4 Proven Tips To Unclog A Bathtub [With Video Instructions]

12 min read

Unclogging a bathtub means unclogging the bathtub drain actually. Over the period of time, any bathtub drain may get clogged due to so many reasons. You don’t have to do something unusual in the tub to make the drain clogged.

The hair, soap, and other hair care products will clog the tub drain. If you are not too careful about that, it’s just a matter of time that you will end up with a clogged bathtub.

You really should be concerned about a clogged bathtub. It’s not just a matter of personal hygiene, there are dangerous health issues as well. Before it gets too late, you should take immediate steps to unclog it.

How To Unclog A Bathtub?

how to unclog a bathtub

Depending on how stubborn the clog is, you may need to apply several techniques to solve the problem. If the problem is in its primary stage, you will be able to solve it easily without using any plumbing equipment.

But if the clog is a hard nut to crack, you may need to use the plunger or even the plunger snake as well. I will give you 4 solutions to unclog your bathtub. You should start in an orderly fashion.

Using Your Finger To Unclog Your Tub

Yep, you heard me right. If the problem is visible, you can unclog your tub using just your fingers. Since you will be using your fingers, don’t forget to wear gloves. Most of the time, you tub drain will get clogged because of a big hairball or soap.

If you can see it, just remove it from the drain using your fingers. Now, check your tub to see whether the problem is fixed. Most of the time it should work just like magic. If it is not, then follow the next step.

Using Plunger To Unclog The Tub

I am pretty sure you already have a plunger. If not, get one. You will be needing it every now and then. It’s pretty handy equipment to fix a lot of clogging problems. But before using it, make sure you have removed all the visible blockage from your tub drain.

Also, remove all the standing water from the tub as well before using the plunger. Locate the overflow drain of your tub. It is usually located right under the faucet.

The overflow drain of your bathtub is the big challenge for successful plunging the tub drain. Since the plunger will work based on the suction power, you need to seal the overflow drain first.

Use duct tape to seal the overflow drain. Once you are sure the overflow drain is properly sealed, get ready for plunging. Remove the stopper from the bottom tub drain. Place the plunger cup over the tub drain.

This is a very tricky and important part. Unless you can properly seal the tub drain with the cup of the plunger, this method won’t work.

Make sure the plunger cup covers the entire surface of the drain. The seal between the plunger cup and the drain is critical because that seal will create the suction power for the plunger.

Once the seal is established, you need to start plunging. Using quick and forceful strokes, push the plunger down and pull it up. Do it for 5 to 6 times.

This will make the drain water move up and down along with the blockage materials. Ultimately, the blockage will loosen up and your bathtub will be unclogged. Watch this video on how to unclog bathtub using plumber.

Using Plunger Snake To Unclog The Tub

If the plunger can’t fix your problem, then the problem is really critical and you need to use the plunger snake. Do you have any prior experience using the plunger snake? The technique is almost the same as unclogging any flushing toilet using a plunger snake.

Using the plunging snake is pretty simple. Remove the drain cover if it is already not. Insert the plunging snake into the drain and keep feeding the snake until it meets some resistance in the pipe.

You have two options once your plunger snake meets the resistance. Either you can move down the blockage down the drain or try to break the clog apart. Both will unclog your bathtub.

After meeting the resistance from the drain, turn it counterclockwise. If you still notice no result at all, now you need to use any good quality home remedy drain cleaner. Watch this video to learn how to use a plunger snake to unclog a bathtub.

Unclogging The Tub Without Harsh Chemicals

If any of the above-mentioned methods don’t work for you, only then you should try this method. I don’t recommend using any harsh cleaning agent to unclog your bathtub because it may result in corrosion in the tub drain.

For this method to work, all you need are baking soda, vinegar (1 cup), and hot water. Nothing of these 3 items will do any harm to your bathtub. So, you can apply it without fearing to damage your tub further.

Now, this is what you have to do…

  1. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the tub drain.
  2. After that, slowly pour ½ cup of vinegar as well. Remember, I said slowly! Do you notice some fizzing sound happening down there?
  3. Cover the drain if the fizzing is happening and wait until the fizzing stop.
    Follow step 2 again.
  4. Wait for at least 30 minutes and prepare the hot water.
  5. After the 30 minutes, pour the hot water down the drain. And voila! It should unclog your bathtub.

Effect of Standing Water In The Tub

Standing water in your tub may cause several other problems. It’s a good place for the insects like mosquitoes and flies to grow. Don’t forget insects like mosquitoes and flies carry heartworms and tapeworms.

Apart from spreading diseases, it can be a reason to grow mold and mildew to grow in the tub. Even your powerful exhaust fan can’t solve the problem of growing mold and mildew if there is standing water in the tub for several days. Mold and mildew can cause a breathing hazard for you and your family members.


In a very short informative article, I tried to explain all the possibilities to unclog your bathtub. Unless the case is extreme, you should have successfully unclogged your tub using any of the above methods.

I have also added the instructional videos so that you can understand the process easily. No matter how amateur you are at the DIY home project, you should be able to follow all the methods.
Remember, all the methods mentioned above are proven to work. If nothing works for you, you should call a professional plumber.

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