This week’s Simple Fix blog post would have really come in handy during our crazy college roommate days. Fortunately, these tried and true methods of unclogging a bathtub drain still hold up. So if you are struggling to keep your tub drain clear of hair and gunk, follow these simple steps.

What You’ll Need

What you’ll need may vary depending on the type of bathtub drain you have. So we’re going to walk you through directions for tubs with Pop-Up stoppers as well as those with a Strainer. But the following list of tools is all you’ll need, nonetheless.
simple fix tub

Tubs with a Pop-Up Stopper

Make sure the drain lever on your overflow plate cover is flipped up. Then begin twisting your stopper counterclockwise until you can pull it out of the drain completely. You should be able to visually identify the source of the clog. Remove the debris you can with your hands or needlenose pliers. If the water that may have backed up into the tub recedes or if water from the faucet drains smoothly, then you’ve successfully unclogged your tub drain.
pop up stopper

Tubs with a Strainer

Take your needlenose pliers and insert them into the holes of the strainer. Using a very firm grip, twist the pliers counterclockwise until you remove the strainer. As with the instructions above, identify the source of the clog and remove it with your pliers or hands. Watch to see if the water recedes easily.
tub strainer

Drain Still Clogged?

If your problem persists, take your flathead screwdriver and remove the overflow plate cover. Once the cover is removed, take your rag and stuff it nice and tightly into the opening where the coverplate was (as pictured below). This will lead to greater suction for the following step. Next, take some petroleum jelly and rub it around the rim of your plunger. Place you plunger over the drain in the tub (again, as pictured below). Make sure you have water in the tub, enough to cover the rubber cup portion of the plunger. If there isn’t any water in the tub, let the faucet run until the plunger cup is covered. Now, move the plunger up and down very quickly…maybe 10 or so times. Remove the plunger from the drain to see if the water recedes. If so, then you are all set – – problem solved.



Have any “hairy” bathroom repair stories or insights? Share them with us in the comment section below.