How to Remove Shower Drain Cover: Screw-In, Snap-On, & More

You’re probably reading this because you’re tired of standing in a pool of dirty, soapy water every time you take your shower!

The thing is, a slow bathtub drain is nothing less than disgusting. And that’s why we’ve pieced together a complete guide detailing how to remove shower drain cover and unclog the drain.

What clogs a shower drain? 

While a shower drain cover prevents little objects from slipping down into the drain, it’s unable to stop hair from plunging into the drain. It only manages to bar things like bathroom razor blades, hair clips, shampoo caps, and loose pieces of jewelry.

Hair falls into the drain and accumulates inside. Over time, the hair buildup creates a clogged drain that eventually prevents your bathtub from draining as fast as it used to.

Under worst circumstances, clogged bathtub drain is completely unable to drain the water, leaving a distasteful pool of grimy water in your bathroom.  

The good news is, removing the debris that caused the drain to get clogged is not such a difficult task. All you need to do is learn how to take the shower drain cover off and fix the clog.

First Step to Detaching a Shower Drain Cover 

You’ve got to examine how your shower drain cover is attached to the drain before removing it. Shower drain covers come in various styles, including the following:

  • Screw-In

This is a standard shower drain cover resembling a flat or fairly concave (at times convex) strainer for brewing tea. It’s the easiest shower drain cover to remove.

You’ll need a Philips head screwdriver (or a flat one) to loosen the screws holding it in position. This type of drain cover can have one screw in its center or two screws along its edges.  

  • Flip-It

The flip-it drain cover is also simple to remove without any hardware. All you got to do is clasp the cover and spin it gently as you draw it out of the drain.

  • Toe-Touch

The toe-touch shower drain cover is one that shuts and opens with a simple push of a toe. At a glance, this type of shower drain cover seems tricky to remove – but it isn’t.

Switch the cover to its open position, and then turn it counter-clockwise to loosen and remove the cover. You can also detach the entire mechanism, thanks to a threaded, flathead screwdriver opening on the cover that ensures smooth unscrewing.

  • Pop-Up

The pop-up shower drain cover requires no tools and is relatively straightforward to remove. A simple straight up and off pulling motion is enough to do the trick. Other pop-up covers need back and forth wiggling action, which isn’t any different from the straight up and off pulling.

Other options also have a rocker-arm style. You’ll need to uncover the attached arm by flipping straight up. Then pull it horizontally to remove the drain cover.

  • Lift-and-Turn

The lift-and-turn drain cover is more or less the same as the push/pull variety. Place the cover in the open position and check if the stopper is held in place by a screw.

If there’s no screw holding the stopper, simply turn the cover counter-clockwise and remove it. But if there’s a screw, slacken it just slight enough to remove the stopper.

  • Push/Pull – 

You shouldn’t confuse the push/pull shower drain cover with its lift-and-turn counterpart.

While holding the stopper in place, turn the push/pull cover counter-clockwise to unscrew the upper knob. You’ll see a brass insert under the stopper. Use a flathead to unscrew it, and then lift the stopper.

Assemble the Necessary Tools

Now that you’ve learned the different types of shower drain covers, you should’ve already determined the style of your shower drain cover.

At this point, you need to gather the specific tools and materials for removing your shower drain cover. Assemble the following tools and materials for the job:

  • Philips screwdriver (or flathead screwdriver for a screw-in drain cover)
  • Trash can for pulling out a clog in the drain
  • Resealable bag or plastic tray for holding small screws
  • Wash cloth for covering up the drain grate when removing or replacing screws
  • Needle nose pliers for a snap-on drain cover
  • Utility knife
  • Spray lubricant

Note: Some of these tools may be optional depending on the type of your shower drain cover.

How to Remove a Screw-in Shower Drain Cover – A Step-By-Step Guide

  • You’ll need Phillips screwdriver to loosen screws holding the screw-in shower drain in place. Using the palm of your hand, apply pressure on the uppermost end of the screwdriver’s handle.
  • Then, use your other hand to rotate it until the screw comes out. Detach the screw from the cover and keep it inside a plastic tray.
  • If you’re still unable to loosen the screw, spray a generous amount of lubricant along the lip of the cover and allow it about 2 minutes to settle down into the threads.
  • Once the lubricant (or any penetrating catalyst) has settled, insert the screwdriver and twist it again until the screw pops out. Place all screws inside a small cup for safe keeping.
  • Once you’ve unscrewed all screws and set them aside, now insert the tip of your screwdriver through a hole near the rim. Pull down the screwdriver handle gently but firmly to pry the drain cover open.
  • Prying the cover expands the opening for unrestricted view of any clog underneath. You can clean off any clog using a putty knife. Or, you can pull out a clog using a trash can.
  • Sometimes the cover refuses to come up as fast as expected. If this happens, loosen the cover further using a flathead screwdriver.
  • With the aid of a hammer, tap around the rim to slacken the support media even more. Then snoop it away from the drain using a screwdriver.

How to Remove a Snap-On Shower Drain Cover: A Step-By-Step Guide

  • First, apply an adequate amount of lubricant along the shower drain cover’s lip. Leave it for about 2 minutes for the lubricant to settle into the threads.
  • Look out for any opening on the drain cover and insert the tips of a pair of needle-nose pliers into the hole. Ensure that the pointed ends of the pliers are facing the opposite sides of the drain.
  • Hold the pliers firmly and securely with one hand per grip and then spin to the left. The adhesive will slowly loosen and come free as you apply more force.
  • In the event the cover doesn’t get loose and come out, add more lubricants to speed up the removal of shower drain cover. Spray a liberal amount of lubricant and apply steady force until the drain cover pops out.
  •  Once the cover is out, go ahead and remove any debris accumulated in the drain pipe. Never forget to get rid of any soap scum buildup as well as scrape away any corrosion around the perimeter of the shower drain.

Takeaway 

Leaving the shower drain clogged can create a significant damage to your comfort and convenience in the bathroom. You need to take charge and clean in and around the drain regularly to keep the risk of clogging to a minimum.

These simple tips on how to remove a shower drain cover are straightforward to apply even if you’ve never done it before. Guess the best part?

Once you’ve mastered these DIY solutions on how to remove the shower drain cover, you’ll no longer need to hire any plumber to do the job for you. You’ll be able to induce the ultimate comfort into your bathroom without spending any dime. Cool, huh!

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