How to fix a clogged shower drain

One minute you’re enjoying a steamy hot shower and the next the water is up to your ankles. You’ve got a clogged shower drain—probably from hair, soap and cleaning products stuck to the inside of the pipes. Put down the shampoo and follow our instructions to clear that clog!

Step 1: Remove the shower drain plug or cover. If you’ve got the latter—a perforated piece over the shower drain hole—take it off with a screwdriver and clean it thoroughly. It tends to get full of hair and soap scum as well, and could be contributing to your drainage problem.

Step 2: Look in your closet for a wire hanger—you’re going fishin’! Using needle-nose pliers, straighten out the hanger but keep the hook, then bend the other end slightly to form a small handle or loop.

Step 3: Stick the hook end into the shower drain hole as far as it will go, rotating the hanger as you push it down. Make sure you keep your grip on the handle. Jiggle the hanger to lift, or fish out, any hair and gunk. Just be careful not to push any debris back down the shower drain, which will likely cause a bigger clog. Pull the hanger out, and remove the gunk with a paper towel. Say it with us: Eww!

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until the hanger comes out clean. Yes, this is a disgusting chore, but it’s worth it to get rid of the drain blockage.

Step 5: Replace the shower drain plug or strainer, and get ready for a clog-free shower!