Dirty bathtub drains fill up with hair, soap scum, and other grime over time. Eventually, all that gunk creates clogs and other annoying plumbing problems. The best way to avoid bathtub clogs and the problems associated with them is to clean your bathtub drain regularly. We recommend one of two easy and consistent ways to clean your bathtub drain. Here’s how they both work, step by step:

How do I clean my bathtub drain with a drain claw?

Drain claws are a tool that consists of a long, flexible wire with an auger on one end. This auger includes dozens of interlocking hooks that give the claw the ability to grab things from within the pipe. Drain claws are flexible and easy to use, which makes them ideal for bathtub drain cleaning. Here’s how you use one:

  • Unscrew and remove the strainer or stopper. You may have to unscrew your strainer or stopper using your screwdriver, or you may be able to remove it more easily. Remove your strainer or stopper before proceeding.
  • Remove any excess waste left behind after the strainer or stopper’s removal. You can use a small rag or towel to wipe out any cumbersome gunk.
  • Insert the drain claw. Put it in the now-clear opening and push it downward. Eventually, you’ll hit the drain trap, which a curved section of the drain itself. Your drain claw should be flexible enough to bend through the drain trap’s curve. Keep pushing until you’ve fit the entire drain claw into the drain.
  • Pull it out. All the small interlocking hooks on the outside of your tool will grab blockages like hair and soap scum on its way through. When you pull your drain claw out, clean off the debris it pulled with it. Pulling out all this gunk should have cleaned out your drain. All you have to do after that is put the stopper or strainer back and test.

How do I clean my bathtub drain using baking soda?

Baking soda is such an effective home cleaning remedy that it’s almost magical. Here’s how you can use it to clean your bathroom drain:

  • Remove the strainer or stopper and clean it off. Pull out the strainer or stopper, run it underwater, and wipe it down. Set it aside somewhere where you won’t lose it so it’s easy to put back when you’re done.
  • Boil water. Boil as much water as you can, because you may need a lot of it.
  • Pour the water into the drain. Be careful! Pour slowly to keep the boiling water from overflowing out of the bathtub. What you’re doing is essentially “prepping” the drain for the introduction of the baking soda mixture.
  • Pour a quarter cup baking soda and then a full cup of vinegar into the drain. The ensuing chemical reaction will create intense bubbling that will help clear out any gunk within the drain.
  • Boil more water and pour it down again. You’ll wash away any leftover baking soda, vinegar, and gunk. If all goes well, your drain should be sparkling clean and clear.

If neither of these at-home remedies work because your clog is too large, then it’s time to call in the professionals. A professional drain cleaning service like the ones provided by the experts at Ben Franklin Plumbing can make all the difference. Give us a call anytime!