How to Clean a Foot Lock Drain


A good running bathtub drain is essential to the operation of your bathtub. A foot lock style drain is usually has a smooth surfaced drain stopper that is controlled by either hand or foot pressure to open and shut. Although most can be used for years without problems, occasional maintenance may be necessary to ensure optimum performance.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Toothbrush
  • Dish soap
  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Set the stopper to the "open" position. Raise the stopper as high as you can with your fingers then turn it counter-clockwise to see if it will screw off. If it does not, use a flashlight to locate the small screw. Loosen it with a screwdriver then pull out the stopper.

  • Remove any clumps of debris that may have built up in the drain with a screwdriver or needlenose pliers. Be careful not to damage any of the threads or gaskets that make up the drain mechanism. Scrub the inside of the drain and surrounding area with a mixture of dish soap and water with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to get down into the drain as far as possible. Also clean both sides of the stopper gasket and the stopper component itself. For more stubborn stains or build-up, make a paste of baking soda and water then scour with a toothbrush.

  • Rinse the stopper piece when the unit has been properly cleaned. Turn on the faucet or shower and run hot water through the drain system for at least five minutes to flush out the drain. If you find that it is clogged or running slow, considered remedying the issue before re-installing the stopper. To replace the drain stopper, follow the removal instructions in reverse order.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a "zip-tool" to clean the drain without removing the stopper. If your gasket is old, cracked or degraded, consider replacing.
  • Do not disassemble a drain in which chemical cleaners have been poured into


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