How to Clean a Stinky Shower Drain

Funky smells coming from your shower? Domestic CEO has a quick and easy solution!

Amanda Thomas
2-minute read

How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains

My recent episode 14 Places Where Dirt Hides in Your Home gives cleaning tips for the unseen places dirt and germs can lurk.

However, I left one extremely hidden spot off that list. And it's the grandaddy of them all – your shower drain. If you’ve got a shower stall that’s separate from the tub, this problem is inevitable. You can have the cleanest shower floor in town, but if you’re not cleaning the drain, you will eventually have a very stinky shower stall.

I recently had to deal with this issue in my own home. At first, I would detect a smell about halfway through my shower. I thought it was the dog passing gas (ha!) but after the smell kept reoccurring day after day during my shower time, I realized there was a bigger problem. Initially, I assumed we needed to call a plumber since we had sewer gas entering our home. After a little research, I realized it was a much easier (albeit grosser) issue that I could handle myself.

Here’s how to clean your shower drain:

First, remove the drain cover itself. This may need to be pried up with a screwdriver, or you may have to actually remove a few screws before lifting up the cover. Flip that drain grate over and you’ll be surprised at the amount of mildew and scum on it.  Next, take a look down the drain. It’s probably also coated with the same slime. The easiest way to clean all the way down that drain is by using a paint roller. You don’t need the handle, just use the roller portion. I bought one at the dollar store for this task.

Next, get a bucket of hot, soapy water and soak the roller. Now, take the roller and insert it into the drain. Slowly turn it back and forth as you lower the roller into the drain. Use that same motion as you bring it back up. This should bring up a good amount of gunk. Rinse the roller and repeat several times until it comes back clean.

Finally, using a sponge and an old toothbrush, clean the top of the drain and the underside of the drain cover. Once sufficiently cleaned, replace the drain cover and enjoy a smell-free shower!

If you’d like to watch a video on how to handle this task, click here to watch a video from Home Remodel Workshop. If you’ve got any other helpful tips on cleaning a shower drain, please leave a comment below or post it on the Domestic CEO Facebook and Twitter pages.

Clean shower drain image courtesy of Shutterstock.