If your bathtub drain or shower drain is backed up, there’s a high chance that hair is the culprit. A hair clog is a type of clog that almost everyone encounters at some point. Even with a drain stopper, short and long hair will still find its way down the drain and create clumps that slowly block your pipes. In such a situation, you need to figure out how to get hair out of the drain.
When faced with clogged drains, many people run to harsh chemical drain cleaners. However, most of these products are caustic and could slowly damage your plumbing pipes. Other people call the plumber immediately and end up spending a lot. The good news is that there are some easy and economical home remedies you can use to get hair out of a drain.
How to Get Hair Out of a Drain With DIY Home Remedies
Whether you are dealing with a hair clog in your bathroom sink, shower, or tub drain, here are some solutions you can use to get rid of that mess.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar is a very powerful combination that can help clear nasty hair clogs. Besides helping dissolve hair in your drain, baking soda also has disinfectant qualities that can fight fungi and bacteria. Here are the steps for clearing clogs with baking soda and vinegar:
- Pour one cup of baking soda down the blocked drain, followed immediately with one cup of vinegar. This will create a chemical reaction that produces fizzing.
- About 10 minutes after the fizzing stops, pour one liter of boiling water down the drain.
- Turn on the faucet to see if the water is draining properly.
- If the drain is still blocked, repeat the first three steps. You might have to repeat the process several times for stubborn hair clogs.
Use Needle-Nose Pliers or a Wire Hanger
If your drain has a removable cover, using pliers or a wire hanger could be a great way to get hair out of the drain. For this, you will need rubber gloves, a screwdriver, a flashlight, and needle-nose pliers.
- Remove the drain stopper. If you cannot pry the stopper off manually, use the screwdriver.
- Find the clog using a flashlight.
- Wear your gloves and use the needle-nose pliers to pull out the clump of hair.
- If the pliers cannot fit the drain or reach the clog, try a wire hanger. Simply straighten out a coat hanger and make a hook at the end. Insert it into the drain, fish around for a hair clump, and pull it out.
- Once the drain is clear, flush it out with one liter of hot water.
Use a Plumbing Snake
Also known as an auger, a plumbing snake is simply a flexible and long wire or plastic tool that “snakes” its way down drains and breaks up clogs quickly and efficiently. If you don’t already have one at home, you can buy it from your local hardware store. Augers come in a broad range of sizes and styles, depending on the recommended use.
When choosing an auger, here are some things to consider:
- Cable thickness and length: Augers come in a few standard thicknesses and lengths. For the average homeowner or renter who wants to unblock a shower, tub, or sink, a 25-foot cable that’s at least ¼ of an inch thick should work. For multi-story homes with bathrooms upstairs, an auger with a 50-foot cable would be ideal to reach clogs in longer pipes.
- Drain snake head design: Plumbing snakes come with two main types of heads — coil heads and cutting heads. With coil or toothed heads, you can grab clumps of hair and pull them out of the drain. Cutting heads have sharp blades that cut through solid clogs blocking a pipe.
- Manual vs. electric drain snakes: With manual augers, you push the snake down the drain, turn the handle to grab the clog, and then pull it out. Electric drain snakes advance and retreat the cable simply at the push of a button — this is a better solution for tackling major clogs.
While there are many types of augers on the market, DrainShroom is the best option (but we admit, we might be biased). Retailing at only $14.99, this revolutionary clog remover attaches to any power drill and goes deep into your tub, shower or bathroom sink drain. Learn more about using drain snakes here.
Use a Plunger
Plungers are some of the most common household tools used for clearing blocked drains. There are a wide range of plungers on the market, each designed to work with different kinds of drains.
For bathroom sinks, tubs, or shower drains, use a sink or standard plunger. This kind of plunger has a rubber cup at the end of a wooden or plastic handle. It is ideal for flat surfaces like a sink or tub since the cup needs to lay flat over the drain.
Here is how to use a plunger to unblock a drain:
- Place the plunger over the drain.
- Pour water into the sink, tub or shower until the plunger is submerged.
- Pump the plunger down and up six or seven times in quick succession.
- Remove the plunger from the drain opening to see if the water drains away. If it doesn’t, repeat the process.
- Once the clog is cleared, pour one liter of water down the drain to flush out any debris.
When all else fails, you can try a chemical drain cleaner. Popular products include Green Gobbler, SuperFast Drain Cleaner, Liquid Fire, Drano Max Gel, and Pequa Drain Opener. Be sure to read and follow the directions for usage. Don’t make the mistake of mixing drain cleaners with other commercial or homemade cleaners. The chemical reaction could produce an explosion or a toxic gas.
If homemade remedies and chemical cleaners don’t work, it’s time to hire professional plumbing services. With their drain cleaning technology and tools, they can get rid of the most stubborn clogs made from hair, grease, soap scum, dirt, and other debris. Choose a plumber who is qualified, licensed, and insured. In addition, be sure to check online customer reviews and testimonials.
How to Prevent Hair From Clogging Drains
Getting clogs of hair out of a drain is not only disgusting, it’s also time-consuming.
If you have to hire a professional plumber or buy chemical drain cleaners as a way to get hair out of the drain, it could cost you several hundred dollars.
This is why preventing clogs from happening in the first place is the best course of action.
Here are some things you can do to keep hair from going down the drain.
Brush Your Hair Before Taking a Shower
This is advisable especially for people who have long hair. Brushing your hair before showering will help minimize loose strands that may fall out and go down your drain. If you wash your cat or dog in the bath, you should also give them a good brush beforehand.
Use a Kitchen Strainer
A kitchen strainer that fits your shower, tub or bathroom sink drain can come in handy for trapping hair. The best kind of strainer is one that has a wire mesh with small openings that trap hair while allowing water to flow freely. Remove the strainer regularly and clean it to prevent hair accumulation.
Do a Hot Water Rinse
Once a week, pour one liter of hot water down your drains. This will help dissolve any grime in your pipes and prevent hair clogs from forming.
Use a Fabric Softener Sheet
Simply place a used fabric softener sheet directly on top of the drain opening. Since the sheet is porous, it will trap any hair or debris on the surface while allowing water to flow. Be sure to throw the sheet into the trash after your shower.
Use the TubShroom Drain Protector
Retailing at less than $13, TubShroom is the most revolutionary hair catcher on the market. Unlike other drain protectors that are placed on top of the drain, TubShroom fits inside any bathtub drain opening. It easily catches pet and human hair without interfering with the flow of water.
With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, TubShroom is clearly the preferred drain strainer for many. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Dealing With Hair Clogs Shouldn’t Be Difficult
Wondering how to get hair out of a drain? There are several DIY solutions you can use to get rid of the problem. From vinegar and baking soda to wire hangers, plumbing snakes, or plungers, home remedies can help you clear your drains without resorting to harsh chemicals or calling a professional plumber.
There are also measures you can take to prevent hair from going down the drain. For best results, use the TubShroom drain strainer. It is not only affordable, it’s also very effective in catching hair. To protect your other drains, try the ShowerShroom and SinkShroom.