drain, then the best next thing you can do is to contact your local professional plumber for help and assistance.

You can never go wrong in contacting your plumber.

However, it’s highly important for you to discuss what method or actions you have done in your drain.

Let your plumber know the steps you took because they could be aware of what the problem is by just knowing what you did.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to unclog a shower drain when Drano doesn’t work, you have 6 other options to choose from.

However, it’s worth noting that not all drains and drainage systems are the same – therefore, you need to find what method fits best on your system.

Don’t be afraid to try! In case you fail, you can always give your local plumber a ring.