When you get in the shower, you should not need to worry about dirt or grime. It should be a place to wash the day’s troubles off and get clean. Unfortunately, if you notice black stuff coming out of the shower drain, you will not feel comfortable bathing. If you notice black gunk coming up from your shower drain, you need to resolve the problem.
Black Stuff Coming Out of Shower Drain
If black stuff is coming out of your shower drain, the only explanation is that your drain is clogged. You will need to unclog your shower to resolve the clog and get it draining correctly again. Fortunately, you can try several DIY methods to unclog your shower drain.
Things To Do Before Unclogging Your Shower Drain
Before you start to the various methods of unclogging your shower drain, there are some things you need to do. First, you must remove the drain cover. Not all showers have a drain cover, but if yours does, you must remove it.
Fortunately, you can easily remove it with a screwdriver. You can even pry some off with your fingers. If you are prying it off, try to avoid scratching the shower near the drain.
The next thing you need to do is wear a pair of rubber gloves to ensure nothing toxic gets on your hands. Shower drains are bacteria breeding grounds, so avoiding coming in direct contact with them is crucial.
Finally, we recommend wearing eye protection. You do not want any gunk to spurt up into your eyes. Additionally, the cleaners you will be using can be damaging if they come in contact with your eyes. So, it is smart to protect yourself from any unforeseen accidents.
Try Removing the Gunk With Boiling Water
The first thing you can try is using boiling water to destroy any built-up gunk in your shower drain. You can boil water in a pot or kettle before pouring it down the drain. We recommend using a kettle because it is easier to aim the water with a kettle than a pot. A benefit of this method is you do not need to remove the drain cover. You can safely pour water down the drain with the cover in place.
However, it is crucial to note that you should not pour boiling water down the drain if you have PVC pipes. These types of pipes can get damaged by excess heat. As a result, you will need to move on to another solution.
This method will only work if the clog is loose and not very problematic. As a result, it is unlikely to work with large clogs. Still, it does not take too long to try, and there is no harm in giving it a shot.
Once you pour the boiling water down the drain, turn on your shower to see if the clog is gone. If not, move on to one of the other methods.
But why is black water coming out of the tub faucet? This phenomenon usually doesn’t indicate a clogged drain. If you’re seeing black or dark water flowing from your tub faucet, it’s likely the result of a mineral deposit build-up in your plumbing system. You could use a water softener or get in touch with a plumber to perform a water test to determine the exact cause.
Get Rid of Any Hair or Debris
Hair is a common cause of clogging in the shower, especially when people with long hair are the primary users. When hair builds up, it makes it difficult for water to get down the drain. Additionally, it can collect large amounts of dirt, which is what causes black stuff to come out of the shower drain.
Hair clogs can be deep in the drain or surface level. You can manually pull it out with your fingers if there is a large clump of hair at the top of the drain.
However, if the hair is too deep down the drain to reach, you will need to use other methods to clean your shower drain. We recommend straightening out a coat hanger and making a small hook at the end. You can stick it deep into the drain to fish out hair or debris. You may need to use a flashlight to get a good look at everything.
Once you get all of the hair out, we recommend pouring another kettle of boiling water down the drain. It should eliminate any remaining debris on the walls of the drain. Again, you should only do this if you do not have PVC pipes.
Try Using a Plunger
We like this method because everyone should have a toilet plunger on hand. Additionally, most people should know how to use them after accidentally clogging the toilet at some point in their lives.
A clog in your shower drain should be no different from one in the toilet. The material causing the clog might be different, but a plunger works the same way. So, when you move the plunger up and down rapidly over the drain, there is a good chance it will fix your problem.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar To Break Through the Blockage
Another option is to use baking soda and vinegar to try and unclog your shower drain. You can create a mix by adding one-third of a cup of baking soda to one-third of a cup of vinegar in a heat-resistant cup.
Pour the mixture down the drain. You should immediately notice fizzing in your drain. Let the mixture sit in your drain for an hour untouched. During this time, the baking soda and vinegar will slowly work to break down any clogs in your drain.
After an hour or two, you can turn on the hot water. Let it run down the drain for at least a minute to clear the mixture. As the mix goes down the drain, so should most of the blockage and debris.
Try Using a Chemical Drain Opener
If you have gotten to this point and nothing has worked, you might need to turn to something more professional. You should go to the store to purchase a chemical drain opener. While you should have been wearing gloves and eye protection for the other methods, it is extra important here. You do not want the drain opener getting anywhere near your skin or eyes.
You should be able to find a chemical drain opener at your local hardware, department store, or online. There are a few different brands, but they all should work. You may need to apply them slightly differently depending on the brand you purchase. Read the instructions on the container before pouring it down the drain.
Call a Plumber
If you have tried all the above methods and there is still black stuff coming out of your shower drain, you should call a plumber. The clog might be so bad that they need to take part of your shower and its piping apart to fix it.
Before they start, tell them what you have put into the drain so they can work safely. They will likely ask you if you have tried anything, but if not, you should take the time to tell them.
The Bottom Line
If you notice black stuff coming out of the shower drain, it is not something you should ignore (if there’s black gunk in your sink as well, read here). It is likely the result of a clog, and ignoring it will only worsen it. So, you need to address the situation as soon as possible. There are several DIY methods for fixing a shower clog, but if none work, you can call a plumber. If the residue is coming out of your bathtub faucet in stead, read here.