No matter how hard you try to avoid it, hair is inevitably going to end up down your shower drain. Long hair, don’t care… until you’re standing in a pool of water that just won’t drain. Or even worse, your shower drain begins backing up – talk about an icky mess. When this happens, it can be tempting to call a plumber right away, but first, here are a few tricks to try so you can avoid the expense of employing a professional.
Hair snakes are good! They do not remove all of the hair, but sometimes removing one clump is good enough! It only takes a minute, so what do you have to lose? Just insert it into the drain, twist, and remove.
Baking Soda Method
Before you grab for those harsh chemicals, try a natural alternative of baking soda, white vinegar, and boiling hot water. Products like Drano and Liquid Plumr are caustic and can slowly eat away at your plumbing pipes. Baking soda, on the other hand, has many benefits. Not only does it help dissolve the hair down your drain, but it also has disinfectant properties that can fight odor, bacteria, and fungi. We call that a win-win!
How To Clean Your Shower Drain With Baking Soda
- Pour one cup of baking soda down the clogged tub drain. Follow immediately with one cup of vinegar.
- The combination of the vinegar and baking soda will start to fizz. Let the fizzing work its magic. Around five minutes after the fizzing stops, pour two quarts of boiling water down the drain.
- After you’ve flushed the drain, turn on the faucet and check if the water is draining properly.
- If the drain is still clogged, repeat steps 1 through 3 again. For extra stubborn clogs, pour a mixture of one cup baking soda and one half cup salt down the drain and let it sit overnight. Flush out the next day with hot water.
Remove The Clog By Hand (Or Tweezers)
If you have easy access to your drain and/or it has a removable cover, this method is your best chance for success. Rubber gloves or tweezers are recommended to avoid touching any yucky-ness with your hands.
- Remove the drain cover by lifting or prying open with a screwdriver.
- Locate the clog or clump of hair with a flashlight.
- If the clog is within reach, simply pull it out from the drain using your hands and dispose.
- For harder to reach clogs, try using tweezers or the end of a clothing hanger to hook onto the hair.
- Repeat until the shower drain is clear.
If the tub drain is still not clear nor draining properly, you might have a mineral buildup instead of a hair clog. In this case, you can revert back to the baking soda method or call a professional plumber to take a closer look.
Auger (a.k.a “plumbing snake”)
An auger is another simple solution for trickier clogs. Whether you have one at home or borrow one from a friend, this trick may be the most successful at clearing your stubborn shower drain.
- Push the snake down the drain until you reach the hair clog.
- Turn the handle to pull the snake and clog up.
- Test the drain by running water to make sure the drain is cleared.
- Repeat if necessary.
Plunger + Hand Method
If you have tried to remove the clog yourself by hand, but it still won’t budge, try using a plunger to loosen up the hair.
- Run the faucet and place plunger over top of the tub drain. (Remove drain cover if possible)
- Make sure you get a good seal around the drain and that the plunger is submerged. Plunge the drain vigorously. The pressure from the plunger should loosen up the clog making it easier to grab or flush down the drain.
- Turn off the water and look for the clog. Remove with gloved hand or tweezers if necessary.
- Verify that drain is clear by running water again.
An Ounce Of Prevention
The number one way to avoid a massive clog of hair in your shower drain is to simply be more aware of the amount of hair you shed. Shedding your luscious locks is natural and unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean all of it has to go down your drain. Some simple ways to keep your drain clear of hair:
- Consider purchasing a shower drain hair catcher. This is by far the easiest way to make sure your shower never clogs! Most hair catchers are ugly, but TubShroom makes some that look like a normal drain stop. We highly recommend this option.
- Run the tap when shaving to flush hair down as you go. The more water you run the better!
- Keep your drain screen clear if you have one.
- Brush your hair before you shower.
I hope these tips have been helpful as I know I’m not the only one who deals with the annoyance of long hair versus the shower drain. If you’re still having trouble clearing your drain after trying all these methods, it may be time to call a plumber. 1-Tom-Plumber is here for you 24/7, 365 days a year – Call Today! 1-866-758-6237