How to Unblock a Bath or Shower

How to Unblock a Bath or Shower

If the water isn’t draining out of your bath or shower properly – or at all – there is probably a blockage. For example, a build-up of hair in the drains. It’s quite common and easily fixed – read our ‘How to Unblock a Bath or Shower’ guide to find out more…

How to Unblock a Bath or Shower

First, a warning! Take care when plunging a bath as it usually has a combined overflow concealed beneath it. These can pop off, flooding the bathroom.

Some showers have wastes which cannot be accessed by a wire, and if acid-based chemicals are used, they may melt the bottom of the waste. This causes damage and upheaval as most shower wastes can only be accessed through the floor or the ceiling underneath.

What you will need to unblock a bath or shower

  • Gloves
  • 15tbl Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Hanger or metal wire
  • 100ml White Vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Boiling water


It takes about 20 minutes to unblock a bath or shower. Be sure to wear rubber gloves for safety.

Clearing the blockage

First, try and clear out the waste using a hook. This can be fashioned from a wire or coat hanger. Attempt to scrape out as much of the gunk causing the blockage as possible.

Bicarbonate of Soda

An effective drain cleaner that won’t damage your pipes can be made out of household items! Put 15tbl of bicarbonate of soda into the blocked pipe, then pour 100ml of white vinegar after it. Once it stops fizzing, flush out the pipe with boiling hot water.

Commercial Drain Cleaner

Use a chemical drain cleaner as a last resort; they are poisonous when swallowed, can cause burns to the skin and even damage pipes. You can buy chemical drain cleaner from a DIY store if you need it.

How to stop your plughole getting blocked

You can use a drop-in hair trap. This sits over the plughole in your bath or shower to collect loose hair. 

If the above doesn’t help to unblock a bath or shower then there may be a bigger issue. Call L&W Heating and Plumbing services today on a local number below:-

Plumbers Wigan 01942 417220
Plumbers St Helens 01744 776140
Plumbers Warrington 01925 394260
Plumbers Newton Le Willows 01925 394260

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