We’ve all been there: you step into the shower, get the water running, and notice water backing up in your shower drain! If such a thing happens to you, you have a clogged plumbing vent, and you’ll need to deal with it.
Hair is the top culprit for clogged drains. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, hair will inevitably get into your shower drain.
The good news is that you can clean the shower drain of hair. This post will take you through the six easy ways to clear a hair-clogged drain.
Let’s get started!
How do I clean the shower drain of hair?
Nobody likes to unclog hair from the drain – it’s disgusting. Some individuals gag at the sight of strands of hair trapped between their fingers as they lift it from the drain.
If you’re among the individuals that hate unclogging shower drain of hair, maybe these methods can help you:
Use boiling water
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove hair from the drains. It’s simple – you boil a pot of hot water and pour it down the drain.
You may use a pouring cup or a funnel to make the process easier. Pour the hot water into the drain steadily, pause for a few seconds, repeat the process, and test your shower.
Boiling water will loosen up the grease and soap holding the hair in place, allowing it to flush away properly.
Use baking soda and vinegar
Another effective and safe method to remove hair from the bathroom drains is to use baking soda, white vinegar, and boiling water. This method doesn’t eat away your plumbing pipes, unlike harsh chemicals like Liquid Plumr and Drano max gel.
Even better, baking soda has disinfectant properties and will remove fungi, bacteria, and unpleasant odor in your bathroom or bathtub drain. So, how do you clean a clogged drain using baking soda and white vinegar?
Here is a step-by-step guide to clean your shower drain using baking soda:
- Pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged shower drain. Then, pour one cup of white vinegar down there.
- Baking soda and vinegar will combine and begin to fizz. Wait several minutes after the fizzing stops and pour two quarts of boiling water into the drain.
- Check if the water is moving through the drains. If not, repeat the same process to unclog your bathroom drain.
For the best results, you should still use a cup plunger to clean any hair that’s left behind.
Use your hands
Yes, using your hands can be disgusting, but it’s one of the most effective methods to clean your hair clogged drain. All you need is to remove the drain’s cover and pull the hair out of the inside of the drain.
You can wear thin rubber gloves or go in bare if you’re brave. You may also use a flashlight to clearly spot the strands of hair trapped inside the drain.
Again, using your hands is a dirty job, but it’s one of the fastest and most effective methods to clean out stubborn clogs.
Use a plunger
If your drain is large, a cup plunger might be the perfect tool to clear the hair clumps from the drain. This method is especially effective for less severe clogs.
Allow a little bit of water to run in your shower, leaving the plunger submerged. You can add small amounts of petroleum jelly around the plunger’s edge to improve with suction.
Once the plunger gets stuck to the drain, begin plunging. Do it vigorously until the hair clog clears away.
The stringy nature of the human hair can make it challenging to plunge it out. So, if you tried clearing shower drain clogs and the hair seems not to come off, try pulling it out using a pair of tweezers.
First, remove the drain cover using a screwdriver or manually, depending on your drain’s nature. Then, use your needle-nose pliers to pull out the accumulation of hair from the drain.
You may use a flashlight to get a better view of the inside of the drain. Also, you may want to wear rubber gloves, as pulling out hair can get pretty nasty.
Once you’re done, pour hot water in the drain to flush any remaining strands of hair out.
Use a hook
Closely related to the hand method, the hook method is yet another effective way to clean clumps of hair trapped in your drain. As the name suggests, this method involves using a hook like a wire coat hanger to fish out the hair.
Put the wire hook into the drain, try to hook the hair, and pull it out. Do this slowly to avoid the hair breaking and falling back into the drain.
Also, use the thinnest hooks for the best results. Certain drain-cleaning chemicals come with a hook-like tool for this purpose.
Use the snaking device
If the above methods don’t seem to work to remove hair clogs, a plumber’s snake may be your only go-to device. But how exactly does the plumbing snake work?
Here is a step-by-step guide to clean hair-clogged drains using a snaking tool:
Remove the drain cover
Using a screwdriver, remove the shower drain stopper to access the actual drain pipe. Insert the screwdriver’s tip into the screw heads and twist to the left to loosen them up.
If you have a shower and a bathtub, you may remove the drain cover by pressing it down and twisting it to the left.
Use tweezers or pliers to remove visible strands of hair
If there are visible clumps of hair on the drainpipe, use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to dig them out. Empty them into a plastic bag for easy cleanup.
Use the snaking tool to clean the clogged drain
Insert the plastic drain snake into the drainpipe until its handle is at the top of the drain’s opening. Be careful handling the snaking tool, as some have small, sharp thorns that can harm you.
Then, twist the snaking tool on either side to trap hair clumps. You can buy the plumber’s snake online or at your local hardware store.
Remove the snaking tool slowly
Hold the snaking tool by its handle and slowly pull it out of the drain. To grasp as much hair as possible, you may want to twist and wiggle it around as you pull it out.
If it gets stuck, wiggle it around until it comes out easily. Discard the tool after use.
Rinse the drain and reinstall the drain cover
Rinse the drain using hot water for about 10 seconds to remove the remaining strands of hair. If globs of hair rise to the surface, pull them out using your hands and discard them in plastic bags.
Using a screwdriver, reinstall the drain cover, twisting each screw to the right. If your drain has a screwless drain guard, insert it into the drain opening, push it down, and twist to the right.
Although it’s always advisable to use natural methods to unclog a drain, some are too stubborn for the natural means.
If you have tried all other methods with no success, it’s time to try out the commercial drain cleaners. Visit a store and look for chemicals that have been explicitly made to unclog drains.
Apply the chemical to your clogged drains as needed, following the stated instructions. Always wear your PPEs, including goggles, rubber gloves, and old clothes.
Important: Do not mix chemicals, as that could create deadly substances.
Call a professional
At times, the clog can’t be handled using regular methods. In such an instance, you may want to enlist the help of a professional plumber.
A plumber has the expertise, knowledge, and tools needed to remove hair clogs from your drains. They can also give you some tips to prevent a clog in the future.
Prevention is the best cure, so you should prevent the clog from happening in the first place. The first step to preventing hair-clogged drains is to be aware of the amount of hair you shed and then works towards reducing it.
Here are a few preventive measures to keep your drain clear of hair clogs:
- Buy a shower drain hair catcher. Most hair catchers don’t have the best looks, but they work the best in trapping long hair.
- Run a water tap as you shave to allow the hair to flush as you go. The more water you run, the better.
- Brush your hair before showering
- Maintain a clean drain screen if you have one.
These measures will help prevent hair clogs in your shower drains.
I know I’m not the only one struggling with the annoying battle between long hair and a clogged shower drain. This article looks to end your struggle by offering the nine best ways to clean the shower drain of hair.