What Causes Clogged Shower Drains?

What Causes Clogged Shower Drains?

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

Do you notice a nasty smell in the bathroom?

The health crisis increased the number of clogged pipes in the United States. However, another problem in the bathroom may happen. Homeowners may fail to realize they already have a clogged shower drain.

What causes clogged shower drains? Continue reading below for some common culprits and how to address them.


Your hair strands fall as you bathe, leading to clogged drains. As they go down the drain, they will accumulate in your pipes. It may take a long time, but the blockage will eventually happen.

This problem is common when you sport long hair. Open the drain cap and examine the pipe opening to check whether your hair is causing a blocked drain. Squeeze your fingers into it and pluck the hair out.

Sediment Build-Up

Hard water comes with sediments like minerals and other substances building inside your pipes. In turn, it blocks water flow through the drain.

Sediments can also cause another problem for homes with old galvanized pipes. The buildup causes these pipes to rust from the inside, resulting in water flow restriction. It can be costly if the rust is extensive since it can result in pipe replacements.

Soap Scum

Soap scum can also clog your shower drain in the long run. It can stick to the pipe walls. It also applies to everything you wash off your body.

As the soap scum travels through the pipe, the grease remains at the top. It will stick to the walls of your drainage system. After all, it contains grease and oil—both won’t mix in water.


Most shampoos and other hair products have between 10 and 30 ingredients. These contribute to a clogged shower, especially when you use anti-dandruff and moisturizing hair products. They accumulate and clog the drains.

Unclogging Shower Drains

Learning how to fix a clogged shower drain involves using specific materials. Start by pouring some boiling water into the shower drain. The intense heat will loosen the build-up and soap scum.

Use boiling water only when you have no PVC pipes. Open the shower and wait for the standing water to drain. The clog may be too thick for the boiling water when the method does nothing.

Another method is to use baking soda and vinegar. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow it up with a cup of vinegar. The two ingredients create a chemical reaction, breaking the build-up.

Close the drain immediately and wait for about an hour. Pour a liter of boiling water and see whether the water flow improves. Take your plunger and start pumping when the problem persists.

If all else fails, call a trusted plumber.

Increase Your Home Improvement Knowledge

Now you know what causes clogged shower drains, you can make the necessary adjustments to keep the blockage at bay. For other home issues, you have lots of tricks to learn.

Did this guide help? If so, please consider reading our other posts.

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