Tips for Unclogging a Bathtub Drain

There is almost nothing more annoying than getting in the shower to start your day and realizing that you forgot about unclogging the bathtub drain as the water fills up around your ankles. A bathtub that won’t drain is not only annoying but also unsanitary as all the dirt, grime and germs are left to fester in your tub long after you get out. Standing water in your tub leaves it dirty and will make it look disgusting pretty fast.

It is important for all homeowners to know some DIY tips for unclogging a bathtub drain.

Causes for a Clogged Drain

The number one cause for clogged bathtub drains is long hair. While a tub strainer will catch most hair from going down the drain, it does not stop all of it. Long hair combined with soap residue, shampoo, conditioner or shaving cream is a clog waiting to happen. When clumps of hair start to form, it just attracts more hair to it as it balls up and forms a clog in the drain.

Even without long hair, the residue, dirt, or sand from showering can clog a bathtub drain quickly with a big family or even just a few people showering daily. If this happens frequently in your house, you might consider replacing the tub stopper if it isn’t working properly. Especially do not leave a tub drain with no strainer over the drain hole as you have no protection in stopping hair and debris from falling in your drain.

Remove the Stopper or Strainer

e of the first things you can do is to remove the stopper or strainer covering the drain to see if you can see what is blocking it from draining. Sometimes you might see a clump of hair or gunk that you pull out with your hands (with some latex gloves on), or you can use a handy little inexpensive tool called a plastic drain stick. You can usually find one of these for under $5 at any hardware store and simply stick it down into the clogged up hair and pull it out.

You might try a plunger over the drain to see if you can dislodge a clog and flush it with a pot of hot, boiling water. If your stopper is full of gunk and hair, you can clean it or replace it. It’s a lot easier than you may think to replace a tub stopper with a new strainer to help prevent hair and debris from entering your drain.

How to Install a New Tub Drain Stopper

There are nice, high-quality bathtub drain stoppers available today that are easy to install for any DIY homeowner. Watco is a name well known by professional plumbers for delivering quality tub drain repair products that last and come with easy installation. Watco tub stoppers like the SimpliQuick Tub Fix® are easy for anyone to install in just minutes and even come with an option to install over a drain with broken crossbars without having to remove your current drain strainer body. has all the Watco tub repair products including replacement stoppers and quality faucets and hydrants from Woodford like the Y34 IOWA® Yard Hydrant. makes it easy to repair or upgrade your bathtub in minutes with Watco tub repair products and an online video library to show you how to install them. Watco tub stoppers are backed by a 5-year limited warranty and come in many beautiful finish options. Contact us today to learn more about