Natural Remedies for Cleaning Clogged Tubs

Natural Remedies for Cleaning Clogged Tubs thumbnail
Natural solutions remove bathtub clogs as well as commercial solutions.

Bathtubs may become clogged by the buildup of hair, soap scum or other debris, which prevents water from draining adequately. While commercial products are available for dissolving bathtub clogs, some individuals may prefer natural alternatives, such as using natural ingredients to dissolve the clog or manually removing it. These options are less expensive and safer for the environment.

  1. Water

    • Scalding water may be all that is necessary to remove a clog. Turn the faucet to the hottest setting and allow the water to run for several minutes or pour a large bucket of hot water down the drain to help loosen the clog. This process may need to be repeated two to three times to fully remove a clog.

    Natural Drain Cleaning Solution

    • If a drain cleaning product is necessary, a homemade solution of baking soda, vinegar and water works similar to the commercial version. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the bathtub drain. Follow immediately with a cup of vinegar). Allow the baking soda and vinegar to foam for 30 minutes, dissolving the debris causing the clog, before rinsing them down with hot water.


    • Plunging a bathtub drain with a toilet plunger may create enough pressure to loosen a clog. To attempt this method, plug the tub’s overflow outlet, position the plunger over the drain and press down several times. Remove the overflow plug and turn on the faucet to determine if clog has been removed. Repeat this process until clog is removed.

    Removing the Drain Mechanism

    • Debris, such as hair and soap scum, may become trapped in a tub’s stopper or strainer mechanisms. To unclog these areas, unscrew the screen from the tub drain and use a bent wire to loosen and remove hair or soap scum buildup. If the tub has a pop-up drain stopper, raise the lever to open it, remove it from the drain hole and clean off any debris, suggests This Old Home. Replace the screen and drain stopper and run hot water in the drain for several minutes to remove any remaining debris.

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