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How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in Shower - Homeowners Guide

how to get rid of smelly drains in shower

Do you ever smell something funky coming from your bathroom drains? Don't worry, you're not alone. Unfortunately, stinking drains are a common issue in homes across the country.

But don't worry, there are some easy ways to get rid of the stink and have your shower smelling fresh again.

In this post, we'll show you how to get rid of smelly shower drains coming from your shower and keep them smelling fresh.

So read on for tips on how to solve this common problem!

What Causes Clogs in the Shower?

Clogs in the shower are a common problem that can be caused by a variety of things.

  • Hair is one of the most common culprits, as it can quickly build up and create an obstruction in the drain.
  • In addition, soap scum can harden and form a clog, especially if it is not cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Another common cause of clogs is foreign objects that have been accidentally dropped down the drain. Examples include bottles, toothbrushes, and even small toys. These items can become lodged in the drain and create a blockage.
  • Sand, grit, and other debris can also build up over time and cause a clog.
  • Finally, mineral deposits from hard water can also contribute to clogs. Over time, these deposits can build up and cause the drain to become plugged.

If you are having problems with clogs in your shower, it is important to identify the cause so that you can take steps to prevent it from happening again.

What Are Common Causes of a Smelly Shower Drain?

drain with hairShower drain smells are a common problem in many households. The first step in solving this problem is to identify the cause of the odor.

Most noxious shower drain smells are caused by clogs from a build-up of hair, skin, filth, mineral deposits, mold, soap scum, or biofilm.

1. Drain Clogs

One of the most common causes of stinky shower drain is a clog. Clogs can be caused by a build-up of hair, skin cells, soap scum, or oils.

When these materials build up in the drain, they can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. As the bacteria decompose the organic matter, they produce a foul odor.

2. Dry or Dirty P-Trap

Another common cause of stinking sewer lines is a dry or dirty P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe located under the sink that holds water to prevent sewer gases from entering the home.

If the P-trap dries out, it can allow sewage gases to escape and produce a foul odor. In addition, if the dry P-trap is dirty, it can also harbor bacteria that can produce an unpleasant smell.

3. Biofilm Buildup

Biofilms are thin layers of bacteria that can form on the walls of pipes and drains. Over time, biofilms can become thick and produce a foul odor.

In addition, biofilms can also harbor harmful pathogens that can cause infections. Therefore, it is important to remove biofilms from your drain to prevent both odors and infections.

4. Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can also be a source of shower drain smells. If there is a leak in the pipe, sewer gases can escape and produce an unpleasant smell.

In addition, leaks can also lead to water damage and mold growth. Therefore, it is important to repair any leaks as soon as possible.

How Often to Clean a Shower Drain

A clogged shower drain or slow-moving drain can be a major inconvenience, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious problems like flooding and water damage.

That's why it's important to clean your shower drain on a regular basis.

But how often should you do it? Experts recommend cleaning your shower drain pipe once a month.

In addition to monthly cleanings, you should also take steps to prevent clogs from forming in the first place.

Things You Need for Shower Drain Smell

The first step in getting rid of a shower drain smells is to identify the cause of the odor. Once you have done that, you can take steps to clean and disinfect the drain.

Here are some things you will need:

  • Toilet plunger
  • Drain snake
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Chlorine bleach
  • All-purpose chemical drain cleaner
  • Commercial drain cleaner
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

Above all, use caution when using harsh chemicals like bleach. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to avoid injury.

How to Clean a Shower Drain With a Toilet Plunger?


When it comes to clogged drains, a toilet plunger is often the best tool for the job. The cup of the plunger creates a seal around the drain, and the long handle provides plenty of leverage to break up stubborn clogs.

Best of all, a toilet plunger can be used on most types of drains, including shower drains. Here's how to use one to clean a shower drain:

  1. First, remove the drain cover and set it aside.
  2. Next, fill the tub with enough water to cover the bottom of the plunger.
  3. Place the plunger over the drain and press down firmly to create a seal.
  4. Then, pump the plunger up and down several times to break up the clog.
  5. Finally, run hot water down the drain to flush away any remaining debris.

