A clogged drain is a common household issue that can be both frustrating and time-consuming to deal with.
Hair is often the primary culprit behind these blockages, as it accumulates over time and forms a tangled mess inside the pipes.
In this article, we’ll explore various home remedies for clogged drain with hair, discuss the best practices for preventing future clogs, and provide helpful tips on maintaining a smooth-flowing drainage system in your home.
1. Introduction to Hair Clogs
Regardless of whether you have short or long hair, it’s nearly impossible to prevent strands from finding their way down the drain.
Over time, these strands combine with other debris, such as soap scum and grease, leading to a stubborn hair clog.
Recognizing the signs of a clogged drain is the first step in addressing the issue.
Common indicators include slow draining water, unpleasant odors, and water pooling around the drain.
2. Potential Risks of Chemical Drain Cleaners
Many people instinctively reach for chemical drain cleaners when faced with a clogged drain.
However, these products contain caustic chemicals that may cause damage to your plumbing system over time.
Additionally, chemical drain cleaners pose risks to your health and the environment.
For this reason, it’s worth considering alternative home remedies for clogged drain with hair before resorting to harsh chemicals.
3. DIY Home Remedies for Hair Clogs
There are numerous home remedies for clogged drain with hair that are both effective and gentle on your plumbing system.
The following methods can be used to clear hair clogs in bathroom sinks, showers, and tub drains.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
A powerful combination of baking soda and vinegar can help dissolve hair clogs and remove any bacteria or fungi present in the drain.
To use this method, follow these steps:
- Pour one cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, followed immediately by one cup of vinegar. This will create a fizzing chemical reaction.
- After the fizzing stops (around 10 minutes), pour one liter of boiling water down the drain.
- Turn on the faucet to check if the water is draining properly.
- If the drain remains clogged, repeat the process. Stubborn hair clogs may require several attempts.
Needle-Nose Pliers or Wire Hanger
If your drain has a removable cover, using needle-nose pliers or a wire hanger can be an effective way to remove hair clogs.
You will need rubber gloves, a screwdriver, a flashlight, and needle-nose pliers for this method.
- Remove the drain stopper. If it cannot be pried off manually, use the screwdriver.
- Locate the clog using a flashlight.
- Put on 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. Straighten a coat hanger, create a hook at the end, insert it into the drain, and pull out the hair clump.
- Once the drain is clear, flush it with one liter of hot water.
A plumbing snake, or auger, is a flexible and long wire or plastic tool designed to break up clogs in drains.
Available in various sizes and styles, plumbing snakes can be purchased at your local hardware store.
When using a plumbing snake, consider the cable thickness and length, drain snake head design, and whether to use a manual or electric model.
To use a plumbing snake, follow these steps:
- Insert the snake into the drain and push it until it reaches the clog.
- Turn the handle to break up the clog or grab the hair clump.
- Pull the snake out of the drain, removing the hair in the process.
- Flush the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris.
Using a Plunger
Plungers are a common household tool for clearing clogged drains.
To use a plunger:
- Place the plunger over the drain.
- Fill the sink, tub, or shower with water until the plunger is submerged.
- Pump the plunger up and down six or seven times in quick succession.
- Remove the plunger to check if the water drains. If not, repeat the process.
- Once the clog is cleared, flush the drain with one liter of hot water.
4. Chemical Drain Cleaners as a Last Resort
If DIY home remedies fail to clear the clogged drain, consider using a chemical drain cleaner as a last resort.
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, and never mix drain cleaners with other commercial or homemade cleaners, as this could create an explosion or toxic gas.
5. When to Call a Professional Plumber
If neither home remedies nor chemical cleaners resolve the issue, it’s time to call a professional plumber.
With their specialized tools and equipment, they can effectively remove even the most stubborn hair clogs.
Be sure to choose a qualified, licensed, and insured plumber, and check online customer reviews and testimonials before making a decision.
6. Preventing Hair Clogs in Drains
Preventing hair clogs from forming in the first place is the best course of action to save time, effort, and money.
Here are some tips to keep hair from going down the drain:
Brush Your Hair Before Showering
Brushing your hair before showering, especially for those with long hair, can help minimize loose strands that may fall out and enter the drain.
If you bathe your pets in the tub, give them a good brush beforehand as well.
Use a Kitchen Strainer
A kitchen strainer that fits your drain can effectively trap hair while allowing water to flow freely.
Opt for a strainer with a wire mesh featuring small openings. Be sure to clean the strainer regularly to prevent hair accumulation.
Perform a Hot Water Rinse
Once a week, pour one liter of hot water down your drains to dissolve grime and prevent hair clogs from forming.
Use a Fabric Softener Sheet
Place a used fabric softener sheet directly over the drain opening. As the sheet is porous, it will trap hair and debris on the surface while allowing water to flow.
Dispose of the sheet in the trash after your shower.
Utilize a Drain Protector
Consider investing in a drain protector, such as the TubShroom, to catch hair without impeding water flow.
These devices fit inside the drain opening and are easy to clean and maintain.
7. Maintaining a Clean Drainage System
In addition to preventing hair clogs, regular maintenance can help keep your drainage system functioning optimally.
This includes routinely cleaning drain covers, strainers, and stoppers, as well as regularly inspecting pipes for leaks or damage.
Dealing with a clogged drain caused by hair doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By employing effective home remedies for clogged drain with hair and taking preventive measures, you can maintain a clean and efficient drainage system in your home.
If all else fails, consult a professional plumber for assistance in removing stubborn hair clogs and restoring your drain to optimal condition.
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