2 Tips for Unclogging the Hair in Your Sink Drain

If you’re like my kids, the thought of removing hair from your sink’s drain is so repugnant that you’ll ignore it for weeks, even months, as the water drains slower and slower…until it comes to a dead stop. That’s when I finally hear their inevitable screech for help.

Watch Kameron as he shows you how to use an inexpensive hair drain snake to quickly and easily remove the hair that’s clogging your sink’s drain.

But unclogging the hair in your sink’s drain isn’t difficult and doesn’t have to be icky. Especially if you’re wearing rubber gloves and can keep in mind that it’s probably your own hair that you’re dealing with. In fact, it’s quick and easy with either one of our two methods.

The first tip is the least invasive hair unclogging technique. The second is not quite as easy but it’s not terribly complex and it is what we’d consider the ideal solution. 

Option 1: The Drain Hair Snake Method

As you can see in the first portion of our video, Kameron is using a flat plastic tool to unclog his drain. This handy plumbing tool is called a hair drain snake (or hair snake). They can be made out of plastic or metal. But the plastic will work fine for our purposes.

These hair snakes are durable, flexible and easy to use with household sinks and shower and tub drains. Usually costing only $3-$7, they can be found in lots of places, from Amazon and Walmart to your Home Depot, Lowe’s, or local hardware store. 

So, how do you use it to unclog the hair in your drain? 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic drain hair snake (approximately 10-20” long)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Paper towels

That’s it. Now, it’s time to do the dirty work. Let’s get started.

  1. Pull up your sink’s pop-up. That’s the drain lid that is in the up position when water is flowing freely or in a down (or closed) position when you need to keep water in the sink bowl.
  2. Slip the hair snake and slide it all the way into your sink drain, while keeping hold of the end. 
  3. While the hair snake is still in the drain, move it around a bit; like you’re fishing for a lost ring or cleaning your plate with a piece of bread. 
  4. Remove the hair snake. You’ll notice hair and other debris attached to the snake. Just use a paper towel to clean it off. Don’t be afraid to try this technique several times, or until not much else is coming up with the snake.

All done. I told you it was easy…and not too icky.

Watch this second video if you want to see what to do if your clog is further down the drain.

Option #2: A Good Old Fashioned Drain Cleaning

This is the drain unclogging method for those of you who are a bit more ambitious. If you think the first method is too fast and easy, try this option. And if you need convincing, this is the method we personally recommend.

The reason your drain is clogging with hair is because the pop-up, or drain stop, is catching the hair. There are abundant ways to clean your drain, from a drain snake and chemicals to the vinegar and baking soda method, and more. When this occurs, our preferred method to handle this is to remove the pop-up and discard the hair. Below are all the steps to eradicate hair from your drains.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gloves 
  • Pliers

Here’s what you’ll need to do (use the diagram below for reference): 

  1. Unscrew the piece securing the metal rod to the drain stop, which connects the drain stop to the clevis strap. 
    • The star in the diagram below designates the piece to disconnect from the stopper. 
  2. Disconnect the piece and slide the metal rod out.
    • The stopper should now be able to be pulled up and out.
  3. Pull the drain stop out.
  4. Remove any hair attached to the stopper itself and any hair stuck to the insides of the drain.
  5. Once clean, reinsert the metal rod into the popup stopper.

Option #3: If in Doubt, Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Our videos provide all means necessary to tackle this task on your own, but your friends at 1-Tom-Plumber are available at the push of a button.

If you’d like to see more of our how-to plumbing and drain cleaning videos, just browse/search our blog or head over to our 1-Tom-Plumber YouTube channel.

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