How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain - 7 easy ways

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain – tips for beginners

Each of the flat owners has at least once encountered an unpleasant problem: clogged drains. It is complicated by the fact that the shower drain or toilet drain blockage does not allow you to use all plumbing appliances in the apartment, including the bathroom.

Also, the bath can be contaminated with sewage entering it through a clogged drainpipe. Exposure to untreated wastewater is one of the leading causes of intestinal disease. Wastewater contains about 100 different types of viruses.

It is in addition to many other pathogens such as the bacteria it contains. Therefore, timely and rapid elimination of blockage in the bathroom is an important and urgent issue. So in this article, we will tell you how to unclog toilet and bathtub drain.

Many chemical and mechanical means are provided for such work. You can remove blockages of almost any complexity without the participation of a plumber, solely on your own. To begin with, it is worth getting acquainted with the methods that are available to most home craftsmen.

So let’s get started.

What is the reason for the appearance of blockages?

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

It doesn’t matter if the accumulated toilet paper or an accidental foreign object is to blame, blockages in the toilet still happen often. The action plan depends on the specific case. In emergency situations, when toilet water flows over the edge, you should not even try to fix the situation and begin to unclog a toilet, but you should immediately call the utility service. But a small problem can be handled without outside help.

As for the polluted sewer pipes, we can also say that this is a problem that will not be neglected and special attention should be paid. After all, if you do not perform the necessary actions in a timely manner, you can find a lot of problems with plumbing. A clogged drain means that most likely the water that seems to flow into the pipes will return to the bath and it will be very unpleasant for you to wash when mold with hair and soapy water climb out of the drain hole.

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In general, we can say that the main culprits of the fact that shower drains are clogged are clumps of hair falling into the bath; leftover food falling into the sink, and a lot of toilet paper that is thrown into the toilet.

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

The clog forms a slow drain of water, preventing water from flowing properly which in general is not a very pleasant prospect.

The first signs that you are the owner of the clog in the plumbing pipes

It is very easy to recognize that you have a clogged drain. Here are the first and main signs signaling this:

  • There is no proper toilet flushing
  • The water leaves the shower or bathroom sink very slowly, which is why you have to “swim” in dirty unfulfilled water
  • Suddenly, a terrible smell appeared out of nowhere, bathroom sink smells like rotten eggs, and you couldn’t understand the reason for its appearance
  • Suddenly the water in the kitchen sink surfaced along with a lot of leftovers or food debris.
How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

If you have recognized at least one problem in your case, then you may begin to suspect that your drain is clogged and needs to be unclogged.

Action plan after detection of drains with clogs

First, you need to make sure that there is no excess garbage in your drainage. You can look into the drain (located under the drain cap as in the bathroom sink), and shine a flashlight there. If everything is clean, fine, but if you find garbage or other things there that do not allow the drain to function normally, you need to get rid of them immediately.

For convenience, we suggest you use paper clips or small plastic hooks. They are sold in any hardware store.

After this step has been completed, it is recommended to check several times whether your drain is in an open state. Make sure there is enough space in the pipe for water to flow. To perform this action, first, find out what type of drain and stopper you have. Some types of drains have a stopper.

It can be completely unscrewed and removed. In many bath-showers, there is a switch. It is usually located under the tap and is responsible for opening and closing the drain. You need to make sure that your drain is not blocked by a stopper. Unclogging the bathroom sink overflow hole is also necessary.

And when all of the above actions are correctly performed, you may still not get rid of the blockage problem. What to do in this case? Unclog!

Can I take toilet bowl cleaner to unclog a bathtub drain?

We do not recommend using this substance to clean your toilet because using toilet bowl cleaner puts your health at risk while cleaning. The air that you will inhale can damage the respiratory tract.

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Is the toilet and tub drain connected?

The water from the toilet normally goes into the sewer line. Then this water goes from the sewer line into the main sewer line or “sewer main”. So in case you see backing up water in your toilet that means that you have a clogged sewer main.

