Soap scum and hair clumps can lead to frequent clogs in your bathtub drain. Clogs can make water drain out slower or cause the stagnant water to sit in the tub for long periods of time. But a few regular maintenance tricks can keep your drain free of clogs and your bank account free of plumber bills.
Bacterial Drain Cleaner
Head to your local hardware store and search for a bacterial drain cleaner product. Use the product according to package directions no more than once per month. This will dissolve any large clogs that are building up before the problem gets too bad
If you'd prefer a household alternative, dump a half cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar. The two products will create a foaming chemical reaction that will help dissolve any forming clogs. You can also use this method a bit more frequently, if frequent hair clogs are a problem.
Use a Hair Clog Tool
If you have several household members with long hair, hair clogs can take hold in the drain fairly quickly. And even the bacterial cleaner can sometimes have trouble clearing out thick hair clogs.
Head back to the hardware store to stock up on two different clog removal tools. Both should be labeled as being appropriate for hair clogs, but each has a slightly different shape. One tool will have small, closely-spaced teeth, good for hooking around thinner strands of hair or looser clogs. The other will have larger teeth that are spaced out further. This tool can reach down into a large clog and gain enough of a hold to pull the clog loose.
Use the tools every other week or whenever it seems that a new clog is taking hold.
Perform a Boiling Water Rinse
Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove then carefully carry it into the bathroom. Carefully and slowly pour the boiling water straight down the drain. The heat will dissolve any soap scum building up and flush it on down the drains.
The boiling water rinse is also great to use after the baking soda and vinegar wash. The water flushes down the foaming solution and can potentially rid the drain of any debris the foam missed.
If you've tried all of these tactics and your drain is still regularly clogged, it's time to call in professional help. A plumber can diagnose and fix any potential problems further down your pipes.