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How to Clean a Smelly Shower Drain: Easy Tips and Tricks

Is your shower drain emitting a foul odour? The unpleasant smell can be caused by a build-up of hair, soap scum, and other debris that accumulates in the drain over time.

If left unattended, the smell can become unbearable and affect the overall hygiene of your bathroom!

Fortunately, cleaning a smelly shower drain is a simple task that you can easily accomplish using a few household items.

One effective method of cleaning a smelly shower drain is by using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

This DIY solution helps to break down the build-up in the drain and neutralise any unpleasant odours.

Another method is to use a commercial drain cleaner that is specifically designed for shower drains.

However, it is important to read the instructions carefully and use the product as directed to avoid damaging your pipes!





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    Identifying the Source of the Odour

    Drain Inspection

    The first step in cleaning a smelly shower drain is to inspect the drain for any visible signs of blockage or buildup.

    ou can do this by removing the drain cover and using a flashlight to look inside the drain. Look for any hair, soap scum, or other debris that may be causing the odour.

    Use a pair of gloves to remove any visible blockages.

    Common Causes

    If you can’t find any visible blockages, the odour may be caused by other factors.

    Here are some common causes of smelly shower drains:

    • Bacteria: Bacteria can grow in the drain and produce a foul odour. This can be caused by a buildup of organic material such as hair, soap, and skin cells.

    • Mold or Mildew: Moisture in the shower can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, which can produce a musty odour.

    • Sewer Gas: If the odour smells like rotten eggs, it may be caused by sewer gas. This can happen if the P-trap, which is designed to prevent sewer gas from entering your home, is dry or damaged.

    • Old Pipes: If your pipes are old, they may be corroded or damaged, which can cause odours to seep into your home.

    Identifying the source of the odour is the first step in cleaning a smelly shower drain.

    Once you have identified the cause, you can take steps to clean and prevent future odours.

    Basic Cleaning Techniques

    If you’re experiencing a smelly shower drain, there are a few basic cleaning techniques that you can try before calling in a professional plumber.

    Here are two methods that you can use to clean your shower drain:

    1. Boiling Water Method

    One of the easiest ways to clean a smelly shower drain is to pour boiling water down the drain.

    This method is effective at removing any buildup of soap scum, hair, or other debris that may be causing the unpleasant odour.

    Here’s how to do it:

    1. Bring a pot of water to a boil on your stove.
    2. Carefully pour the boiling water down the drain.
    3. Wait a few minutes for the water to work its magic.
    4. Turn on the shower to rinse away any remaining debris.

    2. Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

    Another effective method for cleaning a smelly shower drain is to use a baking soda and vinegar solution.

    This method is great for removing any buildup of grease, bacteria, or other biological material residue that may be causing the unpleasant odour.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain.
    2. Follow it up with one cup of distilled white vinegar.
    3. Wait at least 10 minutes for the mixture to work its magic.
    4. Flush the drain thoroughly with hot water.

    By using these basic cleaning techniques, you can keep your shower drain smelling fresh and clean.

    However, if these methods don’t work, you may need to call in a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem.

    Deep Cleaning the Drain

    If your shower drain is emitting a strong, unpleasant odour, it’s time to deep clean it.

    There are several methods you can use to do this, including manual removal of debris, chemical drain cleaners, and professional drain cleaning.

    Manual Removal of Debris

    One of the easiest ways to deep clean your shower drain is to manually remove any debris that may be causing the odour.

    To do this, you’ll need a pair of gloves, a bucket, and a small plastic or metal tool, such as a coat hanger or a screwdriver.

    1. Put on your gloves and remove the drain cover.
    2. Use your tool to carefully remove any visible debris from the drain, such as hair or soap scum. Be sure to place the debris in the bucket.
    3. Once you’ve removed as much debris as possible, pour hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining residue.

    Chemical Drain Cleaners

    If manual removal of debris doesn’t solve the problem, you can try using a chemical drain cleaner.

    However, it’s important to note that these products can be harmful to your skin and eyes, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wear gloves and eye protection.

    1. Choose a drain cleaner that is specifically designed for shower drains.
    2. Follow the instructions on the label carefully, pouring the recommended amount of cleaner down the drain.
    3. Wait the recommended amount of time before flushing the drain with hot water.

    Professional Drain Cleaning

    If manual removal of debris and chemical drain cleaners don’t work, it may be time to call in a professional.

    A plumber or drain cleaning service will have the tools and expertise necessary to deep clean your shower drain and eliminate any odours.

    1. Research and choose a reputable plumber or drain cleaning service.
    2. Schedule an appointment for them to come and assess the problem.
    3. Follow their recommendations for deep cleaning the drain.

    Preventative Measures

    If you want to keep your shower drain smelling fresh and clean, it’s important to take preventative measures.

    Here are some tips to help you maintain a clean and odour-free shower drain:

    Regular Maintenance

    Performing regular maintenance on your shower drain is key to preventing unpleasant odours.

    Make sure to remove any hair or debris that has accumulated in the drain.

    You can use a drain snake or plunger to dislodge any blockages.

    Natural Deodorisers

    Using natural deodorisers is a great way to keep your shower drain smelling fresh.

    Baking soda and white vinegar can be used to create a powerful cleaning solution.

    Simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar.

    Wait 10 minutes before flushing the drain with hot water.

    Proper Ventilation

    Proper ventilation is essential to preventing moisture buildup and unpleasant odours.

    Make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated by opening a window or turning on the exhaust fan during and after showering.

    This will help to prevent moisture from accumulating in the shower area.

    When to Call a Professional

    Cleaning a smelly shower drain can be a simple and straightforward process, but sometimes the issue can be more complex and require professional assistance.

    Here are some situations where it may be necessary to call in a professional:

    • Persistent foul odours: If you have tried various cleaning methods and the smell still persists, it may be time to call a professional. The odour could indicate a more serious issue, such as a clogged or damaged drain pipe. A professional can diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring that your shower drain is clean and odour-free.

    • Slow or clogged drains: If the water in your shower is slow to drain or not draining at all, it could be a sign of a clogged drain. While there are DIY methods to unclog a drain, such as using a plunger or drain snake, a professional can ensure that the clog is completely removed and that your drain is functioning properly.

    • Sewer line issues: If the smell is not just isolated to your shower drain but is present throughout your home, it could be a sign of a problem with your sewer line. This serious issue could require immediate attention from a professional plumber.

    It is important to remember that attempting to fix complex plumbing issues on your own can often make the problem worse.

    If you are unsure about the cause of the smelly shower drain or are unable to fix the issue on your own, it is always best to call in a professional like Jonny’s Drains to ensure that the problem is resolved safely and effectively.

    You can contact us here.

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