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Frugal attempts to unclog the shower drain!

Our shower drain has gotten rather clogged lately. So we’ve been attempting frugal solutions. Partially so that we don’t have to spend money and partially to avoid pouring strong chemicals into it.

Solution #1: (not terribly successful) Pour boiling water down the drain.

It’s worked before for a sink drain. But I guess whatever was in the tub drain was too strong. Since it’s just water, it’s chemically ideal.

Solution #2: Plunging it.

This worked for now. Mr. Micah put more water in the tub to create greater pressure on the blockage. Then he went after it several times with our plunger. I’ve seen that they create smaller drain-plungers which might work better. But this did the trick. We may invest in a little one sometime, I’ve seen them for about $7. Again, no chemicals.

Solution #3: (for the future) Combining baking soda and vinegar. Then run hot water to clean up the foam.

We don’t have any vinegar around right now, but I’m adding it to the shopping list. We could use some anyway. And as we learned in elementary school science class, baking soda and vinegar make lots of fun. But that’s better when the sink/tub has emptied. It won’t actually empty the water (unlike #2). I’ve heard that this can also work with alka seltzer and vinegar.


Anonymous October 1, 2007 at 1:21 am

Hi I hope your weekend is going better. I was told you can clean the drains with baking soda, vinager and hot water. Lemon juice is supposed to help too. If you decide on chemicals the local dollar store has a good drain opener like Drano. Did’nt you say you rent??? Landlords are supposed to do that for you for free. They are responisble for fixing things not you. This is why renting is wonderful for many people because, they do not have to pay for repairs, upkeep and property taxes. My friend gets free heat, water and garbage paid for her apartment. That saves a lot!! Good luck and don’t give up. Oh on debt there is a good book 101 ways to get out of debt at the dollar store. Have a nice week. Annette

Anonymous October 1, 2007 at 1:24 am

Two other ways are a $10.00 snake at your local hardware store such as ACE. Another way is with a free coat hanger (metal that you make into a snake).

Hilda October 1, 2007 at 8:18 am

Yikes, I hate clogs. I agree with Annette, call your landlord and he should take care of that for you.

Amanda October 1, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Hey! Tim and I had a HUGE HUGE shower clog (no showers for 2 or 3 days as Tim tried to fix the problem) and we tried everything. Bottles and bottles of draino max. No go. One of those pressurized dealies. No good. We tried the snake approach. Also no good.

So….. Tim just cut the pipe in the basement, unclogged all yuckiness and installed a trap at the incision for ease of access to future yuckiness. And all has been wonderful since. (I feel a country song coming on…. 🙂 )

Chitown October 1, 2007 at 2:43 pm

I think the plunger works very well combined with the vinegar and baking soda.

SavingDiva October 1, 2007 at 6:27 pm

My bathroom sink is clogged up…I think I’m going to call my apartment complex manager…man, I love renting!

Jon October 1, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I used a toilet plunger last time my shower drain got clogged. Don’t you love the wet mass of hair, lint and debris that spews forth? hehe

Nicola October 1, 2007 at 7:25 pm

We’ve had this problem and unfortunately had to go rent a snake.

Mrs. Micah October 1, 2007 at 7:30 pm

We would’ve called the apartment people, but there’s one lady in the office that I’m hiding from. We have an informal arrangement with the others that as long as there are 2 people living in the apartment (only 2 allowed) and the rent gets paid everything is ok. But one anal lady says that it has to be my dad and Mr. Micah. I earn the money but I’m not a good risk yet. *sighs*

She only knows because I mentioned something about decorating when we were touring it. I got around her by explaining that I’ll be living at home, technically, until I get a job. Just visiting Micah. Of course, I thought I’d get a job sooner.

Anyway, we’re scared of anal lady so we try to avoid calls. Probably irrational. We probably would have also called them if it had gotten worse.

The hanger snake didn’t work, unfortunately. I’ll have to remember to try the dollar store down the street if we ever do decide on chemicals.

Anonymous October 1, 2007 at 9:54 pm

You all can also find great inexpensive gadgets at They have special no chemical devices. You should never be afraid of your landlords. They may intimidate you to get out of fixing things. That is illegal. You should never let anyone walk allover you. It may be a city problem too such as a plugged city sewer line that the city would repair. I hope it is fixed before it gets worse and causes expensive water damage. Your personal life is none of anyone’s business. Take care and have a nice day. Annette

frugal zeitgeist October 2, 2007 at 12:24 am

Oh man. I cleaned out my bathroom sink drain right before I got sick. Worst. Job. Ever. I have long hair and am really careful about not letting it go down the sink, but evidently not careful enough.

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