Should This Go Down the Tub/Shower Drain?

What Clogs Shower Drains: Here’s What You Can and Can’t Put Down the Drain

In an ideal world, your shower or tub would always drain perfectly, no matter what went down it. However, your shower drain can’t handle everything. So, what’s safe to go down, and what will cause a clog?

Here are the answers for a few of the everyday things that might go down your drain.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Tub or Shower Drain

Long hair, dead skin cells, and even soap scum can all clog your shower drain over time, though a little can be washed down every shower. Beyond that, here are answers to the most common questions about what can and shouldn’t go down your tub or shower.

Will Shaving in the Shower Clog the Drain?

Yes, shaving can absolutely leave a shower drain clogged with hair. Hair doesn’t dissolve in water, and shaving can put a lot of hair into your pipes. Short, shaved hairs can cluster with other debris in the drain, leading to a bathtub drain clogged with hair or making an existing clog worse. You can install a drain screen to filter out as much hair as possible, but you’ll need to clean it after each shower.

Do Bath Bombs Clog Drains?

Yes, bath bombs can clog your drains, especially if they have add-ins like glitter or flower pieces. Not all of the bath bomb ingredients will dissolve in water. Essential oils, cornstarch, and cocoa butter, among others, can all leave chunks that won’t wash down the drain with the rest of your soap. Even oily bubble baths can clog your drains – meaning if you want to extend the life of your drain, the best way to unwind in the bathtub is with a pleasantly scented candle instead.

How to Bathe a Dog without Clogging the Drain

Pet hair will clog your drain just as easily as human hair, but with summer weather in Cincinnati, you can wash your dog outside with a kiddie pool and a hose. Once temperatures start dropping, you’ll need to move inside, and that’s okay. You can avoid clogging your bathtub drain by brushing your pet before the bath and using a pet hair drain cover to trap the wet fur and keep it out of your bathtub drain. You can find covers online or at pet stores (or use a human hair catcher). Be sure you clean out the cover after every dog bath.

Can You Pour Bleach Down the Shower Drain?

Bleach and other harsh cleaners may not clog your drain, but they can damage your piping. Bleach may react with other substances already in your pipes, releasing potentially toxic fumes. If you need to clean your shower, we recommend using enzymatic cleaners, manually removing clogs, and opting for natural solutions like vinegar and baking soda.

If you encounter a tough clog, call on the pros for expert drain cleaning.

Will Your Shower Drain Get Clogged with Dirt?

Yes, dirt and mud can clog your drains. Whether you’ve got a dirty job or spent a day doing yardwork, sometimes your shower has to handle a lot of dirt. Whenever possible, shake as much of it off outside as you can. If it’s a warm summer day in Cincinnati, reach for the outdoor hose to wash off the excess before coming inside. Even in the cold winter, try wiping down with a damp rag as much as possible before showering.

How to Clear a Clogged Shower Drain

If you run into a minor clog, you can try clearing it in a few ways:

  • Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain.

  • Pour a 1:1 mix of vinegar and baking soda into the drain, let sit for 15 minutes, and wash down with hot water.

  • Manually remove the clog with a bent wire or drain hook.

  • Use a sink plunger over the drain.

  • Use a natural or enzymatic drain cleaner.


Need help with a clogged drain? Call in professional plumbers to handle stubborn clogs.

What to Do if You Dropped Something Down the Shower Drain

Things can get slippery in the shower, so something may go down the drain that isn’t supposed to, including earrings, shampoo caps, razors, and more. Turn off the water immediately to keep the item as close to the surface as possible. If you can, carefully fish out the object with your hand, a bent wire, or a drain hook. You can also try using an empty, wet/dry vacuum with a hose attachment. If you can’t remove the object, call your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to make sure it won’t cause problems in your pipes.

Call the Experts for a Clogged Shower Drain

When facing a tough or recurring clog, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Cincinnati. We’ve got the tools and expertise to tackle your clogged bathtub drain. Ready to shower without worrying about backflow from a clogged drain? Call us at (513) 813-4992 or book online today.