When your shower drain isn’t working properly, it can bring your daily routine to grinding halt. If the a clogged shower drain is struggling to keep up with water flow, it may need to be cleaned for calcium buildup or removed entirely. Here’s a look at how to remove 4 of the most common styles of shower drains.

Toe Touch

As the name suggests, this type of shower drain is opened and closed by a push of your toe through a spring-loaded mechanism.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  1. After making sure the stopper is in the open position, get a hold of the shaft cylinder while turning the top piece counterclockwise. Sometimes the shaft cylinder will turn too. If this happens, let go of the cylinder and continue unscrewing the stopper.

Note: Some Toe Touch stoppers can unscrew the metal cap from the cylinder shaft without having to turn the shaft itself. In this case, just unscrew the top piece off.

  1. To remove the post screwed into the crossbar, unscrew the shaft cylinder counterclockwise. Depending on which model you have, you may be able to unscrew the shaft and post with a screwdriver.

Lift and Turn

These shower stoppers have a knob in the center and must be lifted and turned in opposite directions. This type of clogged shower drain will require a little extra labor to take off correctly. 

Tools you’ll need:

  •  Flathead screwdriver
  • Set of Allen wrenches
  1. Place the stopper in the open position. Holding the body of the stopper in place, slowly turn the top knob and look for an exposed set screw on the knob.

Note: If the stopper does not have a set screw on the knob, turn the stopper counterclockwise until it releases from the strainer and go to number 4.

  1. If the stopper doesn’t have a set screw and doesn’t unscrew, then you most likely have one of two types of lift and turn stoppers. With the stopper still in the open position, lift it up.
  • If you see a small screw after turning the stopper, you can proceed to the next step.
  • If you don’t see a small screw, you could have a channel built-in the stopper. In this case, lift the stopper and turn it counterclockwise until the channel’s slot lines up with the pin on the strainer. This allows the entire stopper to be pulled straight up.
  1. Loosen the set screw with either a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Lift the stopper from the brass post. If the screw will not slide off the post, a calcium buildup could be preventing movement. Consider using a liquid solvent or apply more pressure to the stopper.
  1. Unscrew the post from the strainer and lift off the stopper.


This type of stopper has a knob in the center that must be pushed to close and pulled up to open.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Clean rag
  1. Remove the top knob from the stopper. Holding the body of the stopper in one hand, turn the knob counterclockwise. If it refuses to unscrew, wrap the rag around the knob and use pliers.
  1. Using a flathead screwdriver to unscrew the brass post in a counterclockwise motion, separate the post from the crossbar of the strainer and lift the stopper off.


Increasingly popular choices for residential and commercial properties alike, linear drains are generally panel-like drains placed along one side of the floor of the shower. They are the easiest shower drains to remove.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Shower drain key
  • Clean rag
  1. Using your drain key, lift the cover of the shower drain. Set it aside on a clean rag.

And you’re done!

Fix clogged shower drain

Having trouble removing your clogged shower drain or any other plumbing problems? The professionals at Meticulous Plumbing are happy to make sure the most important room in your house is working in top condition. Contact us today to get started.

Recommended Posts