Thursday, August 22, 2013
Tutorial on cleaning a bathtub drain
You’re standing in the shower up to your ankles in water. After your shower or bath the tub takes F-o-r-e-v-e-r to drain or maybe there’s a funky smell in your shower that you just can’t narrow in on, and even after you clean the bathroom your nose says something still isn’t right. Your drain has become slow and you might be thinking you need to pick up a bottle of drain-o or maybe even call in a plumber. But wait! Before you waste any money on this problem, why not give it a shot at fixing the problem yourself- for FREE!! It’s not difficult, although it might be a little gross. Some of you will find great satisfaction in doing this. I kinda do.
Here are the tools you will need to do the job. A screwdriver (depending on your drain you may need a phillips head instead of a flat head), A pair of skinny pliers, some baking soda(mine is from Target, and you’ve never bought your baking soda at Target, you should, the Market Pantry brand is super cheap, like .29 cents), some vinegar, and a few paper towels.
Begin by looking at your drain. Your plug might look different than mine, but they all pretty much are the same in that they unscrew, and then have a screw underneath that you can remove. I start by removing the top part, that says push on it. I simply unscrew it with my hand.
Under that it looked like this.
I put a screwdriver in and removed the insert.
Under that you will generally see a +, you may not be able to see it if there is a lot of hair built up. This + is the reason that hair gets caught up. I am doing my teenage daughter’s drain today and she has really long hair. Long hair means she uses lots of shampoo and conditioner. Using lots of shampoo and conditioner causes a build up of gunk in the drain, along with a bunch of hair washing down together, and it’s no wonder that the water can no longer get down the drain! Now comes the gross part. I’m not going to lie, sometimes the hair, soap, and conditioners smell really bad when you pull them out. They’re starting to rot. Put your paper towels down in the tub along side of the drain, and pick up your pliers. Insert them into the drain and pinch and then pull up. You should come up with a clump of hair. Make a face and put it in the paper towel. Continue doing this until the drain looks clear. I sometimes use a combination of the screwdriver and the pliers if I can’t reach all the hair, and if you don’t have skinny pliers, you may be able to just use your screwdriver, but the pliers are easier.
Here is the grossness that I got today.
Puke right?? The sad part is I did this less than six months ago. It’s not really anyone’s fault and has nothing to do with how clean you are or how often you clean your tub. It just accumulates where no one can see it , and until the drain starts having trouble, you don’t really think about it.
Moving on. . .
The next thing I do is just a great maintenance item. I pour about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, and then pour in vinegar until it bubbles up to the top of the drain. I leave that for about 15 minutes, and then pour really hot water (not quite to boiling) down the drain. This will help disinfect the drain and clean it too. That’s all there is, now reassemble your plug in reverse of what you needed to do to get it apart.
Now turn on your water and watch it go down the drain beautifully. Pat yourself on the back because you just save yourself some money, and by the way, Drain-o won’t clear up this type of problem anyway, it’s not a clog stuck in the drain, it’s stuck on that little + .
I know this is a little gross and if you don’t have the stomach for it, ask your hubby to give it a try before you call someone!
Now the next time your drain runs slow, you will know just what to do. Hope you found this helpful! I appreciate you stopping by.