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Seek's avatar

Bathtub clogged - Is there DIY help?

Asked by Seek (34739points) June 25th, 2010

I’m pretty sure the tub is clogged with kitty litter.

I say that because it’s in the bathroom we never use, so there’s no logical reason for it to be anything else.

We use plain clay, non-clumping litter. I was just trying to clean the tub, and lo and behold, nothing’s going down the drain.

I’ve tried plunging, pouring boiling water down the drain, and fishing around with a coat hanger, and all combinations of the above, to no avail. It’s 11:00 PM, and I’d like to get it fixed ASAP, if possible.


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14 Answers

sleepdoc's avatar

This may sound simple but draino or its equivalent works well for lots of those kinds of clogs.

ragingloli's avatar

Plunge more and then some. Like your life depended on it. If it does not work, call the plumber tomorrow.
And why in the world would you try to flush kitty litter down the bathtub? At least use the toilet if you have to. The hole is bigger you know

SmashTheState's avatar

Bail out the tub, then pour boiling water into the drain and add some dish detergent. Let it sit for a couple of hours. This was recommended to me by a plumber, and unless the clog is really bad, it’s worked for me in the past.

dpworkin's avatar

If you plunge, plug up the overflow with some wet paper towel or the air just comes out of there.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I’ve done that, @Seek_Kolinahr. You’re probably going to need a snake, which you can buy at a place like Walmart, or you can call the plumber. The kitty litter bonds with any hair in the trap and forms a solid plug. Water and plunging may soften it over time, but you’re really going to need something to force an opening in it.

I usually keep a Zip-It handy to get hair out of the drain, but when you rinse out the kitty litter pan in the bathtub, and don’t run the water long enough to flush out the drain afterwards, the litter bonds with the hair and becomes this solid thing.

@ragingloli, I think she rinses the empty pan in the tub, not flushes the used litter down the tub drain.

Seek's avatar


I don’t flush the litter at all. I dump it, and I clean the thing outside. However, I do keep the litterbox in the tub, and Ulthar is quite a litter-slinger. I have to sweep the tub out every other day. It’s ridiculous. I need to get her one of those litterboxes with a cover.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, the dome ones are great. There’s even one that has a right angle turn so extreme litter kickers are keeping it inside the box entirely.

Pandora's avatar

Well in the morning you can purchase this. It is the last one on the first row. I swear by it. Although grains is another matter than hair it may be flexible and long enough to dig in and shake an opening where the sand grain has clumped together to create the clog. Corrosives strong enough to desolve it may ruin your pipes. I would asked someone working in the plumbing department in Lowes or Homedepot. It has been great in clearing all my clogged drains with a minimum of mess and I don’t have to run out in the night to buy draino or some corrosive that will destroy my drains. Now they do sell some longer augers but if the problem is really down deep than its best to call a plumber.

knitfroggy's avatar

I’ve had to plunge my tub before. What I’ve found really works best is plunging like hell in short, fast strokes and then pulling the plunger up really fast and hard. From what my husband said it kind of dislodges the clog if you do it that way. It helped. And like @dpworkin said, plug up the overflow.

MissA's avatar

I, personally, would not use Drano because of possible pipe damage. Don’t panic. It would help to know what kind of drain mechanism you have. I’ll go with the most common.

You may need a couple of wrenches…but, this is not difficult. Hold the bottom part of the drain mechanism while you turn the screw counterclockwise. This will allow you further access into the drain. If you have a shop vac you can suck out the litter. If not, go back down with your coat hanger and keep poking in the drain. Poke toward the end of the bathtub where the faucet is, as that’s probably where the pipe is.

Boil some water and add OxyClean, if you have it. The boiling water makes it come alive. Pour down the drain after you have done as much as you are able.

Hope that helps. I just went through this a couple of weeks ago. Although mine wasn’t kitty litter…it was my hair! Enough for a wig or two!

cazzie's avatar

Vinegar and baking soda might give it some push. Pour it down and plunger at the same time.

LostInParadise's avatar

Zip It drain cleaner
How it works (not for the squeamish)

I originally bought a similar more expensive and less effective product that uses velcro. I have been using this other product as a preventive measure, cleaning drains once a week and it has been working, though I question how well it would work on a really clogged drain.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m assuming you plunged and poured haot eater down alread and it did not work. So…

1) Put a piece of duct tape over the 2 overflow holes usually located at the bottom of the spigot. That will prevent the pressure from escaping.
2) plunge again now that that the water has had time to soak the clog.

If the above does not work:
3) Run a 10 ft long spring snake attached to your drill down the drain. Snakes are cheap to buy and will last forever. Every home should have one hanging on the wall in the garage.

Brian1946's avatar

I’d say that you’ve gotten substantial info on how to unclog your drain.

As far as prevention goes, how about putting a stopper in the drain after you get it unclogged?

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