How to Prevent Shower and Bath Clogs
If there is one thing that everyone hates, it’s a slow shower drain. No one likes standing in ankle-deep water by the time their shower is done, or the layer of grime that a slow drain leaves behind. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common issue that occurs any time the shower or bath drain collects too much hair, oil, or other debris.
While some homes have poor drain systems, once you get your drain clear there are several ways to help prevent shower and bath clogs so you don’t wind up standing in shower water again.
Use a Drain Catch (and Empty It Daily)
A drain catch is a little metal basket that sets into your shower drain. It is designed to catch hair and other small bits of debris that might contribute to a clog. Your drain catch will prevent a lot of clog-causing issues from reaching the pipes and slowing your drains.
However, they should be cleared regularly. It’s best to empty the drain catch at least once a day, ideally right after each shower so that every family member is only clearing their own hair from the drain.
Quick and Dirty Tip:
People with long hair visiting a shower without a drain catch can save the drain with a quick and dirty trick: When loose hair is released after running your fingers through, stick it to the wall. Gross? A little. but at the end, you can whirl it up and throw it in the trash instead of clogging a friend’s drain. Just don’t leave the hair spider for someone else to find.
Go Easy on the Bath Oils and Colloidal Oatmeal
Luxurious baths are great, and bath additives can make them even better for your skin and your peace of mind. But putting oils or grains down the drain is bad news when it comes to clogs. Bath oils can make an existing clog waterproof, which makes them much harder to break up.
So go easy on the bath oils. And if you use grains like colloidal oatmeal (oat powder), only use a little. Do not make oatmeal in the bath, or you will wind up with oatmeal clogging your drains.
Mop Water Goes to the Toilet
It’s pretty tempting to dump mop water into the bathtub, because it’s a big splash-proof area near the floor. However, bath drains tend to be narrower and mop water can contain all sorts of hair and little bits of plastic that make clogs much worse.
As an alternative: Use natural cleaners (protect your pipes from chemicals) and dump your mop water down the toilet – which usually has a larger drain pipe.
Regularly Flush with Hot Water and White Vinegar
Of course, it’s impossible to keep your shower and bath drains 100% free of hair, oil, or debris. So, regular cleansing is a great idea. The best way to safely DIY cleanse your drain and keep it moving swiftly is hot water and white vinegar.
Start by boiling a pot of water on the stove. Turn off the heat and let the water reduce to very hot and steamy. Add a cup or two of white vinegar and then pour the lot down your bath drain. This will help dissolve and move along most household clogs, especially if you do it on a weekly basis.
Keep a Pack of Plastic Drain Tools Handy
Lastly, keep a pack of plastic drain tools under the sink. Called by many names, these are long, flexible plastic sticks with little teeth on the sides and a handle at one end. It’s essentially a miniature pipe snake that can grab nearby clumps of hair and debris out of a shower or sink drain that has recently clogged. Having a few can save you a call to the plumber if your most recent bath clog is not far gone.
Take Care of Your Drain with Coastal Mechanical Contractors
If your bath or shower drain has stopped despite your best efforts, give CMC a call. We are proud to provide reliable home and commercial plumbing services. Whether you’re dealing with shower water around your ankles or a more dramatic plumbing-related issue. You can count on us.