It’s bound to happen eventually in any shower—the drain gets clogged. It usually starts slowly, and increasingly you notice that the water takes longer to drain, until you’re eventually standing in a small puddle of water that’s creeping up your ankles. The good news, however, is that in most cases, there’s no need to call a plumber. There are a host of shower drain cleaners you can use yourself to get that water going down the pipes as it should. To help you select the best one for your showers, we reviewed some of the most popular shower drain cleaners on the market. Here are the top-rated shower drain cleaners that you can use to unclog your shower drain and keep the water running smoothly through the pipes.
01 of 08
Best Overall: Green Gobbler Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover
Be it hair, soap scum or anything else clogging your pipes, the Green Gobbler will gobble it up and have your water running smoothly in no time. To use, you just pour in one chamber of the pre-measured liquid, then wait a couple hours, flush with water, and your drain should be clogged no more. Hundreds of customers have reviewed this drain cleaner on Amazon, and the majority say it works quickly and effectively.
As tough as this formula is, it’s also biodegradable and it follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Chemistry rules, which means it’s better for our nation's waterways than some other formulas. It’s also non corrosive, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your pipes either. You can use it beyond your shower to treat all your drains and your toilets too to keep all that water flowing like it should.
02 of 08
Runner Up, Best Overall: Bio-Clean Drain Septic Bacteria
It’s not the cheapest shower drain cleaner on the market, but hundreds of reviews say this drain cleaner from Bio-Clean is worth it. Made from enzymes and natural bacteria, this formula attacks hair, soap scum and other waste that’s clogging your pipes. To use, you mix 1 tablespoon of the power with a pint of water, pour it down the drain and let it sit for 6-8 hours (preferably overnight when the shower won’t be in use). It’s recommended that you do this for five days in a row, and then once your pipes are clear, that you use it monthly to help prevent future clogging.
Customers rave about the results they get with Bio-Clean. They say it’s a great long-term solution, and that regular use is key. They also love that fact that it’s natural and doesn’t contain chemicals that will harm their pipes or the environment.
03 of 08
Best Budget: Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Clog Remover Hair Clog Eliminator
A well-known staple when it comes to unclogging pipes, Liquid Plumber is tried, true and economical to boot. This professional-strength formula is specifically designed to get rid of of even the hairiest clogs, and promises to do so within 15 minutes. To use, you pour the contents of the bottle down the drain, wait 15 minutes, then flush with hot water.
Customers say it works remarkably quickly and effectively, even when nothing else would. As one reviewer on Target.com wrote, “I have tried everything for hair clogging the drain! This is the first thing that has worked well! I followed the directions, and my drain is clear.”
04 of 08
Best for Hair: Whink 6217 Hair Clog Blaster
The majority of shower clogs can be attributed to hair. We all naturally lose a bit of our hair each time we wash it, plus there’s the hair from shaving, pets and more. Over time that can add up to big, nasty clogs. Whink is designed specifically to take care of that hair and make your drains run smoothly. It works quickly too. To use, you pour 8-10 ounces of the liquid down the drain, let it go to work for 15-30 minutes, then flush with water. For seriously clogged drains, you may need to let it sit overnight.
Customers say it works incredibly well, even on long, thick hair, and that a little bit goes a long way. Some say they tried Whink as a last-ditch effort before calling a plumber, and they were pleasantly surprised with the results and lack of plumbing bills.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Natural: XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener
There are plenty of chemicals you can pour down your drains that may cure the clog, but those chemicals may also harm our nation’s waterways and damage your pipes. This drain cleaner from Xionlab, however, is biodegradable, but still boasts all the power to unclog your pipes. It’s touted as the perfect balance between effective, toxic chemical cleaners and enzyme cleaners that are painfully slow to work. To make you feel even better about choosing this earth-friendly formula: A portion of all sales is donated to help fight drug addiction.
To use, you pour 16 ounces of the liquid down the drain, let it work for about half an hour, then rinse with warm water. Hundreds of customers have given it five-star reviews on Amazon. They say it works as advertised, and many are blown away by just how effective it is on their drains. They also like that it’s odorless and that it doesn’t leave behind harsh chemical fumes like some other cleaners.
06 of 08
Best Fast-Acting: Comstar 30-500 Pure Lye Drain Opener
Some drain cleaners work more quickly than others, but this Pure Lye from Comstar works in a flash, according to hundreds of reviews. They say it cuts through the toughest clogs and works better than any other product on the market in record time. Some report it works in less than five minutes.
While it’s biodegradable and odorless, lye can be dangerous, so make sure you read all the instructions before using, take the necessary precautions (wear protective gloves and glasses) and store it safely. For powerful unclogging though, customers say the extra steps are worth it, and a little bit goes a long way. It can also be used for other drains and toilets, and some also use it for making soap.
07 of 08
Best for Standing Water: Professor Amos SuperFast Drain Cleaner & Drain Opener
When your drain is seriously clogged, and you find yourself standing in ankle-high water, you need something tough, like this cleaner from Professor Amos. Hair, soap and oil are no match for this fast-acting formula that attacks them and gets your water flowing again. It’s safe for all types of pipes and will take on grease in your kitchen sink as well.
To use, you just pour the liquid into your drain, and then watch it go to work. Online videos show impressive results with it dissolving hair and other waste on contact. Customers give it high marks and say it has saved them from what were sure to be expensive plumbing bills.
08 of 08
Best with Deodorizer: Green Gobbler BIO-Flow Drain Strips Drain Cleaner & Deodorizer
A bit different than typical liquid drain cleaners, there are these bio-flow drain strips from Green Gobbler. To use, you just drop one strip down your drain each month, and it keeps the water flowing freely and your drain smelling fresh too. The strips use bacterial enzymes to break down hair, soap scum and more, and they’re eco-friendly too, so you can feel good about using them.
Customers say these strips work well and eliminate the need for cleaning out drains and dealing with messy powders or liquids. They also like that they eliminate odors without leaving behind a strong chemical smell. They’re probably not going to clear out the toughest clogs, but once your pipes are clear, they can help them stay that way.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular shower drain cleaners on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different cleaners overall, screened options from 25 different brands and manufacturers, read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the cleaners themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.