How To Unclog a Shower Drain With Standing Water

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Do you experience standing in ankle-deep water during your shower? Does the idea of calling a plumber make you feel anxious? Before you panic, there are a few things you can try to unclog your shower drain with standing water.

This guide will demonstrate an easy method to unclog a shower drain with standing water using common household items. No need to panic or break the bank; just roll up your sleeves and let’s get started on this unclogging adventure.

Why Standing Water Is Problematic

Standing water in your shower can be a frustrating and unsanitary problem. Not only can it make your shower experience unpleasant, but it can also lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause health issues. 

Additionally, standing water can indicate a clogged drain, which can become a bigger problem if left unaddressed. By understanding why standing water is problematic, you can take the necessary steps to unclog your shower drain and prevent future issues.

Assessing the Problem

When dealing with a clogged shower drain, it’s important first to assess the severity of the problem. This will help determine the most effective solution and prevent further damage to the plumbing system. 

Here are a few things to consider when assessing the problem:

  • Water level: If there is standing water in the shower, it’s likely that the drain is completely clogged. However, if the water is draining slowly, there may be a partial blockage that can be cleared with a few simple steps.
  • Odor: A foul odor coming from the drain may indicate that there is a buildup of hair, soap, and other debris that is causing the clog.
  • Gurgling sounds: If the drain makes gurgling sounds when the water runs, it may indicate a blockage further down the pipe.
  • Multiple drains affected: If multiple drains in the house are clogged, it may be a sign of a larger plumbing issue that requires professional attention.

Once the severity of the problem has been assessed, it’s time to move on to finding a solution.

How To Unclog a Shower Drain With Standing Water

Tools and Materials

Unclogging a shower drain with standing water requires specific tools and materials. Here are the items needed to complete the job:


Master Plunger Mighty Tiny Plunger Designed for Bathroom/Kitchen Sinks, Perfect for RV’s. Unclogs Fast & Easy (Patent Pending), Black


Oanie 6 Pack 25 Inch Drain Clog Remover Tool, Drain Cleaner Hair Clog Remover, Shower Drain Clog Remover Tool, Sink Snake, Drain Hair Remover for Shower Kitchen Sink Bath Tub Bathroom

Drain snake

Rubbermaid Roughneck Square Bucket, 15-Quart, Blue, Sturdy Pail Bucket Organizer Household Cleaning Supplies Projects Mopping Storage Comfortable Durable Grip Pour Handle


PEIPU Nitrile Gloves Disposable Gloves (Large, 100-Count), 4Mil, Powder Free, Cleaning Service Gloves, Latex Free

Rubber gloves

YunTuo 2 pack Safety Goggles, Anti-Fog Protective Safety Glasses, Eye Protection

Safety goggles


  • Hot water

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda (15 lbs.)

Baking soda

Lucy's Family Owned - Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128 oz) - 5% Acidity (White Vinegar, Gallon)


Steps to Follow

There are different ways to unclog a shower drain with standing water, and each method has its own pros and cons. It’s important to select the method that suits your situation best.

1. Removing Visible Debris

If the water in your shower is draining slowly, it could be due to debris obstructing the drain. Before trying any other methods, it’s recommended to remove any visible debris from the drain.

Put on rubber gloves, then use your hands or a wire hanger to grab and pull out any hair or large debris clogging the pipe. You can also use pliers or tweezers to remove any visible material like soap or hair to start unclogging the shower drain.

2. Using a Plunger

Master Plunger Mighty Tiny Plunger Designed for Bathroom/Kitchen Sinks,

To fix the problem, try using a plunger if the visible debris doesn’t work. Fill the shower with water, enough to cover the bottom of the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain, push down firmly, and then pull up sharply to create suction. Repeat this process a few times until the water starts to drain.

3. Using a Drain Snake

A drain snake can be used to remove any blockages that are further down the pipe. Insert the snake into the drain and turn it clockwise, pushing it deeper until you feel resistance. When you feel the blockage, turn the snake counterclockwise to loosen it and then pull out any debris that is blocking the pipe.

4. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

If the previous techniques are unsuccessful in unblocking the drain, you may use chemical drain cleaners as a final option. Yet, it’s crucial to use them carefully since they may harm the environment and your plumbing.

To remove the blockage in your drain, follow these steps: Pour the recommended amount of cleaner into the drain and wait for the specified time. Then, flush the drain with hot water. If the issue remains unresolved, it is best to contact a professional plumber to prevent any additional damage to your plumbing system.

Preventive Measures

To avoid shower drain clogs, it’s important to clean and maintain them regularly. Try using hot water or a baking soda and vinegar mix. Keep the shower area clean by removing hair and rinsing away soap and shampoo residue.

Drain screens can also help keep hair and debris out of the drain. Be sure to clean them regularly under hot water. These simple steps can help you prevent clogs and avoid costly plumbing repairs.


Can I use boiling water to unclog my shower drain?

Boiling water can be effective in unclogging shower drains, especially if the clog is caused by soap scum or hair. However, it is important to note that boiling water can also damage plastic pipes or PVC pipes.

Therefore, it is recommended to use boiling water only for metal pipes. Additionally, it is important to pour the boiling water slowly to avoid splashing or causing any other damage.

Can I use a plunger to unclog my shower drain?

Yes, using a plunger to unclog a shower drain can be effective in some cases. However, it is important to note that plungers are not designed to remove large objects or deep clogs.

Additionally, using a plunger requires that the shower drain is filled with enough water to cover the bottom of the plunger.

Can I use vinegar and baking soda to unclog my shower drain?

Yes, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be used to unclog a shower drain. Simply mix together equal parts of vinegar and baking soda and pour it down the drain. Leave it to sit for a few hours, then flush the drain with hot water to rinse away any debris or residue.

This method can be effective in removing soap scum and other debris that may be causing the blockage.

Can I use chemical drain cleaners to unclog my shower drain?

Yes, chemical drain cleaners can be used to unclog a shower drain. However, it is important to use them carefully since they may harm the environment and your plumbing. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and make sure that you are wearing protective gear before using them.

How can I prevent shower drain clogs?

To prevent shower drain clogs, it is important to clean the drain regularly. This can be done by removing the drain cover and using a tool to remove any hair or soap scum buildup.

Additionally, using a drain strainer can prevent hair and other debris from going down the drain. It is also important to use a shower cleaner regularly to prevent buildup in the pipes.


Clogged shower drains can be a major inconvenience and costly to repair. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to unblock the drain and prevent it from clogging again.

Yet, if these techniques don’t work or the problem persists, it is best to consult with a professional plumber for assistance. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure that your shower drains remain clog-free.

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