How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain (the Easy Way)

15 Minutes

Clogged bathtub drains stink -- sometimes literally. This is a fix we can all do.
Recently I had to unclog my tenant's tub and decided to put together a video showing you how to do it. It's rather simple and will totally save you $79 to $100 in the process.
All you need are a screwdriver and needle nose pliers. And if for some reason this doesn't do the trick you can always ask me for more tips. Check out my step-by-step video by visiting
What's the single most effective strategy you've used to keep your bathtub clean and unclogged?
Let me know what's worked and what hasn't -- and please share as many specific details as possible :)
Thanks as always for your feedback and wonderful comments!!
How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain
Remove the overflow cover plate
Check the plunger for hair and debris
Remove the hair screen and use needle nose pliers to fish out hair - it's surprising what you'll find!!
Run the water for 5 minutes to ensure your pipes are unclogged
Check the seal between the overflow cover plate and your tub.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Donna
    on May 30, 2017

    have very old tub, afraid to remove the drain thing since it really doesn't work great anymore, must kind of yank on it somewhat till I find a spot where I hold it to drain. Probably not good to remove it huh?
    • Lolo
      on Jun 13, 2018

      I had to hire a plumber to do that one for mine.

  • Jennell Jackson Harbert
    on Jun 5, 2017

    The handle that drains the water keep popping up and not letting the water drain out the tub
  • Kim Beaudoin
    on Sep 21, 2017

    can the drain button that stops ups the bathtub or releases water, can it be fixed by doing this?
    • Paul Vanden
      on May 12, 2019

      Yes!in most cases! It will be clogged with hair and other things that has made it down the drain

Join the conversation

3 of 160 comments
  • Bbunny42
    on May 25, 2017

    I have a hard time with my tub drain. It has the overflow drain, but then the tub has the "pop-up" stopper and the only way I've ever found to unclog it is to use chemicals, which I don't like to do. Is there a way to remove this stopper and just use one of those wire mesh hair catchers and an old-fashioned stopper for when I want to take a bath?
  • Richard Albright
    on Sep 22, 2017

    You can buy a plastic rod at a hardware store or Lowe's or Home Depot that has small projections. You simply insert the rod through the drain opening wiggle it around a nit and pull out. You will be surprised by what you can pull out. It is much better than the pliers as it is much longer. Follow up with baking soda and vinegar
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