How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain | A Detail Step By Step Guide


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Is there anything quite worse than having a slow bathtub drain? The bathwater does not drain, the bad smell takes over the house, and the headaches appear. Want to learn how to fix a slow bathtub drain and get rid of the problem? Check out below!

As careful as you may be, the bathtub drain is always an easy target for clogging. That’s because, while you shower, hair strands fall down the drain and end up tangled in the pipe walls and, with the accumulation; they can form large tangles and interrupt the watercourse.

Also, there is still the fat and small residues that leave your body during the bath, in addition to bits of soap and the like, which, when accumulating with the hair, prevents water passage, slowing the drainage and causing the clogging and bad smell.

How to Prevent Clogging and Having a Slow Bathtub Drain?

Although there is no way to prevent these residues from draining with water, some simple actions can help avoid plugging the drain.

One way is always to shower, remove the strands of hair left in the drain and throw them in the trash. Please do not wait for them to accumulate for several days before doing this, as, indeed, more strands will be able to slip into the pipes. Cleaning a stone tile shower is vital you can check the process now!

It is also vital that when carrying out weekly cleaning in the bathroom, you always remove the grate from the drain and remove all strands and residues that are standing on it and around the pipe. Take the opportunity to wash this grill with the help of a brush, water, and liquid detergent. In addition to helping prevent clogging, this also helps keep the place cleaner and away from the bad smell caused by waste’s disintegration.

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain

Despite taking measures to prevent clogging, you may still end up with a Slow Bathtub Drain. You are taking a bath, and you find that the water is stagnant or the drainage is slower. Don’t worry; unclogging the pipes in a bathtub is very easy to do. It is not necessary to call a plumber for this problem. You will see in this guide, step by step, what must be done to fix it.

In the bathrooms, the drain valve and the siphon are recessed under the bathtub. The consequence is that it is impossible to disassemble the siphon from below. As in the case of a washbasin or a sink it is accessed from above in a bathtub, removing the plug that closes the drain that allows it to be filled. This is what frequently clogs the pipes of this sanitary fixture, as earlier highlighted:

  • The hairs;
  • The fatty waste of beauty products, shower gel, shaving cream, etc.
  • sand (most especially in coastal homes);

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain: Steps for the realization 

Remove the drain plug

Remove the plug from the drain. Generally, the drain valve plug is removed by simply pulling it out, but sometimes it is connected to the valve’s opening and closing mechanism.

In this case, the cap is unscrewed by hand. Underneath, there is a kind of grid; it is the one that retains the largest debris that obstructs the drain of a bathtub.

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain

Remove accessible and inaccessible materials

Remove any material or debris at the bottom of the drain. These are dirty, slimy, tangled, and have to be pulled to remove as much as possible. This obstructs the passage of water, so it is necessary to remove as much as possible.

Then remove the subjects that are not accessible by hand. Use the tip of the pliers to catch what remains, and then use a metal hanger. Unfold it and make a small hook at one end and insert it into the drain to reach the siphon. It is easiest to use a spring plunger that functions as a probe that can be up to 6 m long and includes a plunger end.

To catch whatever materials you can, spin the wire around itself, the debris will wrap around the wire or spring, and finally pull the wire out to remove the materials causing the jam.

Repeat this until you can’t remove anything else. This technique helps wrap what is not accessible around the wire or the spring while removing every pile of hair and fat representing most of the bathtub drain clogs.

Check the drainage, use the suction cup and pour hot water

Run the water and check if it drains properly. However, some parts of the jam may remain. To complete the cleaning, put a suction cup on the drain, force it to remove portions of the clog. Greases are likely fixed on the walls of the pipe.

Boil water in a saucepan and pour it into the pipe. The heat also liquefies these residues, and the water dislodges them.

slow draining tub not clogged

Use a pipe plunger

If the clog persists, you have the chemical method that consists of adding a cleaning product (generally based on caustic soda) to act on the materials that remain.

