Why Is Black Stuff Coming Out of Shower Drain? (Explained!)

Let’s face it; nothing is as dreadful as black stuff coming out of your shower drain. It gets you worried as you are not sure about its cause. Well, here’s the simple explanation for the black stuff coming out of shower drain:

The black stuff is coming out the shower drain because of soap scum and hair buildup or in-pipe corrosion by harsh chemicals. It could also be due to debris loosening up from high water pressure or hot water or a case of a sewage backup.

So, obviously, the causes are not as dreadful as one may assume. Even better, you can fix it, and it’s all DIY. So, get your toolbox ready, as I’ll be sharing with you a quick DIY guide for dealing with the black matter! 

Let’s get started:

black stuff coming out of shower drain

Explaining the Black Stuff Coming Out of Shower Drain

The black stuff could be because of any of these four reasons:

1. Soap Scum and Hair Build-Up

We all go to the shower at least once or twice a day, and we use shampoo, shaving cream, soap, and bathing lotions. Unfortunately, these shower supplies contain fat and grease, clogging the shower over time.

While soap clog is likely to unblock itself, it gets complicated if you shave and run your hair down the drain.

Together with the soap clog, the hair will form even a bigger clog, which may start disintegrating bit by bit, which explains why you see black stuff coming out of your shower.  


Overall, nothing is better than prevention. While you cannot avoid using soaps and creams, you can avoid washing hair down the drain as human hair can clog the drain.

But since we are talking about the fix, here is how to go about it:

Option 1 – Hot Water

Hot water helps break grease and soap scum, thus clearing the black stuff if it’s caused by the two.

However, if the clogs are big or contain hair, hot water couldn’t be of much help. In that case, consider the options below.

Option 2 – Plumbers’ Snake 

A plumber’s snakes go far into your shower drain, making it the best for dislodging hair. To use a plumber’s snake, you need to open the shower drain cover and put the snake’s handle down the drain to pull the hair clogs out of the shower.

One of the best plumber snakes that you can buy is Drainsoon Auger Plumbing Snake.  It measures 25 feet long to reach far and unclog stubborn hair and soap scum clogs.

Why Is My Shower Drain Black

Option 3 – Wire Hook

I used a wire hook a while back, and I can confirm it works, even though it’s old school.

You can straighten it out using a jacket wire hanger and make a hook on one end. The hook will be the one to go into the drain and pull the hair clog out.

So, this is an excellent alternative to a plumbing snake as it doesn’t cost you anything other than the wire hanger.

Option 4 – A Plunger

A plunger can also help you get rid of soap and hair clogging in your shower drain. It uses suction force to get rid of the clog in your shower drain.

To unclog using a plunger, you first need to open the shower drain cover and plunge gently but with much force while pouring water slowly into the drain. That will work if the clog isn’t the most stubborn

One plunger to have at home is the MR. SIGA Toilet Plunger. It is a good combo that you can use for both the toilet and the bathroom drain systems.

How do I get black stuff out of my shower drain

2. In-Pipe Corrosion

The other possible reason behind black stuff coming out shower drain is corrosion in the drainage shower system.

When you clean your bathroom with strong and harsh chemicals, they go down the drain corroding the piping system. 

And if your system is made of metal pipes, the metal reacts with these chemicals and forms rust scales. The rust scales, in turn, loosen from high pressure, and they may find their way down the shower drain.


The remedy is to avoid using strong cleaners in your bathroom, especially if your shower piping system material is metal.

And when it comes to getting rid of the rust scaling, consider cleaning the drain, and here are your two options:

Option 1 – Vinegar and Baking Soda

Do you know that the best and most effective drain cleaners lie in your kitchen? Yes!  You got that right.

I’m talking about white vinegar and baking soda. The two help wash down rust scales and every other clog down the shower drain.

Remember, white vinegar is an acid while baking soda is a base and their effervescence reaction is what you need to get rid of any form of clog.

