How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water

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Getting stuck with a clogged bathtub drain is definitely one of the most annoying things that can happen inside your bathroom. It gets worse when you have a lot of standing water inside the tub.

This makes it really hard to unclog it since you can’t approach the drain easily.

However, there are ways to unclog a bathtub drain with standing water inside it. All, you need to do is to have a couple of things by your side and you will be good to go.

So, let’s see what exactly you need to do in order to unclog a bathtub drain that has a lot of standing water inside it.


How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water

Method 1 – Plunging

Unclogging a bathtub drain with standing water is not an easy job, that’s why you need to use a plunger and a couple of things as well. So, let’s see how you can actually accomplish this method.


  • Plunger
  • An old piece of cloth
  • Cup
  • A pair of rubber gloves 

After you gather all this stuff, you can begin the process.

Step 1 – Clear the blockage 

Put on your rubber gloves and dig deep into the water until you reach the drain. Now, you will find some pieces of dirt and maybe some soap on top of the drain.

It is important that you get them out of the water and clear the blockage.

Remember, you are not unclogging the drain with your hands, you are only removing the blockage that gathered on top of the drain since the water can’t go down.

Also, it is recommendable that you repeat this step a couple of times, just to make sure that every piece of dirt is removed from the bathtub.

This will allow you to do other steps easier than if you had dirt running around in sitting water.

Step 2 – Remove as much water as you can

Next, grab a cup and start removing water out of the bathtub. Use this cup or a bucket, it doesn’t matter. The result must be the same – you need to remove all the water from the bathtub.

So, after you removed most of the water with the cup, it is usually a good idea to use a microfiber cloth that can soak the rest of the water easily. You need to remove as much water as you can in order for this method to be efficient.

Step 3 – Clear the overflow drain

Usually, there’s an overflow drain in every bathtub, and, it is a good thing to clear it. So, take an old piece of cloth and start rubbing inside the overflow drain until you get it perfectly cleaned.

If you can’t locate the overflow drain, it is usually sitting right under the tap. So, there won’t be complications in finding it now.

However, some bathtubs are not equipped with this drain, and in that case, just ignore this step.

how to snake a tub drain

Step 4 – Plunging

Now comes the time when you need to grab a plunger and start plunging hard until you get rid of the clog. However, this won’t work every time.

A plunger is a good choice when it comes to a bit easier-to-clean clogs. Otherwise, you will need something stronger to get rid of the clog. 

Anyhow, put the plunger on top of the drain and make sure that there’s no air leaving the drain. Then, start plunging up and down for a couple of minutes.

That will clean the clog for sure.

Step 5 – Pour hot water  

As for the last step, you need to run hot water into the bathtub and let it smoothly go down the drain. Make sure to keep the water running for approximately 5 minutes.

This way you are making sure that the drain is cleaned and that everything runs smoothly.

bathtub foam

Method 2 – Baking Soda and Vinegar 

When it comes to a bit more stubborn and harder-to-clean clogs, it is a good idea to use home remedies like the baking soda and vinegar solution. 

This mixture of vinegar and baking soda is extremely powerful and efficient when it comes to getting rid of the clogs inside your bathtub drain, especially if there’s standing water in it.

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Cup
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wet cloth

Now, let’s see how you can remove clog in a bathtub drain with standing water - using baking soda.

Step 1 - Preparation

First of all, you need to prepare for the whole process. This means that you need to put a pair of rubber gloves on your hands and then start.

You can begin with removing big particles of dirt or soap from the standing water. This will ease you the rest of the steps.

Step 2 - Remove the water from the tub

Next, take the cup and remove every bit of water from the tub. It is absolutely important that you try to remove as much as you can.

We know that the tub won’t be completely dried, but you can at least try to remove everything.

Step 3 - Pour baking soda down the drain

After you removed all the water, it is time to pour 0.5 cups of baking soda into the drain. This will start to cause a reaction. Just make sure to measure the amount properly or else you might damage the drain.

baking soda

Step 4 - Follow up with some vinegar

Now, the vinegar comes into play. You need to pour 0.5 cups of white vinegar inside the drain and enjoy the magic.

Baking soda and vinegar will start dissolving every particle inside the drain and you will shortly unclog the drain completely.

Step 5 - Rinse with hot water

To finish the whole process, you need to rinse the tub with hot water and let it slide down the drain. Make sure to let hot water run for a good 5 minute period. That will ensure you with the good results.

Conclusion: Unclogging a Bathtub Drain with Standing Water

As we can see, getting rid of the clog inside a bathtub full of standing water isn’t that hard after all. All you need to do is to pick a method that suits you the most and follow the instructions.

Be sure to do it as we described or you won’t get the wanted results.