At-Home Remedies For A Clogged Bathtub Drain

If you have a slow or clogged drain in your bathtub, you don't necessarily need to call a plumber to clear the clog. Instead, you should first try to clean the drain on your own. Often, you can use at-home remedies to clear the drain and save yourself the cost of calling a plumber. At least you can assure yourself that you did everything you could do on your own so that you feel justified in calling a plumber. 

The Science Project

If you have ever been to a science fair that features a volcano, then you have likely seen the effects of mixing vinegar and baking soda. If you are one of the few that has never seen a vinegar volcano, then just know that when you mix vinegar with baking soda, you create a chemical reaction that creates gas and heat as byproducts.

You can use this reaction to your advantage to help clear a drain. Pour about a cup of vinegar down the drain and then follow it up with about a cup of baking soda. Place the plug on the drain immediately to create an airtight seal. The heat created by the reaction will help to break down any chemical sludge that is creating a block and the pressure created by the gas will help to force loosened material down the drain. You should follow his treatment up by pouring a pan full of boiling water down the train to continue to break up sludge and carry the blockage away. 

The Plug Treatment

If you have a bathtub plug that you turn until it rests against the drain, hair and other particles can get caught in the drain assembly. Follow these steps to clear the drain:

1. Remove the knob on the top of the drain (using pliers if necessary) to expose a screw that holds the plug in place. Place the knob to one side where you can easily find it later.

2. Remove the screw and place the screw with the knob. 

3. Remove the drain plug and place it with the other items you have removed. 

4. Use needle-nose pliers to pull out any hair that is caught in the drain assembly.

5. Once you have removed all the hair you can reach, start to fill up your bathtub.

6. When there is enough water in the tub to allow you to create a seal against the tub with a plunger, use the plunger to break up any remaining blockage in the drain.

7. Flush the drain with water for a few minutes to make sure the dislodged clog does not just settle a little ways down the drain.

8. Once you have cleared the clog, you can reassemble the drain by putting the plug in place, replacing the screw, and then replacing the top knob. 

Even if you have no experience in making home repairs, you should be able to complete the repairs described above. If you attempt these repairs and still don't have a free-flowing drain, then you should check out a website like to get some more help.