7 Home Remedies for Clogged Bathtub Drains

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If you still haven’t experienced having your feet completely submerged in water that you’ve just used to wash away all the dirt and sweat from your body, you surely will at some point in the future!

Considering all the hair and soap grease that pass through the pipes on a daily basis – clogs don’t come as a surprise; actually, they are somewhat inexorable, especially if you don’t maintain your drains!

Therefore, brace yourself for this utterly unpleasant occurrence with these useful tips!

Upon noticing that your bathtub is clogged, it’s important to observe the water lingering in it heedfully so as to determine whether it is oozing away slowly or remaining in the tub.

Furthermore, bear in mind that the efficiency of clog removers also depends on the nature of the chunk itself, namely whether it is made of soap residue, hair, other types of dirt or a combination of all those things!

bathtub foam

If the drain is partially clogged, you will probably be able to break the clog using various liquid cleaners whose preparation or application will be explained in detail in the subsequent chapters. 

If you are unfortunate enough to have your drain fully obstructed, you’ll have to use some tools or, in the worst-case scenario, call the exorbitantly costly plumber!

The first thing that you should check before even starting to ponder any liquid or solid unclogging means is whether hair and gunk have built up on strainers or stoppers.

In order for them to be cleaned, strainers can be removed with an appropriate screwdriver whereas stoppers can be pulled out with a simple twist.

For digging out the accumulated hair hardened by soap scum which is the usual content of clumps that cause blockages, a bent wire of a coat hanger, a pair of tweezers or even chopsticks (if you happen to be an Asian or just love Asian cuisine!) can prove quite useful!

If water still isn’t flowing freely after the clean-up, you can start considering putting the following strategies into use.

Stay-at-Home, Cheap and Eco-friendly Remedies of Unclogging a Bathtub Drain

how to unclog a tub drain naturally

There are actually several simple and affordable ways that often don’t involve visiting either online or brick-and-mortar stores, heaven forbid calling the plumber, because you probably have all the ingredients at hand!

1. Hot Water

First and foremost – make sure that your house doesn’t have PVC pipes because they can get damaged if you use this method!

If not, fill a pot with one gallon of tap water preferably adding ½ cup of salt but it can work without it as well. After bringing that water to a boil on the stove, pour it into the drain and repeat the process until the clog is gone!

Hot water can melt any hardened grease which makes it an incredibly efficient drain cleaner! Just be careful not to burn yourself by splashing it!

2. Dish Detergent

If boiling water didn’t do the job, try pouring one cup of liquid dish-washing detergent followed by one liter of hot water after 30 minutes.

Or just boil the mixture of water and detergent subsequently pouring it down the drain and, after waiting for a while for it to do its thing, washing out the pipe with hot water!

This procedure is especially effective for clogs that mostly consist of fat since detergents are meant to break it down!

This process can also be repeated as many times as needed because it doesn’t do any harm!


3. Mixtures Containing Baking or Washing Soda

Both sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate can eradicate any type of dirt!

  • Baking soda and vinegar mixed together result in a perfect combination that’ll make water run down your pipe smoothly again! Solely pour 1 cup of baking soda into the drain followed by the same amount of vinegar, leave it to react overnight and then flush it with hot water in the morning!
  • Baking soda and salt could also do the trick. Pour one cup of baking soda first, then one cup of salt, let it stay overnight and finish off by rinsing the drain with boiling water in the morning!
    You can also pour a solution containing baking soda, salt and hot water in the ratio of 1:1:4 respectively and then rinse the drain with hot water as soon as you get up!
  • Washing soda and hot water can also make for a powerful clog remover! Just mix them in equal amounts and then pour the liquid down the drain leaving it to sit overnight and perform the flushing in the morning!
baking soda

4. Coca-Cola or Pepsi

Have a can or a bottle of cola in your house? You most certainly do! Forget about drinking it if you are struggling with a clogged bathtub – let it flow down your drain instead!

But don’t use the one from the fridge – it should be room temperature! Let it fizzle for one to two hours and then wash it away with hot water!

Believe it or not – phosphoric acid which these drinks contain can deal a great blow to the sludge in your drains so feel free to use them as clog prevention too!

5. Lemon Juice

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Well, sort of.

Add ½ cup of lemon juice to one cup of salt and one of vinegar to pour on that pest of a clog!

Lastly, rinse with hot water after 30 minutes! And if you still have some lemons left – do make that lemonade to refresh yourself before having a shower in your unclogged bath!


6. Borax

Known as sodium tetraborate to the ones knowledgeable about chemistry, this is an organic compound that is generally very versatile!

The simplest version of its use for the treatment of clogged drains is pouring ½ cup of borax followed by two cups of boiling water and letting it stand for about an hour before flushing the drain with water!

But if you combine ½ cup of borax with ½ cup of salt and add one cup of vinegar – it can do wonders too! Just leave it for an hour or so to work its magic before you rinse the pipe with water!

Be warned that there is a controversy concerning the safety of borax use but as long your skin doesn’t come into direct contact with it, you don’t inhale nor ingest it, you won’t get irritation!

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

If you, by chance, have some hydrogen peroxide that you normally use to disinfect wounds, sterilize tools or remove stains from clothes, consider treating your plugged drain with it as well!

If it can fight off germs and blots, why not clogs?! Pay attention to use 3% hydrogen peroxide because higher concentrations can cause chemical burns!

Apply it in the following manner – ten minutes after pouring a cup of baking soda, add a cup of it into the drain leaving it for a couple of hours to bubble. Another way to apply this substance is to make the mixture first and then pour it!

You can also blend 3 cups of hydrogen peroxide and ¾ gallon of cold water and use that solution instead!

For the best results, opt for this alternative - pour ¾ cup of baking soda first, then ¼ cup of salt followed by ¼ of hydrogen peroxide and, lastly, ½ cup of vinegar.

Whichever technique you decide to use, rinse the drain with hot water in the end!

Pro Tip

clog tub

We recommend you check out the Clog Demolisher. It uses high pressure air to naturally unclog your tubs and toilets, without the need for harmful chemicals.

Just pump the air and press the trigger. It's so simple and it helps you save on plumber's fees!

Prevention Is Better Than Cure!

So now that you’ve got your drain up and running again with one of these useful concoctions, it’s time to start thinking of averting clog formation!

Firstly, use strainers and stoppers and clean them regularly!

Secondly, pour the aforementioned combinations in your drain often – another upside is that you can use them as much and as frequently as you want for maintenance as well, to prevent any unwanted clogs from forming in the first place while staying safe and sound!

how to unclog a tub drain naturally

Final Word: Home Remedies for Clogged Bathtub Drains

Although all these options can be successful in combating drain masses that may cause obstruction, you’ll have to find the most suitable one for your drain through trial and error due to every clog’s specific composition.

Just be persistent and no worries – none of these can cause any damage because they are completely natural!

Don’t let anyone lead you up the garden path – these preparations can be as effective as the chemical drain cleaners that can be bought in stores!

Moreover, they are less harmful to your pipes, respiratory or the ones in the drainage system and more environmentally friendly because they don’t emit any toxic fumes!

You also have to agree that they are pretty easy to use in contrast to some tools such as drain augers and snakes! Not to mention that you’ll get more bang for your buck than if you called in a professional!

So start experimenting with these methods! And rest assured – your efforts won’t go down the drain but the clog definitely will!