We’ve all been there—standing ankle-deep in water during a shower, thanks to a hair-clogged drain. I have fine hair, but I shed a ton of it. So, I could either go broke from calling my plumber or learn how to dissolve or remove hair clogs in drains.
Guess which one I chose? Yep, now read on for my methods to deal with hair clogs.
If you’ve already tried chemical drain cleaners, skip the DIY efforts and call a professional plumber so you don’t risk the burns and plumbing damage that such harsh chemicals can cause.
There are some pretty yucky things in most drains, including dangerous bacteria. So wear rubber gloves and disinfect them when you’re done getting rid of the hair clog.
Method 1: The Old Science Fair Trick
You know the drill: baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Wait 15 minutes, then flush with very hot water. Warm that vinegar up first for help dissolving grease.
The baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that can dissolve minor clogs, including hair. This natural drain cleaner is usually my first go-to for drain cleaning and also for deodorizing smelly drains.
Method 2: Sssslytherin to the Drain
If the hair clog is on the small side, a plastic drain snake can snag it. Just feed the snake into the open drain, twist it around to catch the hair, and slowly pull it out.
Is there a stopper in the way? I show how to remove it in the video.
Method 3: Makeshift Tool
Use a wire hanger to improvise a drain snake by unbending it and feeding it down the pipe to snag the clog. Skip this with plastic accordion pipes, though. They’re too easily punctured.
Method 4: Dissolve the Clog
When all else fails, or you’ve got a drain too narrow to snake, use a hair removal cream. I always have a bottle of Nair on hand, so this is one of my favorite go-to methods. Here’s how:
First, though, scoop as much water out from the sink or tub as you can. Use a towel to absorb the rest. Then squirt 2-4 ounces hair removal cream down the drain—about 1/3 the bottle. Wait 10 minutes, then run the hot water tap.
Turn on that bathroom exhaust fan before you start, though. I forgot once, and my house smelled like burned hair for days. And never mix this with other chemical drain cleaners like Drano.
Method 5: Try Suction
I’ve had luck using my wet/dry shop vac to remove hair clogs, too. It needs to go into a GCFI outlet for safety, though. Don’t try it if you don’t have one handy, and don’t use an extension cord to reach it.
Put the hose of the wet vac over the hole and wrap a towel around it to create a good seal. Then turn on the machine and give it a minute or two to suck out the clog.
This method is great for clogs that are too far down for manual removal, but you have to be able to remove the drain stopper or grate..
FAQs about Clogged Drains
How do you keep hair from clogging drains?
To cut down on hair clogs in your drain, brush your hair thoroughly before showering to remove loose strands, and use a hair catcher to keep hair from entering the drain.
Will hair dissolve on its own?
It takes about two years for human hair to dissolve in drains. But the real problem is that with every shower, more joins it. So I wouldn’t bank on the problem going away.
Can bleach dissolve hair in drains?
Bleach won’t dissolve hair clogging your drain. It can actually create a dangerous situation if you used anything else to treat the clog.
How often should I clean my drains?
I find cleaning drains with baking soda and vinegar monthly helps them stay open and flowing freely. They also smell better, since the combo prevents soap scum and other residue that can snag hair and lead to clogs.
Will baking soda and vinegar damage PVC drain pipes?
No. Baking soda and vinegar are two of the safest things you can use to clean pipes or get rid of hair clogs in your drains.
So there you go, all my ways to get out of calling the plumber by removing hair clogs myself. , Give them a try, but don’t tell your plumber (or mine) our little secret.