How To Clean A Smelly Shower Drain?

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How To Clean A Smelly Shower Drain?

If your home is your sanctuary, your bathroom is your spa. This is the place that you go to relax, get clean and wash away the worries of the day. Seasoned homeowners know that “me time” can be quickly disrupted by a smelly shower drain. The good news? You likely have the tools at your disposal to resolve the issue.

Smelly drains are generally the result of a handful of familiar suspects and with a little time, and some elbow grease, you can eliminate the odor. Left unchecked, like most plumbing problems, the issue can compound and warrant a call to your local plumbing experts.

When it comes to tough to solve Grand Prairie plumbing problems, homeowners turn to the Dial1 Johnson team of plumbing experts. With offices located across the metroplex, we are never more than a few minutes away.

Smelly Drains: The Usual Suspects

Showers and bathtubs are one of the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in your home. When they are out of order, or just smell funky, it can be hard to feel clean. Should you notice that your shower drain is starting to smell less than fresh, start your search with the following suspects.

Check the P-Trap

Every drain in your home feeds wastewater through a p-trap before the water enters the remainder of your plumbing system. The p-trap holds water even after use to help block noxious sewer gases from entering your home. Your shower p-trap might not be as accessible as those under your bathroom or kitchen sink, but it plays just as critical of a role.

If you notice a smell coming from your shower drain, and it has been left unused for an extended period of time, you can bet your bottom dollar that the water p-trap has dried up. Run hot water through the line for a couple of minutes. This will not only refill the p-trap to a level that will block those smelly gasses but it will also help with any lingering bacteria in the pipes.

Hair Problems

Mention hair and shower drain in the same sentence, and someone immediately has a reference point. Even if you keep your hair a shorter length, you might not realize that it is usually public enemy number one for your shower drain. The average person will lose between 50 and 100 hair follicles from their head each day. If you have thicker hair, the number could be much larger.

Most homeowners might not immediately think that their hair is the root cause of their smelly drain, but it works hard to be at the top of our list. Going beyond the typical clogged drain, hair acts as a natural web, catching all of that dirt and debris coming off of your body. Over time this buildup will start to smell. Solve the hair problem, solve the smell.

Even if your shower is equipped with a drain screen, it might be doing little to prevent hair from entering your pipes. One of the cheapest and easiest upgrades that you can do to your plumbing is installing a hair catcher into your drain. These simple tools are a cost-effective way to manage your hair loss.

Clean the hair catcher or your drain screen after every use. If the problem compounds, you might need to deploy a drain snake to help remove the clog. Should the smell remain, you can start working your way down the list.


There are a few words in the English language that cause people to cringe, and biofilm tends to be one of them. It just sounds gross, so it makes sense that it could be the cause of your smelly shower drain. But what exactly is biofilm?

In an effort to clean our bodies, we deploy a wide array of agents. Soap, shampoo, and conditioner are the most common, and each leaves a residue after it is washed off of your body. The more common term for this is soap scum, and typically we see it on the shower walls or in the basin of the tub itself. It should come as no surprise that if there is biofilm on the walls of your shower, it will be within your drain and pipes as well. The problem can be compounded if you have hair in your drain.

As disgusting as biofilm sounds, it is one of the most easily remedied plumbing issues Grand Prairie homeowners will face. Follow these simple DIY solutions

Option 1 – Mix equal parts bleach and water, and pour down the drain. 

Option 2 – Pour 1 cup of baking soda into your shower drain. Then pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the drain(think science fair volcano). While the mixture fizzes cover the drain. Then pour hot or boiling water to flush the line. Avoid boiling water if your pipes are made of PVC as it can cause serious damage to your plumbing.

With both of these remedies, you can rinse and repeat until you achieve the desired result. Should the problem persist, contact the plumbing contractors Grand Prairie, TX homeowners know and trust.

Finding a Grand Prairie Plumbing Expert

Plumbing issues are one of the most common home repair items that homeowners will face. Keeping a level head and taking practical steps to prevent issues from arising is the best course of action. Even with the best preparation, there may come a time that a plumbing expert will be needed. When that time comes, avoid the typical Google search and turn to a trusted source for all things plumbing.

For over 50 years, the Dial1 Johnson team has been serving DFW homeowners with plumbing issues big and small. Over that time, we have built a reputation of working with the best in the business so that our customers know that the job will be done right the first time. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians or visit our website to learn more about our services. 

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