Hair is one of the main causes of clogged drains. Even with due diligence, hair can often find itself stuck in drains, and too much can cause clogs that prevent water from flowing efficiently.
This guide will go over how to clean a shower drain clogged with hair.
How to clean a shower drain clogged with hair
Here are a few different ways to clean shower drains clogged with hair.
Use a vinegar and baking soda mixture
Mixing vinegar and baking soda forms a powerful concoction that can dissolve hair clogs. Along with dissolving hair, baking soda can also act as a disinfectant to fight bacteria and fungi. You can use them together with boiling water to improve efficiency.
Here’s how to clean shower drain clogged with hair using vinegar and baking soda:
- Add one cup of baking soda to the clogged shower drain and follow it immediately with one cup of vinegar. The ingredients will react chemically and produce a fizzing sound.
- Wait for about 5 to 10 minutes until the fizzing stops, then add 1 to 2 liters of boiling water down the drain to flush it.
- Allow water to flow through the shower drain to see if it drains properly. Repeat the two steps above if the drain is still blocked until you remove the hair clog.
Use a plumbing snake
Another effective way to fix a shower drain clogged with hair is by using a plumbing snake (also known as an auger) to remove the hair. This device is a long, flexible wire that fits down the drain to efficiently break up hair clogs. They come in various sizes, styles, and designs, and are easily found at local hardware stores.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a plumbing snake for your shower drain:
- The auger’s head design: Plumbing snakes have two head styles—cutting and coil heads. The coil-headed augers allow you to grab clumps of hair and pull them from the drain. Meanwhile, those with cutting heads have sharp blades that cut hair clogs into pieces.
- Cable length and thickness: Plumbing snakes have no standard length and thickness, so it’s important to choose a size option that suits your needs. For instance, a shower drain may require a 25-foot cable with a quarter-inch thickness.
- Manual and electric augers: Electric augers can remove the hair clogs from the shower drains when powered on to run, compared to manual plumbing snakes that you need to push down the shower drain, turn to grab the clog, and pull out.
The plunger method
A plunger is a common tool used to clear blocked drains and can be a great way to clear a shower drain clogged with hair. Although all plungers operate using the same principle, they come in different types and sizes for various drains.
To unclog your shower drain, consider using a standard plunger that has a rubber cup with a plastic or wooden handle. It’s most effective on flat surfaces since it allows you to lay the cup over the drain.
Here are the steps involved with using a plunger to clear blockages:
- Remove the drain cover and run some water over the shower drain
- Position the plunger over the drain opening and pour some water around it
- Plunge the drain several times in quick succession until you loosen the hair clog
- Remove the plunger and open the faucet to check if the water drains away quickly
- After clearing the clog, pour some water down the drain to flush out the remaining debris
Remove the clog using your hand or tweezers
Another way for how to clean a shower drain clogged with hair is to use your hands or tweezers. This method can be gross and uncomfortable to some, so consider putting on rubber gloves or using tweezers to avoid touching the clog with your bare hands.
Here are the steps to remove hair clogs from the drain by hand:
- Remove the drain cover using a screwdriver
- Locate the hair clog blocking the drain using a flashlight
- If the hair clog is within reach, pull it out using your hands, then throw it away
- If you can’t reach the clog, consider using tweezers to hook the clog and pull it out
- Repeat the procedure several times until your shower drain is clear
Use a wire hanger or needle-nose pliers
You can also use a wire hanger or needle-nose pliers to clear a shower drain clogged with hair. Using this method, you’ll need rubber gloves, a flashlight, and a screwdriver.
Here are the steps to follow when you opt for this method:
- Remove the drain cover or stopper by prying it off manually using a screwdriver
- Locate the clog using a flashlight since the drain line may be dark
- Put on your gloves and pull out the hair clump using needle-nose pliers
- If the pliers can’t reach the clog, insert a straight, hooked wire hanger down the drain
- Move the hanger around until it catches the hair clog, then pull it out
- After clearing the drain, flush it out with some hot water to remove the remaining debris
Let J. Blanton Plumbing help you
Now you know how to clean a shower drain clogged with hair. If you’re still experiencing trouble clearing the drain or are worried that your drain may be damaged, professional plumbers from J. Blanton Plumbing can also help you.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our expert technicians!