With a little effort, you can easily unclog your shower drain using nothing more than a toilet plunger.

Unclog a Shower Drain With a Store-Bought Solution

Many drain cleaners on the market for home use are alkaline-based and employ sodium hydroxide and other chemicals to generate heat that aids in the dissolution of clogs.

The cleaning solutions are heavier than water and may be poured into a blocked drain using standing water.

It is critical to follow the directions precisely. Drain cleaners are typically caustic, and eye protection and gloves are strongly advised.

To allow the product to work, follow the directions on the package. Never use a commercial cleaner and then try plunging or snaking a sink because splashing is possible.

Enzyme-based drain cleaners, such as Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover, are also available.

They take longer to work than chemical cleaners, but they are more environmentally friendly.

Enzymes work slowly to break down hair and scum, which is less harmful to pipes.

Do you have smelly shower drain in your home? Check out our shower repair services

How to Use a Drain Snake

A drain snake is a tool that can be used to clear clogs from drains. It is a long, flexible coil of metal that is inserted into the drain and then rotated.

The snake will catch on the clog and break it up, allowing the water to flow freely again. Using a drain snake is relatively simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. First, be sure to insert the snake into the drain very carefully. If you force it, you could damage your pipe.
  2. Second, once the snake is in the drain, rotate it slowly and steadily. Don't try to spin it too quickly or you could break the clog apart prematurely.
  3. Finally, when you feel resistance, continue rotating until the resistance is gone. This will indicate that the clog has been cleared.

With these tips in mind, using a drain snake can be an easy and effective way to clear clogged drains.

How to Clean a Shower Drain With Baking Soda and Vinegar

baking soda

Baking soda and vinegar are two effective ingredients that can be used to clear up drainage problems caused by soap scum.

Once applied, these natural cleaners cut through the greasy film on your pipes which prevents water from flowing smoothly down them- this will cause you more hassle in trying to remove any clogs or slow draining sessions!

  1. Boil some water - In a tea kettle, heat approximately 4 cups of water before carefully pouring boiling water down the drain. If you have PVC pipes, use hot tap water rather than boiling water instead.
  2. Add baking soda and vinegar - Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Expect some fizzing and bubbling!
  3. Finally Wait - Let it work for at least 10 minutes, then run more hot water through it.

Tips on How to Get Rid of and Prevent Smells in a Shower Drain

Shower drain odors are caused by a build-up of organic matter, particularly if you don't clean your drain regularly.

The buildup of hair, soap scum, and other debris provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, resulting in an unpleasant smell.

There are several things that you can do to get rid of and prevent smells in your shower drain.

  1. Use drain catcher - A drain catcher is a small screen that fits over the drain and catches hair and other debris before it has a chance to go down the drain. This can help to reduce the amount of buildup in the drain and, as a result, the smell.
  2. Clean drain regularly - Make sure to clean the drain regularly with a brush or other cleaning tool. This will help to remove any mildew that could be causing the smell.
  3. In addition, you can pour baking soda down the drain once a week to help absorb odors.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your shower drain odor smelling fresh and clean.

Do You Still Have a Smelly Drain? Contact Our Professional Today!

If you have tried all of the above methods and your drain is still smelly, it may be time to contact a professional.

At 24h Plumbing Pros, we have experienced plumbers who can quickly identify the cause of the problem and provide a solution.

We understand how frustrating it can be to deal with a stinking drain and we will work quickly to get your problem solved.

Don't hesitate to give us a call today! We are available 24/seven and will be happy to help you get rid of that smelly drain once and for all.


In conclusion, there are several things that you can do to get rid of a smelly shower drain.

Try using a drain snake, cleaning the drain regularly, or pouring baking soda down the drain.

If you have tried all of these methods and the problem persists, contact a professional plumber for assistance.

We hope this guide has been helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help

About The Author:

Scott Reyes, our proficient Managing Editor and a true plumbing aficionado with over 10 years of dedicated expertise. With an in-depth understanding of the plumbing industry, Scott is your go-to source for all things plumbing-related. His wealth of experience ensures that our content is not only informative but also a reliable resource for your plumbing needs. Dive into Scott's articles to tap into his extensive knowledge and insights.
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