In this article, you will learn about how to clean a smelly shower drain yourself. You may be surprised to discover it’s not as difficult as you may have imagined.

It is not uncommon to have a shower drain produce a very unpleasant smell once in a while.

Most times, the cause can be minor and can be easily taken care of without the services of a professional plumber. At other times, you may need to have an experienced plumber come over to the house to inspect and fix it.

How To Clean A Smelly Shower Drain

We will guide you step by step on how to clean your smelly shower drain, we will take a few moments and explain the possible reasons your shower drain is smelling as bad as it is presently.

What Causes Shower Drains To Smell So Bad And How To Get Rid Of The Odor

Imagine entering your bathroom to have a slow, warm bath after a very hectic day at work, only to be hit with very offensive odors emanating from the shower drain.

“What could be the cause of this smell? You wonder.

Well, several things are known to cause offensive odor to start coming out from the shower drain. The most common of them are explained below alongside their possible solutions.

  • Hair Clogging The Shower Drain

The first major reason you may be having an unpleasant smell coming from your shower drain is trapped hair. Trapped hair has a way of clogging the shower drain causing it to start producing an offensive odor.

Move over to where the shower drain is and take a closer look at it. If you observe it is being clogged by hair, there are two things you can do to make things better.

First is to dissolve the hair using a formula like Liquid- Plumr Hair Clog Eliminator, Liquid Drain Cleaner. You can find it on Amazon and several other online shops. It can effectively get rid of all the hair clogging your shower drain.

All you have to do is pour the formula down the drain then relax and wait. After 15 to 20 minutes, pour hot water down the drain. That’s all. The dissolved hair will flush down, leaving your shower drain completely free of them and the bad smell.

As for the hot water, it should be hot water from your tap if you are using a plastic or PVC pipe in your bathroom plumbing. To avoid causing serious damage to it.

The second thing you can do to get rid of the hair clogging your shower drain is to brush it using an old toothbrush. The toothbrush will trap most of the hair if not all of it, and free up your shower drain. Once that happens, water will start going down from there again and the bad smell will be gone.

  • It is Being Clogged By Soap Scum

Soap scum alongside other debris can also clog your shower drain and cause it to smell awful. Fortunately, there is a solution to it. A very simple one.

To get rid of it, simply pour the formula Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener + Drain Cleaner + Hair Clog Remover down the drain. You can find it on Amazon. If you can’t easily place your hand on this, you can use the same formula we used in that of the hair above. Both products work alike.

After pouring the Green Gobbler drain cleaner into the shower drain, leave it there for about 30 minutes. After that, flush it using hot water. Both the soap scum and every other debris there would be gone.

This method is very effective and is best done at night. If you follow this direction well, you will be having a shower drain that is completely free from bad odor.

  • Mold May Be Growing Underneath The Shower Drain

Mold is among the major cause of smelly shower drain. This happens mainly when the cover of the drain is not well sealed or loose. The small spaces in it which are usually wet then become a breeding spot for mold.

To be sure that the problem with your shower drain is true as a result of mold growing below it, you would have to pay careful attention to observe the kind of smell that is coming out of there.

If it is somehow musty, there is every possibility that you have mold growing underneath your shower drain.

To solve your mold problem, here’s what to do:

Begin by removing the cover of the shower drain and cleaning it thoroughly using a formula like Skylarlife Home Mold & Mildew Remover Gel. You can get it on Amazon.

Simply apply the gel directly on the shower drain cover where you have the mold and leave it for a couple of hours. Maximum of 6 hours. After that, wash the cover using running water and observe the difference.

If nothing much has happened, you can scrub the cover using a soft brush or a toothbrush. Once you are done with that, the next thing will be to wash the entire pipe where the mold must have grown too.

To do that, you would need the following: Hot water, baking soda, and white distilled vinegar.

The hot water should not be up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To avoid damaging the piping. Just 150 degrees is enough. You can easily get this from your tap.

Once you have the supplies I just mentioned, slowly pour the hot water down the drain. About 4 cups of it will do.

Immediately after the hot water, pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and follow that up with 1/4 cup o baking soda.

Allow a few minutes to pass after that and slowly pour hot water down the drain again.

By now, the odor would have been gone. Alongside the mold causing it.

Note: If you hear any (fizzing) sound coming from the drain after you’ve poured the baking soda and vinegar into it, do not panic.

It’s no cause for an alarm. It’s just a reaction from both ingredients.

When A Shower Drain Smell Bad

Sometimes the cause o the offensive odor coming from the shower drain is not as a result of mold growing underneath it or hair and soap scum clogging it. Sometimes it is as a result of sewer gas entering your bathroom due to a dry P-trap.

What does a dry P-trap mean? You may be wondering.

You see, to prevent gas escaping from your sewer and entering into your house, a “P” shaped pipe is used. This P-trap always retains some water in it which helps in keeping the sewer gas back.

When you have a dry P-trap, it means that there is no water in the pipe which should help keep the sewer gas. This may be as a result of the shower not being used frequently. If this is the case, you can handle the problem by yourself.

Another possible reason you may be having a dry P-trap is as a result of a break somewhere in the plumbing, causing the water it traps to leak out. For this, you would need a professional plumber to come over and fix it.

To solve the first dryness problem you may be experiencing with your P-trap, shine a good flashlight down the drain to confirm it’s truly dry. If it is, all you have to do is pour about 4 ounces of cooking oil, down it. Since cooking oil takes a lot of time to evaporate, having it down your drain will stop the sewer gas from escaping into your house, eliminating the odor.

If after doing that the smell is still coming up from there, you should have an expert inspect and fix whatever that is wrong with it.

How To Clean The Shower Drain Using A Drain Snake

A drain snake also called a plumber’s snake or toilet auger is a flexible and slender material used in opening clogged drains. It is mostly used when a plunger cannot loosen the clogs in the drain.

A plumber’s snake can easily get rid of hairs, soap scum and other debris clogging your drain. You only need to follow the instructions below to do it properly.

You can use any drain auger of your choice but we recommend using Vaster Drain Snake on Amazon. It’s a 19.6-inch plumber’s snake that you can use to eliminate those clogs causing your shower drain to smell terrible.

The device comes with tiny hooks to ensure that whatever that is clogging your drain is easily picked up and removed.

To clean your shower drain with the tool, simply insert the plumber’s snake into your drain after removing the cover. Keep inserting it until you can feel the clog.

Once it is inside your drain, turn it clockwise repeatedly The more you do it, the hooks will start hooking everything clogging the drain. Hair, thread, etc.

After doing it for a while, pull out the snake and clean it. By now, it would have hooked a lot of dirt, freeing up space in your drain.

You can slowly run water down the drain to test it. If everything is alright, the odor will be gone too.

Preventing Your Shower Drain From Being Clogged And Smelling

While it doesn’t take much to clean a smelly shower drain, it is often best to prevent it from happening in the first place.

You can do this by regularly pouring some drops of Liquid-Plumr Hair Clog Eliminator Cleaner or Green Gobbler Drain Cleaner into it. This will help dissolve hair, soap scum and other debris trapped in the shower drain before it becomes clogged.

You can also use an old toothbrush to scrub it occasionally. That way, you won’t have to worry about your shower drain becoming clogged and smelly.

In Summary

We have in this article discussed how to clean shower drains using simple tricks and products. Our recommended list of drain cleaners in the guide are have received so may positive user reviews on Amazon, confirming their effectiveness.

Is your shower drain smelling awful and clogged? You can use the tips here to perfectly clean it yourself or you can have a professional plumber help you with that.

I hope you find this information useful.