Help & Advice

How to unblock a bathtub

2022-11-08

Once again, foresight is the key. Choosing optimally designed bathtubs is the best solution. However, it may be the case that these tips will answer the question that brought you here: How to unblock a bathtub.

There are a number of warning signs to look out for, such as the water level rising in the bathtub, slower than usual drainage or the sound of air bubbles in the pipes. If you detect any of these, act quickly to prevent the pipes from becoming completely blocked.

Do you have a clogged bathtub? Find out how to unblock it

Clogs in poorly designed bathtubs are common, due to a multitude of causes. It is therefore very important to have a bathtub designed with perfect geometry to avoid these mishaps.

But if the bathtub is already clogged, what can we do? In this post we give you tips on how to avoid problems that cause clogging, as well as various solutions that may be useful.

Tips to avoid problems that can clog a bathtub

How to unblock a bathtubOval bathtub

A bathtub clogged with hair

Although it may seem obvious, the most important thing is to prevent hair or anything else from going down the drain. 

Some people recommend using caustic soda in the case of a bathtub clogged with hair. The reason given is that it has a very strong base with a high pH. However, it is a very corrosive degreasing component, so we do not recommend it. 

Regular cleaning (of the bathtub, pipes and drain) is vital for prevention. By doing so, it is possible to prevent hair or soap residue from accumulating and clogging the bathtub.

Another simple solution is to use a drain grate in the bathtub.

Bathtubs where the problem is the pipework

Cleaning the syphon canister also helps to prevent clogging in bathtubs. If there is an unpleasant smell in the room, like standing water, the problem may be in the syphon.

To do this, it is advisable to put on gloves, unclog the syphon canister (an S-shaped pipe in bathrooms intended to lead the water to the general drain to prevent gases and bad smells from escaping the pipes) and remove all the accumulated dirt.

Bathtubs where the problem lies in the drainage

At this point, here is a step-by-step guide that will help you to unblock your bathtub in approximately 15-45 minutes.

  • Remove the drain valve plug: Normally, this plug can be easily removed by pulling it out, but this is not always the case. In the second case, the plug must be unscrewed by hand. The lower section features a type of grid which is responsible for retaining debris such as hair.
  • Remove accessible and inaccessible accumulated matter: first remove the tangled debris at the bottom of the drain by pulling it out as much as possible so that it no longer obstructs the water flow. Then use the tip of a pair of pliers to catch the more inaccessible materials and a metal hanger to make a hook at one end, or a spring plunger. Rotate the wire or spring to twist the debris and finally pull to remove the clogging material from the bathtub.
  • Check the drainage, use a suction cup and pour hot water: before you start, run the water to see if the problem has disappeared. If this is not the case, place a suction cup on the drain and pull it vigorously to try to remove the grease that is sometimes stuck to the walls of the pipe. Then pour boiling water into the pipe.
  • Use a good unblocking product: if the clogging persists, use a non-aggressive product to clean the pipes, or opt for a popular method (explained in a few lines), which consists of using vinegar, baking soda and boiling water.
  • Replace the valve cover and check the drainage: after these steps, the clogging is most probably resolved. Now it’s time to put the plug back in the drain and let the water run. If everything went well, the drainage will be smooth.

An antique bathtub

An old piece is more likely to clog than a new one designed on ergonomic principles such as our free-standing bathtubs. 

Therefore, if clogs or any other problems persist due to the passage of time, renovating this element, which can be the stand-out feature of a sublime bathroom, could be the best solution. 

3 solutions for unblocking your bathtub

Oval bathtub

How to unblock the bathtub with vinegar and baking soda

A home remedy for unclogging a bathtub is to prepare a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. After a few minutes, boiling water should be poured in to remove the dirt stuck to the pipes. 

Alternatively, you can try to shorten the process by pouring a pot of boiling salted water down the drain every 15 days. 

Use pipe unblocker

Another alternative is to apply a plunger to the drain. This type of product is usually effective, as it breaks up the dirt and allows the water to flow again. However, we do not recommend them as a first choice, as excessive use may cause damage to the pipes.

Seek expert help if the problem is severe

A good qualified plumber will always ensure greater safety and quality in terms of the service performed than when home remedies are used. If you seek out an experienced professional who knows how to unblock a bathtub, they will be able to solve the problem more quickly and offer a full guarantee. 

As well as choosing quality bathroom solutions or hiring expert plumbers, to avoid problems such as clogging it is essential to care for and maintain your bathtub’s useful life and aesthetics with the most suitable products: 

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