How to unblock a bath drain
Restore your flow with our ‘How to Unblock a Bath Drain’ guide. Clogged drains and their associated hygiene issues are not worth the risk. Not only does slow drainage allow a buildup of grease, dirt and other bacteria, but it’s also a trip hazard.
Restore your flow with our ‘How to Unblock a Bath Drain‘ guide. Clogged drains and their associated hygiene issues are not worth the risk. Not only does slow drainage allow a buildup of grease, dirt and other bacteria, but it’s also a slip hazard.
That’s why tackling the issue straight away will prevent any accidents or illnesses from occurring. For bigger jobs or stubborn blockages, consider hiring a professional to safely and quickly clean your drains and restore your flow.
How to unblock a bath drain
If you’d like to try unblocking your drains yourself, then try our steps below. If the problem persists, our drain unblocking specialists are ready to help.
Tools you’ll need for the job
Before you get started, add the following items to your cleaning arsenal:
- Safety equipment (rubber gloves and goggles/glasses)
- Cup-shaped drain plunger
- Drain snake/metal coathanger
- Duct tape/used dishcloth
- Flathead screwdriver
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
Unblock a bath drain naturally
Step one: Put on your safety equipment
Unblocking a drain is a messy and sometimes hazardous job, so don’t forget to protect yourself from splashbacks. At a minimum, wear eye protection and a pair of rubber gloves.
Step two: Locate the blockage
Clean the plughole of any dirt or debris and try to locate the blockage. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it’s harder to find. If the issue is on the surface and you’re able to prise the obstruction out of the drain, check to see if the issue is fixed by running the water.
If it’s still draining slowly, move onto step three.
Step three: Use a plunger
Run the rubber end of your plunger under a hot tap to ensure a better suction, then place it over the plughole. Before you start plunging, fill the bath with water so it covers the head of the plunger. Whilst the bath is filling, cover the overflow hole with duct tape or a used dishcloth. This lets the plunger create a secure vacuum, allowing it to dislodge the blockage more easily.
Once the water is at the right height, plunge the drain for around half a minute. Try a few times until the water starts to flow freely again.
If the issue persists, move onto step four.
Step four: Try a drain snake
Some blockages are difficult to remove. If you’re dealing with a stubborn obstruction, try using a drain snake. Gently feed it through the overflow pipe until you hit the blockage. Twist clockwise (anti-clockwise might accidentally unscrew the pipe) and pull it out. Hopefully, the blockage is now cleared. Repeat as necessary.
How to unblock a bath drain without a plunger
If you’re short on time and don’t have a plunger or a drain snake handy, then try these natural remedies:
Method one: Vinegar and baking soda
Pour boiling water down the drain to loosen dirt and grease. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and leave for two minutes. Then, pour in a cup of white vinegar and let the concoction fizz up for 5-minutes. Flush with another kettle of boiling water. Run the taps to see if the blockage is clear. Use soda crystals as an alternative to baking soda.
Method two: Household cleaners
Washing up liquid and biological washing powder are two good cleaning agents that might help clean and clear your drains of any build-up. However, they aren’t able to remove hair or other stubborn blockages.
Method three: Bleach
As a very last resort, pour a cup of bleach down your drain. Leave for five minutes and follow up with boiling water. Clean your tub thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation when you next bathe.
Note: Bleach is a harsh chemical and should be handled with care. If you’re at this stage, consider hiring a professional to avoid putting yourself at risk.
Should I hire a professional?
For a thorough job and inspection, we always recommend hiring a professional. Although some jobs are easily handled at home, to avoid a reoccurrence of scum build-up and blockages, consider hiring a yearly drain maintenance technician to keep your water free-flowing and safe.
How can I unblock bath drain hair?
Use steps one to four above to see if that solves the issue. If not, consider hiring a professional to inspect, remove and safely dispose of the blockage.
How can I unblock the bath drain pipe?
Use this guide to unblock your bath drain pipe and see if that solves the issue. If not, consider hiring a professional to inspect, remove and safely dispose of the blockage.