Having a clogged shower drain can be a nuisance each time you try to take a shower. Luckily there are a wide range of chemical and enzyme clog removers you can use to help remedy this situation, but the best choice of clog remover will depend on what type of clog the drain has.

With a shower drain, there are three culprits that are usually to blame when it comes to clogs. This can include organic materials such as skin cells and shed hair, soap scum build up, or mineral build up.

Organic Materials

The number one most common clog in shower drains is caused by shed skin cells and hair. While the former is relatively easy to clean with standard chemical clog removers or enzyme cleaners, hair can be another story entirely.

Being much more coarse and thicker, hair can clump up and cause clogs which are extremely difficult to get rid of. Most standard drain cleaners won’t break through hair clumps and will instead require a drain snake or hair hook in order to remove the clog.

Additionally, once hair has become clogged in a drain, water may pass through to some extent, but other debris can get caught eventually completely clogging the drain entirely. This can be true of both long hair and short hair.

Soap Scum

Soap scum happens when the frothy lather from soap mixes with the minerals in hard water. It creates a thick and slimy layer on top of the water, which can also coat the side of the tub and the drain pipes.

As it dries, soap scum can create a hardened crust that eventually restricts water flow through the pipes. As more and more soap scum builds up, the entire pipe can be blocked causing slow draining or even a complete blockage.

A variety of chemical and enzyme cleaners can quickly remove soap scum from the inside of the pipes. As part of your regular maintenance, enzyme cleaners are an effective way to keep soap scum free from the pipes and ensure proper water flow.

Mineral Deposits

Caused by hard water, mineral deposit buildup can be common on copper pipes in older homes, as well as newer homes with metal pipes. Calcium, limescale, and other hard minerals can attach to the inside walls of the pipes in extremely small particles. Over time, these particles will continue to group together which can clog water flow.

For homes with water softening systems, it’s rare to see mineral buildup in the pipes or along the rim of the tub. Homes that are getting water from a well, however, are much more prone to suffering from hard water buildup on the pipes.

Advanced mineral deposits can be difficult to break down. For mineral deposits that are just starting and not yet clogging the drain, maintenance can include home remedies including vinegar and baking soda mixtures, as well as chemical drain cleaners that are made to target calcium or limescale.