You need to:

  • First, pour a cup of vinegar and wait for it to rest for a few more minutes
  • Add a cup of baking soda and wait for a few hours or overnight for it and the vinegar to dissolve the clog
  • Then pour hot water down the drain to clean the piping and rinse with much water

Option 2 – Enzyme-Based Cleaners

Enzyme-based cleaners are effective against rust scaling and other clogs along the drains. The best part is that they are safer like most chemicals that dissolve toilet paper.

It’s essential, however, that you use them as the manufacturer recommends. Furthermore, you should wear safety gear like goggles, a face mask, and gloves to be safe.

Consider using the Green Gobbler Enzyme Cleaner (View on Amazon). This enzyme drain cleaner breaks down paper, hair, fat, grease, and anything that clogs your shower drain. Plus, it’s safer to use.

black stuff coming out shower drain

3. Loose Debris Due to High-Pressure Water (Or Even Hot water)

Loose debris is a potential cause of black gunk coming out of shower drain. Over time, debris is likely to build up inside the shower drain.

So, when the shower water flows under high pressure, some debris may loosen up and come out of the shower drain. That could be the reason you are seeing the black stuff.

The effects are the same when you routinely shower with hot water (not warm water). Hot water easily dislodges debris along the drain, and it could be the reason you see black matter coming out of the shower drain.


While we all rejoice when showering under high-pressure or hot water, our drains suffer consequences. So, it’s all about prevention here. Just if you can, shower with warm water instead of hot water. Likewise, use moderate water pressure and not high pressure.

And in as far as rectifying the issue is concerned, consider cleaning your drain, and you can use any vinegar-baking soda or enzyme cleaners as discussed above.

4. Sewage Backup

Sometimes the problem may be communal. If a community sewer has an issue, the problem could lead to black stuff coming out of the shower drain.

But still, if your backyard septic tank has a plumbing malfunction, it could also result in the same thing. The sewage could get back out of the shower drain as black stuff. 

That is usually the most dangerous cause as it’s not just unsightly and irritating, but the sewage could sprout an infection. So, you have to act fast to fix it if the issue relates to your septic tank.


If the problem is due to a plumbing malfunction in your septic tank, call an expert to help you. But if it’s a community thing, you should report it to the head office of the community sewer and water company.    

People Also Ask

1. Why Is Black Stuff Coming Out of My Shower?

The black stuff is coming out of your shower because of any of these three reasons:

  • Clogging by hair and scum from soap, shaving cream, lotion, and other bathing supplies that you usually use in the shower
  • In-pipe corrosion due to the use of harsh chemicals
  • Rust scaling inside the drains
  • A case of a sewage backup

2. How Do I Get Black Stuff Out of My Shower Drain?

Getting rid of black gunk in your shower drain is DIY and straightforward. You can use chemicals, hot water, vinegar and baking soda, a plunger, a plumber’s snake, or a hook to remove the black stuff from your shower drain.

But if it doesn’t go away, you can call a professional plumber to figure out what could be wrong with your shower drain system.

3. What Is the Black Stuff Clogging My Shower Drain?

The black stuff accumulating in your shower drain may be soap scum, skin cells, shaving cream, bacteria, toothpaste, phlegm, or mineral deposits.

If they are left to accumulate over time, they can form large clogs that can be stubborn to remove.

4. Why Is My Shower Drain Black?

Your shower drain is black because of possible in-pipe rusting, too much dirt in the pipe, or pipe corrosion by harsh chemicals. In that case, consider cleaning the drain using an enzyme cleaner.

Closing Remarks On Black Stuff Coming Out of Shower Drain!

The next time you find black stuff in your shower drain, don’t get alarmed. Just diagnose the issue and use the tips I’ve shared to fix it.

As a recap, the chances are that the black stuff is because of clogging from the supplies you use to shower, scaling by rust, damage to the pipe, or just sewage backup.

So, put all these possible reasons in mind when addressing the issue. But if you cannot fix it, then call a plumber!

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