How to Clean Your Shower Drain

What You'll Need
Baking soda
White wine vinegar
Drain brush

If your shower drain has been a little slow as of late, it is most likely in need of a good cleaning. Fortunately, with the aid of a few household products, your shower drain can be clean and fully functioning in no time.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Drain

Before proceeding to clean your shower drain, you'll need to make a few preparations. First, clear away any hair or soap scum from the rim of the drain. Next, remove your drain plug or cover. Certain covers can be removed with nothing more than your hands, while others will need to be disconnected with the aid of screwdriver. After removing it, place your drain cover and any accompanying screws in a safe place for the duration of the job.

Step 2 - Get Rid of Lingering Debris

Now that your drain cover has been removed, it's time to begin the first phase of the cleaning process. Start this step by gently pouring a 1/2 cup of baking soda directly into the dirty drain. Follow this up by pouring 2 cups of white wine vinegar into your drain. The chemical reaction produced by these products will break apart any caked-on dirt, debris or hair clumps that have built up in the drain. You will know this reaction is taking place when you see foam emanating from your drain's opening. Once the foaming has ceased entirely, run a steady stream of cool water into the drain to rinse away your homemade cleaning solution, as well as any lingering pieces of broken-up filth.

Step 3 - Scrub Your Drain

Having taken care of most of the dirt and assorted types of grime that were lurking in your shower drain, you're almost finished. For good measure, you will need to give your shower drain a thorough scrubbing with a drain brush. Begin this process by carefully inserting the brush into the drain, then proceed to scrub the drain using vigorous down-and-up motions. After scrubbing the drain for 5 to 10 minutes, pull out your drain brush and proceed to once again run a steady stream of cool water down the freshly cleaned drain. To ensure that your shower drain remains free of dirt, debris and clogs, it is best to perform steps 1 through 3 at least twice a month.

When performing this step, it is imperative that you don't use any additional drain cleaning products. Most of these products contain bleach, which, if combined with the lingering vinegar residue, can produce toxic results.

Step 4 - Take Additional Precautions

Now that your drain is nice and clean, you'll need to take a few measures to keep it that way. For starters, make sure to clear away any hair or soap scum that have accumulated around your drain's opening. Also, you may want to purchase a drain cover that features very small holes to help cut back on the amount of clog-forming debris that finds its way into your drain.