Your shower drain is one that you use frequently (most likely every day), but how often do you think about taking the best possible care of it so it can continue to serve you year after year? Most people hardly worry about their drains at all unless there's a problem. But if you want to keep this hardworking drain going strong for years to come, follow these three suggestions for shower drain maintenance.
1. Collect hair
Your hair is actually one of the biggest dangers to your shower drain. It's especially problematic if you have long hair; every time you wash your hair, a few hairs escape (possibly up to several dozen) and make their way to the drain. If you don't have a hair trap in place to capture them before they get inside, these hairs will congregate and, very likely, start forming a clog.
2. Stop using bar soap
If you're having a recurring problem with clogged shower drains, it may help to quit using bar soap. No, this doesn't mean you have to be a savage who never showers. It simply means you'll switch to a liquid body wash, which uses gentle detergent action instead of soap to keep you clean. The cleaning factor is similar, but the molecular structure is different, meaning that the liquid won't form a soap scum. This can be super useful not only for keeping your drain clear but also for making your bathtub and shower easier to clean because you won't have to worry about nasty soap scum buildup.
3. Clean the drain periodically
Even if you don't have drain problems, cleaning it out occasionally is a good idea. This doesn't mean you should pick up a chemical drain cleaner from the hardware store. Those are bad for the environment and of dubious efficacy. If your drain is clogged, you're better off calling a professional, and if your drain isn't clogged, you don't need a commercially available drain cleaner. Instead, simply put a quarter to a half cup of washing soda (not baking soda) or borax (two common laundry detergent boosters), into the drain and then flush it out by pouring hot water down the drain. This helps keep things moving freely. Don't do this if you have a drain clog, though.
These three tips will help you keep your shower drain in good shape, and some of them can be used on other drains as well.