Skip to Content

How To Fix A Slow Draining Bathtub [6 Different Methods]

One of the most frustrating reoccurring problems in every bathroom is a clogged drain. You can tell when a clog is starting to form because water starts to drain slowly. While you've most likely dealt with this problem before, you may be wondering if there is a different or better way to fix your slow draining bathtub. We have dove headfirst into everything drains to develop the best ways for you to resolve the issue!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

There are six different methods that will each give you a great chance at clearing up your drain issue:

  1. Non-chemical clog remover
  2. Plunger
  3. Snake
  4. Remove drain stopper
  5. Chemical clog remover
  6. Contact a plumber

Some of these options may be obvious, but others may be new to you. While we hope you will only need one way to fix your slow draining tub, it's always good to have options. Keep reading below for a walkthrough of each method, as well as answers to some other questions you may have!

Master bathroom interior in luxury home with large shower with elegant tile and soaking bathtub. , How To Fix A Slow Draining Bathtub [6 Different Methods]

Six Methods For Fixing A Slow Draining Bathtub 

1. Non-Chemical Clog Remover

There are many clog removal chemicals in stores today, but what if you could make your own more natural version? A great way to do this is to grab some baking soda and vinegar. Take one cup of baking soda and dump all of it down the clogged drain. Next, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain as well. Once you do this, you will see some frothing and foaming, which signifies that the mixture is doing its job! Wait five to ten minutes, and then flush the pipe with hot water for at least a minute.

This method is great because it's ecologically and economically friendly! Most people already have these items in their homes, so you may not even need to leave the house. You also don't have to worry about where to chemicals may end up because there are none! The best part is that you also don't have to worry about any damage being done to your pipes and plumbing!

2. Plunger

Using a plunger is the next simplest method because most people already have one. A plunger may not always dislodge your clog, depending on how big it is or where it is in your pipes. It's certainly worth a shot, though! For this method, make sure you have enough water in your tub to cover the head of the plunger. Then place the plunger over the drain and pump it. An extra step with this method would be to put something air-tight over the overflow panel and try to plunge the drain. This will give the suction more power!

Check out plungers on Amazon!

3. Snake

Plumbing snakes are one of the most effective and inexpensive tools for clearing your drain. You will most likely need to run to the store to grab one of these, but they are relatively easy to find. To use this tool, feed it down into the problem drain as far down as you can get it to go. Try moving it around a little and twisting it before pulling it back out slowly. It should grab any hair and common drain debris and get it out of your pipe! Repeat if necessary.

Click here to shop for plumbing snakes on Amazon!

4. Remove Drain Stopper

Depending on how invasive the clog is, you may need to give the other methods some help by removing the drain stopper on your bathtub. This will provide you with more space to work inside of the pipe. The clog may even be centered around the drain stopper. Once it's off, you can try one of the above methods again and have a slightly higher chance of success. 

5. Chemical Clog Remover

While it may not be your first choice, these clog removers do exist for a reason. They are widely available at most stores and might be what's needed for your clog. Make sure to put on a pair of gloves before using these products for safety. Also, never mix two different removers because you don't know what the chemicals would do. Follow the directions on the bottle and pour the recommended amount down the drain. Wait the specified amount of time and flush the pipe with hot water.

Shop for clog removers on Amazon!

6. Contact A Plumber

This may seem obvious and is many peoples' first choice. It also might be your last choice, depending on how handy you are. While it's the most costly and time-consuming option, the benefit is that you don't have to deal with the dirty work at all. Not to mention that it gives you a more certain guarantee that the problem will be fixed without wasting any more time than necessary. 

Slowly Draining Bathtub Questions

Figuring out the best way to fix your slowly draining tub may involve more than just those methods. It may also save you from dealing with this same headache in the future if you can figure out what's causing the issue. Learning how best to prevent it will minimize the chances of a reoccurrence even more!

Why Is My Tub Draining Slowly?

In a bathtub, the most likely cause of this issue is a clog. The reason for that clog forming can vary. It is usually due to a build-up of hair. Aside from hair, other things that enter your bath drain can also help the build-up occur. There are a ton of products for relaxing in the tub, such as salts and bath bombs. Using some of these products regularly can also cause residue build-up and add to an already growing clog. 

Can You Put Drano Down A Bathtub Drain?

There are a ton of different clog removers on the market. One of the most tried and true brands is Drano. Drano can be poured down a bathtub drain. The only place it really should not go is in a toilet drain. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle to ensure that Drano safely and effectively does its job!

How Do You Unclog A Bathtub Drain Naturally?

A few different methods can be found on the internet for naturally destroying that drain clog. The most used one is the baking soda and vinegar method mentioned above. Another option is to use that method but add a cup of salt to help add to its power. The internet is fairly divided about how well these methods work, but they're worth a shot!

What Can Dissolve Hair In The Drain?

There are said to be a few options for dissolving hair in a drain. This is pretty important, considering that clogs are almost always going to consist of hair in a bathtub. The effectiveness of each hair dissolving method depends on where you look. Chemical drain openers are the most effective option for this. Many people swear by the natural method also for dissolving hair. Some even say that bleach alone will get the job done. If you're going to try bleach, however, you might as well use a commercial de-clogger.

Is It Bad To leave Drain Cleaner Overnight?

Most drain cleaners give a timeframe for how long you should leave them in the drain before rinsing with hot water. Many commercial cleaners state that you can leave it to sit overnight if you have a really bad clog. They say that the cleaners will not seriously damage your pipes if left overnight. If it is done too many times on the same pipes, they may start to show wear and tear from the chemicals sitting in them. 

How Do You Unclog A Bathtub When Drano Doesn't Work?

If you tried a drain cleaner and the job still isn't there, then you may want to try some other methods. Using a  plumbers snake or an auger in addition to the Drano will undoubtedly help.

You can also try removing the drain stopper. The plunger method is also a great way to help the drain cleaner. You can also leave the drain cleaner for a longer time to dislodge and dissolve the clog. If all else fails, then it's time to call a plumber!

How can you prevent a clog?

Since most bathtub clogs are made from hair in your drain, one of the best things to do is stop as much hair as possible. Several different types of strainers sit at the top of the drain or fit into it. These strainers prevent hair from entering the drain and causing clogs.

Aside from filter as much hair and debris as possible, routine maintenance will also help. Regularly snaking the drain or using a drain cleaner will help stop clogs before they can become a problem. 

Click here to shop for drain protectors on Amazon!

Shop for hair filters on Amazon!

Final De-Clogging Thoughts

Close up of dark-skinned young woman putting hand in water in bath with foam

Each of the given methods may have a different chance of success. While one option may word most of the time, it's good to know all of them just in case one fails. They can also be used together to help greaten the chances of successfully removing the clog. Using preventative maintenance and hair-stopping tools will also help to stop the problem from happening again. Make sure whichever options you choose that you use the proper safety precautions!

Make sure to click on the links below for more bathtub facts!

Do Bathtubs Come With Drains?

Do Plumbers Install And Replace Bathtubs?

Cast Iron Vs. Acrylic Bathtubs – Which To Choose