Since something is blocking the wastewater, it has no other choice but to back up. Since your toilet is set higher, the water is more likely to rise out of the lower tub or shower drain.

7 easy ways how to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

Now we can start the process of drains unclogging themselves. Arm yourself with gloves and heed our detailed instructions!

Manual blockage remove

In most cases, the blockage is eliminated in a very easy way. You just see the clog and take it out with your own hands, wearing rubber gloves or using something that will be convenient to pick up a clog.

Use a drain snake

Buy a drain snake at the hardware store and use it to pull out the clog in your drain. Then clean the drain snake properly. Also, there is a plastic snake that can help you to unclog a clogged toilet.

Use a plunger

This is a great solution not only for the clogged toilets but for the kitchen sinks, too. Completely cover the drain opening with the plunger and then make 6 even, up-and-down thrusts, keeping the seal intact. Then usually after this action, the water drains away but there are cases when you need to repeat the process.

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

Use a pot of boiling water

Usually, after using the above methods, in case of failure, boiling water can be used. Pour boiling water to dissolve soap or grease that can become a plug inside your drain.

Use a natural drain cleaner

The good old-school method always is the best solution. We mean, you can use one cup of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda to make a special substance to unclog your drain. You just need first to pour the baking soda and then pour the vinegar.

Then plug the hole immediately and wait for at least an hour. Then pour boiling water and you are done.

Remove and clean the drain trap

Sometimes blockages can play a cruel joke on you. They may be in hard-to-reach places and it will be difficult to identify them. For example, one of these places is a drain trap – a U-shaped pipe. It is located under the sink, and to get close to the blockage, you will need to detach this pipe, clean it and screw it back in.

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

What should I do to prevent clogging my toilet and shower?

The First Rule

The most primitive elementary and cheap method of protection from clogged shower drains will be the purchase of a hair catcher or drain cover for a shower and a mesh for a sink. Then food, lumps of hair, and other debris will not gather and form a blockage.

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The Second Rule

Another simple way to prevent clogging of your pipes will be the following rule. Just try not to allow extra-large debris particles to get into the pipes or shower drain from your bathtub or sink.

The Third Rule

From time to time we recommend you to use the natural cleaning method with vinegar and baking soda, which was described above. Also, make it a habit to keep the water on a little longer if shampoo or toothpaste gets into the pipe.

Should I call Expert Plumbers?

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

Finally, when you have tried all sorts of methods of how you can unclog clogged drains yourself and nothing worked, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

The situation may worsen and lead to irreparable consequences if you do not solve the problem in time. For example, tree roots could grow in your pipes, so you can’t get rid of them on your own. Professional plumbers definitely will help you.

How to unclog toilet and bathtub drain

3 tips for preventing clogs

  • Utilize Drain Traps: Clogged shower drains are often caused by hair. To prevent this, use an affordable rubber or plastic drain cover to catch hair strands after each shower. In the kitchen, a mesh drain trap can capture larger food particles, making them easy to dispose of and keeping your sink clear.
  • Avoid Washing Down Excess Waste: Resist the urge to dispose of waste like dustbin contents or rug dirt in the shower, as larger debris can worsen clogs. Items such as seeds, pits, and nuts can damage dishwasher filters and sink drains. Moreover, stringy vegetables and cooking oils can cause significant build-up in your pipes, creating stubborn clogs.
  • Maintain Drains Regularly: Keeping your drains clean will ensure they remain in optimal condition and odor-free. Store distilled white vinegar or baking soda in your bathroom for regular use. Periodically pour either or both down the drain, especially during thorough seasonal cleanings, followed by a burst of hot water. Also, let the water run slightly longer after each use to prevent any residue from settling in the drain.


And yet we hope that all of the above methods have helped you and you can enjoy the correct operation of your drains again! We believe that this article was useful for you.


How do you unclog a toilet that’s backing up into the bathtub?

Use a drain snake.

Why is my toilet and bathtub clogged at the same time?

When they happen at the same time, it’s usually because of a sewer main blockage.

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