Clogged shower drains may seem like fun at first but . . .

Hello everyone:

My shower drain got clogged up recently. No big deal, right? I let it stay that way for a while, enjoying the warm water that surrounded my feet in the shower.

Then, yesterday morning, I realized that my shower mat was getting slimy. The water was hanging around too long and the shower mat, which I bought to keep myself from falling, was slippery in a very bad way. (Is there a good way?)

What to do? I had never unclogged a drain, personally. I had seen it done but didn’t own any tools except for a hammer and a couple different screwdrivers. They didn’t appear to be the kind of tools that would help in this situation. They weren’t.

Ladies: Here’s what to do: Go to the store and get a Drain Devil. (I got mine in the hardware section of the grocery store. It cost $3. It comes rolled up inside a small package, so you might not see it immediately but keep looking. It’s a lot cheaper than a plumber.) It’s an ugly orange plastic snake-like thing with spines. You are going to straighten it out by rolling it up in the opposite direction from how it is in the package and stick it down your drain. When it won’t go any further, pull it towards yourself slowly and it will dredge up all the gunk in your drain.

Note: This is a messy job. You will probably be able to get better traction on getting out the gunk if you straddle the side of the shower and place one of your feet on the floor and the other in the shower. Do not wear nice jewelry or fine clothing when you do this. You also won’t fall into the gunk on the floor of the shower as you work if you are partly into the shower. Don’t ask.

You will need to stick it in the drain several times. The gunk didn’t get down there all at once and it isn’t going to come up that way. Baby steps. The stuff that comes up (hair, in my case) is going to be soapy and gross. Don’t hang onto it. You are not going to do performance art here- this is yucky junk. Roll it up in a paper towel and put it in the trash can. Do not put it in the toilet and flush it, or you could end up with a whole new problem.

I hope this helps you ungunk a gunky shower drain. Next time, you might want to get a drain strainer that keeps your junk from getting in the drain in the first place! (I need to listen to my own advice here. It’s going on my next shopping list, for sure!)

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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