How To Remove Shower Drain Cover With No Screws

Have you been building up the courage to finally clean out your shower drain to then realize there are no screws, how do you remove a shower drain cover with no screws?

A slow draining bathtub is not what you want when you’re taking a relaxing shower, so we’re here to help. We’re going to teach you how to differentiate between shower drain covers and show you how to remove shower drain covers with no screws.

6 Shower Drain Cover Variations

There are 6 shower drain covers that you will commonly find in most household bathrooms, all of which function differently. Knowing what makes each of these unique and how they work is the key to easily removing shower drains.

Although a drain cover with no screws can be slightly more complex, identifying each type isn’t so difficult. Apart from the obvious screw-in drain cover, here are some other variations without visible screws to remove.

Lift and Turn

The lift and turn functions in a similar way to the push and pull drain covers and may or may not have the stopper held in place with a screw.

You may not notice a visible screw with this drain cover which is why so many users struggle with removing a lift and turning the shower drain cover.


This variation may appear impossible to remove at first as its function is very simple and has no obvious methods of removal. The toe-touch simply opens and closes with a light push on the cover to allow water to drain or fill your tub.


The most simple cover to remove is the pop-up cover. It functions almost identically to the toe-touch cover, without any screws holding it in place under the surface. There can be a variation in appearance with some pop-up options having a rocker-arm style which requires a different removal that can confuse some users.

Push and Pull

Think of the push and pull similar to the lift and turn cover, just with a turning motion required when being used to seal and open the drain.

Trip Lever

A trip lever is slightly more confusing, with two separate pieces that will require removal. The stopper uses a plunger in the overflow pipe that moves up and down to close and open again. This is a slightly less common variation, but unique in appearance so easy to spot.


Luckily, the flip-it cover is easy to spot too and you can easily install and remove these when you want with minimal fuss. This variation of drain cover has a level you can flip to either side for it to perform its intended function.

How To Remove Your Shower Drain Cover

Now that you can identify which variety of shower drain covers you’ve got to work with, you can easily remove them without any hassle!

Before you begin removing the shower drain covers you should gather any needed tools such as screwdrivers or needle-nose pliers and make sure you have the appropriate cleaning equipment and a trash bag to hand for any cleaning or unclogging you plan on doing.

Lift and Turn

The most common shower drain cover is the lift and turn and luckily they require minimal maintenance and are straightforward to remove.

Remember although these drain covers are low maintenance you should regularly remove any build-up to prevent worse clogging and drainage that could lead to flooding over time in your bathroom.

You may be able to remove this purely by hand, but you may want to keep a small flathead screwdriver and pair of pliers to hand just to be prepared.

  1. Lift your drain into the open position.
  2. It is important you turn your drain cover base counterclockwise and not the knob, keep turning until you feel some resistance against you.
  3. Look for a small screw at the base of your drain cover as you lift it slightly, and unscrew it slightly before pulling the cover off.
  4. Cautiously lift the cover fully and it should remove giving you full access to your drain.

Toe-Touch and Pop-Up

Both these methods have the same removal to follow which is convenient and easy if you are someone who regularly cleans your shower drains. You will only need a flathead screwdriver for this shower drain removal.

  1. Open your drain.
  2. Twist the lid of your drain cover until it comes off.
  3. Use your screwdriver to remove the now revealed base of the drain cover.
  4. Once unscrewed lift the drain cover off.

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Push and Pull

Push and pull shower drain covers function similarly to the toe-touch drains, but do require a different removal method due to it being built differently. For this removal, you will need a flathead screwdriver and pliers or a wrench.

You may also want to have a towel handy for help if it proves slightly difficult to remove a stuck shower drain.

  1. Place your drain stopped into its open position.
  2. Unscrew the knob on your drain stopper. You may need a towel here to get a better grip for easier removal.
  3. Once the knob is removed, you will see a square opening that you can put your screwdriver into and twist counterclockwise.
  4. Your shower drain cover should then be easy to lift and remove.

Trip Lever

As we previously mentioned, these shower drains can be trickier to remove as it is made up of two separate pieces which both require removal and also feature an overflow pipe and plunger. You will need a flathead screwdriver.

  1. Use your screwdriver to unscrew the lever on your bathtub wall and pull out the stopping mechanism that goes down into the drain.
  2. Unscrew the grated drain cover on top of the drain base.
  3. You can now remove the whole drain cover.


Our final shower drain cover is the flip-it drain cover. You will only need a flathead screwdriver and should find this cover very simple to remove.

  1. Flip your drain into its open position.
  2. Pull the drain to locate the groove, then insert the screwdriver.
  3. Apply some slight pressure and you should find you can now lift your drain cover and easily gain access.

How To Remove a Stuck Shower Drain Cover

If you’re still struggling to remove your shower drain cover then there may be some issues under the surface that need addressing before you go any further. It’s hard to pinpoint the issue when you can’t physically see into your drain which can prove frustrating for many of us.

There are a few methods you can try when your shower drain cover won’t come off, all of which are budget-friendly too so can save you some money on an expensive call-out charge,

1) Plunger

Sometimes going back to basics can be a massive help, and by using a plunger on your stuck shower drain you can try to get things moving under the surface to allow for easier shower drain removal.

Make sure you cover the overflow plate with tape or a wet rag to prevent loss of force and plunge several times in 1-2 inches of water.

2) Baking Soda and Vinegar

The holy grail for so many DIY and home issues, baking soda, and vinegar create a highly fizzy carbonated reaction and is a fantastic eco-friendly and chemical-free solution for all drain cleaning needs.

Pour some baking soda into the drain followed by white vinegar and leave it to fizz for up to 30 minutes, after this time pour a large amount of boiling water directly into the drain (not around it!) to clear away any blockage,

3) Plastic Declogging Tools

These large tools are designed to scoop out any build-up that may be lurking under the surface of your shower drain and can be found for as little as $3 in many home improvement stores.

It looks similar to a large spiky zip strip and has a hooked handle to create a good grip when you’re digging around in your drains. Be prepared for this method to get messy as it removes everything that is keeping your shower drain stuck in place!

clear glass door with white steel frame


Why is my shower not draining?

Over time your drains will clog up with hair, soap, and grease build-up and won’t allow water to effectively drain away through your drains. You may also have mineral build-up from the water depending on your location or could have tiny cracks in your underground pipes due to tree roots.

What can I use if I don’t have a drain wrench?

You don’t need a drain wrench when it comes to shower drain removal and often a set of needle-nose locking pliers can work just as well as long as they are small enough to reach into the areas you need.

Will baking soda and vinegar ruin pipes?

We recommend using baking soda and vinegar to clear any blockages in your pipes when you’re removing your shower drain cover as it contains no harsh chemicals and will not damage your pipes.

Can plunging make a clog worse?

Plungers can help to create a suction and forcibly move any buildup under your shower drains that could be preventing you from removing them or efficiently draining your water,


Most of the time you can easily remove your shower drain cover at home without the use of any uncommon household tools. If you are struggling to remove your shower drain cover remember to follow our help to remove any clogging beforehand to make the task easier to complete.

We recommend vinegar and baking soda to clean your pipes without causing damage, but you can also use specific build-up removing products to get the job done.

If you cannot get your shower drain to move then make sure you have checked which variety of drains you have from our list and follow the step-by-step instructions to carefully remove the drain without causing any damage.