How to Clear a Clogged Tub Drain Naturally (No Chemicals!)

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I am sure you are all familiar with that feeling when you’re taking a shower and after a few minutes end up having a bath in a half-dirty water, because the drain pipe didn’t do its job.

Then you get even more frustrated because you have to clean and try to unclog the pipe.

Now, if people are in a hurry, they tend just to use one of the products meant for cleaning drain pipes, but no matter how safe they may be, they are still based on chemicals, which sometimes can be dangerous to have and use, especially if you have little children.

how to clear a clogged tub drain naturally

There are, however, more natural ways to unclog the pipes by using the stuff we all have in our household. In this text, we will present some of those ways to you, so strap in and let’s begin!

Why does the drain pipe get clogged?

Every action causes a reaction. Every consequence has something that caused it to happen. In order for you to be able to unclog the pipes, you need to find what caused it and where.

A very common cause of a clogged drain pipe in our bathrooms is the soap foam. You know, when we use a lot of shampoo, the foam tends to pile up in the tub drain and slowly degrades until it’s completely gone down the pipe. The problem is, it often piles up inside the drain pipe and can clog it.

That’s why you should always try not to leave the foam there every time you take a shower. It is better to clean it or disperse it with water splashes.

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bathtub foam

The most common issue is hair. Hair can go down the drain without any problem and there it tends to pile up and eventually cause a barricade and clog the pipe.

So, if you are a woman washing your hair or a very hairy man, you should always try to clean the tub drain after you take a shower because it could save you a lot of time and patience in the long run.

In case you are using your bathtub to store baking trays since they are so big and cannot fit in the sink, you should also keep an eye on the pieces of food and make sure they don’t reach the bathtub drain because they can also clog the pipes. Same goes for any grease left on the tray.

How to clean a Clogged Tub Drain Pipe Naturally

Now that we went through some of the possible causes of a clogged drain pipe, we can move on to some practical methods we can use to clean and unblock the drain pipes. We have already mentioned that you can use chemical products to do it, but instead of bolstering you to do it, we would like to offer some healthier alternatives.

1. String suspender

We, humans, are intuitive folk, who can think of really useful ways of solving even the most basic every-day problems. One very simple way of cleaning your drain pipe is by using a string-made suspender to make a hook which you can use to get to the blocked part in the pipe.

Once you reach it, try to pull out as many things as possible. It is really important to notice that by pushing it, you can create an even bigger problem, so that is why you should always pull it out, not push it any further.

When you think enough of it has been pulled out, just turn on very warm water and it should be able to remove the rest of the material by itself.

how to unclog a tub drain naturally

This method is very practical, not too hard since it only requires some patience, which, if you are enjoy fishing, should not be a problem for you.

“That’s all good” – you must be wondering – “but how do I make a hook out of a string-made suspender?” – you may ask.

Well, it is actually pretty simple. Most string-made suspenders are flexible so you can camber them the way you want.

First, just straighten the suspender, then you can fold it at the bottom, and voila, you have a hook! It’s really that simple.

Another similar way is to use a wire coat hanger. Click here for more details.

coat hanger

2. Scalding water

The most commonly used method for unclogging the drain pipe is by using a scalding water.

Basically, you just need to boil a pot of water and spill it into the drain. Be cautious though, don’t pour the entire pot at once. Depending on the pot size, you should do it two or three times in a matter of minutes.

The key word here is boiled water. If you put just warm water, it wouldn’t have any real effect. So, make sure the water is scalded.

Now, one thing to be cautious for is that scalding water could damage and melt PVC pipes if it stood there too long. That is why you need to know your pipes, so to speak, before using this method to clean your drain pipes.

Apart from that, using scalding water might not always do the trick, for example, if the pipe is jammed a lot. But even then, it would be helpful to undo at least a bit of a damage.

3. Plunger

We guess most of you remember those scenes when Disney cartoon characters get sucked out with a plunger. Those were funny moments, weren’t they?

Basically, that is how the plunger works. It pulls objects from the clogged drain pipe. There is one thing to note here though. It doesn’t always work.

The plunger can be ineffective in cases when the pipes have a weird shape or when the jam is deeper in the pipes. In those cases, it is better to try some other ways to unclog your drain.


If the pipes are, however, blocked near the entry point, this simple tool is very effective, so you can at least consider using it.

4. Drain snake

This method is a rather easy one. First, you need to find a snake, capture it or buy it and then drop it inside the drain and it will do the job for you. Easy, right?

Of course, this was a joke. A drain snake is a name for a very simple but, at the same time, very useful tool, used for cleaning the drain pipes. Generally, it looks like a branch with thorns. The idea is to put it down the drain as much as possible and then try to catch enough blocking materials to unblock the pipe.

How to Unclog a Toilet with an Electric Snake

Do this once, then try to pour some water to check if it is still clogged. If it is, repeat the process until you see the improvement.

5. Combination of vinegar, salt, and baking soda

Using a combination of vinegar, salt, and baking soda for cleaning the drain pipe is considered as a healthier alternative than using the specialized products.

There are two possible combinations here.

First, you can use salt and baking soda. Take half a glass of salt and half a glass of baking soda and spill it into the drain pipe. You should let it stay there for about 15 minutes and then pour the scalded water into the drain. The water, combined with the salt and soda should create a reaction which should unclog the pipe.

baking soda

Second, you can combine vinegar and baking soda. Fill in a glass of baking soda and spill it into the drain pipe. Then after several minutes fill in a glass of vinegar and do the same. Keep it there for a couple of hours or even leave it for the night and then pour the scalded water into the pipe to clean it.

How to prevent future clogging

Now that you know how to deal with the clogged drain pipes, you should also get some idea of how to prevent clogging to happen again in the future.

Knowing that the most common cause of bathtub clogging is the hair, you should try to work on preventing the hairs from entering the pipe. You can do that by getting a hair snare or, perhaps better known as a hair catcher.

It will prevent most of the hair from getting into the pipe, thus lowering the chance it will get clogged again.

how to unclog a tub drain naturally

Apart from that, you can take precautions by cleaning your tub and drain more often. That way you will minimize the chance of getting the clogged drain pipe.

Conclusion: How to Clear a Clogged Tub Drain Naturally

Congratulations! Now you can start working as a plumber! Oh well, not yet, but still, at least you can clean your own clogged tub drain pipe naturally, without having to pay someone else to do it, thus saving some money for more important things.

Also, by learning how to do this, you can keep your health a bit safer, because you don’t have to use the chemical products to unclog your drain pipe, which is really important to notice.

So, what are you waiting for? Drain pipe will not clean itself