This product is usually in liquid form or the form of small crystals. Attention, these products are dangerous for humans, and you must use specific protections: gloves and safety glasses, and a respiratory mask. Also, read the instructions for use that are on the package carefully. Pour it into the pipes and let it act for 15 to 30 minutes. You should also know that the use of these products is harmful to the environment.

There are green alternatives such as a mixture of bicarbonate and white vinegar, as well as salt.

bathtub won't drain tried everything

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain with Bicarbonate and Vinegar 

Bicarbonate and vinegar are quite efficient in solving problems with simpler clogging when organic residues cause them. Judging from a sampling of comments online when someone used it, this solution can be said to work for about 45% of the time.

How to make it?

  • In a container, mix half a glass of bicarbonate and the same measure of a cup of vinegar;
  • Pour the mixture into the drain, and wait for about 20 minutes for the chemical drain cleaner reaction to take effect;
  • Finish by pouring one liter of hot water at a time. Check out this blog post to flush out a tank-less hot water heater.

The mixture’s action will cause the residues to disintegrate and pass more easily down the drain, allowing water passage.

slow bathtub drain drano not working

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain with salt 

First of all, it is important to warn that this unblocking method with salt can damage your drain if made of metal, stainless steel, golden or silver paint, as the salt is corrosive. So be careful not to use this method too often. Plastic drains will not suffer from the action of salt, on the other hand. Kitchen salt is an excellent ally at the time of drain unclogging and fixing a slow sink drain.

See the benefits it has when used in plumbing: 

Cleaning the pipeline

Salt is dehydrating and has the power to break down the enzymes in the dough created by the products you use and your body oils, thus cleaning and unclogging the pipe. 

Preventing bad smell

If you feel a bad smell coming from the drain, the water is probably not stopping at the entrance of the drain siphon, thus freeing the space for the smell to rise. You can use salt to solve this problem. 

Killing cockroaches and bacteria 

In addition to salt’s cleaning power, it has bactericidal and fungicidal properties. It eliminates organic matter and thus keeping cockroaches away. 

Getting rid of the mosquitoes in the bathroom

Mosquitoes usually feed on bacteria that generally come from drains and toilets. When they appear on the bathroom walls, it is a sign that you need general cleaning. Throw salt into your bathroom drains twice a month to repel cockroaches or other insects attracted by dirt. 

Now see how to use table salt in fixing a slow bathtub drain in your home:
  • Put the salt in the drain; 
  • Put some vinegar; 
  • Pour a little hot water right into the drain hole so as not to lose heat; 
  • Let it stay for 10 minutes. 
  • When you pour hot water, you can already smell the stench rising through the steam.

The solution starts to work, and you can hear the fermentation noise inside the pipe.

This solution will dissolve the fat and mass stuck to the pipe, unblocking and disinfecting the pipe. 

Replace the drain cover or plug and check the drainage

At this point, the pipes will already be clean. Put the plug back into the bathtub drain and run the water. Drainage should be fluid, and there should be no more water retention in the bathtub. If so, congratulations! You have fixed the slow bathtub drain problem.

How to Fix a Slow Bathtub Drain: FAQ Section

What is good for a slow draining tub?

To fix a slow draining tub, you can use the following:

  • Suction cup 
  • Hot water
  • Pipe plunger
  • Bicarbonate and vinegar 
  • Salt
  • Plumbing snake

Why does my bathtub drain so slowly?

Your bathtub usually drains so slow due to the accumulation of the following:

  • Hairs;
  • Fatty waste of beauty products, shower gel, shaving cream, etc.;
  • Sand;
  • Soap scum

How do you unclog a bathtub drain naturally?

To unclog a bathtub drain naturally, you can make use of bicarbonate and vinegar or salt. As earlier highlighted, combining these with hot water will unclog a bathtub drain naturally.


Finally, a sluggish bathtub drain is usually a significant inconvenience. Fortunately, you can usually clear blocked or slow-draining tub drains in just 5 minutes without using any chemicals or hiring a $100 expert. Additionally, you will learn more about quickly correcting this owing to the above-mentioned solution.medy highlighted above, you will discover more about fixing this easily.

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