How To Remove A Bathtub Drain Plug In 2023 – A Comprehensive Guide

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If you’re a homeowner, you know that maintaining your home’s plumbing system is crucial for its longevity. One of the most common issues you may face is a clogged bathtub drain, which can be caused by hair, soap, or other debris. Removing the drain plug is the first step in clearing the clog, but it can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Don’t worry – in this article, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step, so you can tackle the problem with confidence.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools at hand:

1. Screwdriver

You’ll need a flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver, depending on the type of drain plug you have. Check the plug to determine which one you’ll need.

2. Pliers

Pliers will come in handy for turning and twisting the drain plug, especially if it’s stuck.

3. Drain Key

If you have a bathtub drain with a cross-shaped plug, you’ll need a drain key to remove it. You can find these at most hardware stores.

Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have your tools ready, let’s get started:

Step 1: Remove the Stopper

If your drain plug has a stopper, you’ll need to remove it first. Simply twist it counterclockwise to loosen it, then pull it out.

Step 2: Locate the Screw

Look for a screw on the top of the drain plug. If you don’t see one, skip to step 4. If there is a screw, use your screwdriver to remove it.

Step 3: Remove the Drain Plug

Once the screw is removed, you should be able to lift the drain plug out of the drain. If it’s stuck, use your pliers to grip the plug and twist it back and forth until it comes loose.

Step 4: Use a Drain Key

If your drain plug has a cross-shaped stopper, you’ll need to use a drain key to remove it. Insert the key into the drain and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the plug. Once it’s loose, you should be able to lift it out of the drain.

Step 5: Clean the Drain

With the drain plug removed, you can now clean out any debris that may be causing the clog. Use a drain snake or a wire hanger to remove any hair or other obstructions from the drain.

Step 6: Reassemble the Drain Plug

After cleaning the drain, it’s time to put the plug back in. If you removed a screw, reinsert it and tighten it with your screwdriver. If you used a drain key, simply insert the plug and turn it clockwise to tighten it.

Step 7: Test the Drain

Finally, turn on the water and test the drain to make sure it’s working properly. If it’s still clogged, you may need to repeat the process or call a professional plumber for assistance.


Removing a bathtub drain plug may seem daunting, but it’s a relatively simple process that can save you time and money in the long run. With the right tools and a little know-how, you can clear a clogged drain in no time. Remember to take your time and be gentle with the plug to avoid damaging it. If you’re unsure about any step, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance.