How to Fix a Hairy Situation in Your Shower Drain

Hair is perhaps the most common cause of clogged bathtubs and shower drains. It only takes a little bit of hair to cause a shower or tub to drain slowly, and over time it could cause your drain to completely back up. These situations usually call for a drain cleaning service or some other plumbing service, and since this can get expensive you should do what you can to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

Preventing Hair from Going Down the Drain

No matter how many people in your home use your shower or bathtub, you will sooner or later run into this dreaded problem if you don’t take the proper precautions. Fortunately, that isn’t hard to do. You can buy hair-catching tools from any hardware store that will stop most hair before it gets into your pipes. The simplest of these tools fit right over your drain and catch hair in a wire mesh that lets water flow through freely. When the mesh is full of hair, simply remove the tool and clean it out.

Since even the best hair-catching tools won’t catch everything, you may still need to take extra steps to prevent hair clogs. So here in lies Chlorine bleach! Chlorine bleach is useful in preventing clogs when it is poured down your drain overnight, but you need to be careful about using too much. Pour one cup of chlorine bleach down your drain at night, and run warm water down your drain in the morning to help dissipate the bleach smell.

If you don’t want to run bleach down your shower drain, you can sometimes achieve similar results with boiling water. Running very hot water in your shower or bathtub sometimes works too, but water that is boiled on your stovetop is best for getting rid of hair before it clogs your drain.


What to Do if You Have a Clog

Despite your best efforts, you may still occasionally have a hair clog in your drain. You will know if this is the case if water drains slowly or stops draining altogether. When this happens, you may still be able to fix the problem without calling a drain cleaning service. For example, snaking a drain is sometimes thought of as something that is best left to professionals, but you can perform this bit of maintenance with a plastic hair snare. These are basically strips of plastic with barbs on either side that catch hair clogs. Simply snake one of these down your drain to remove any hair that may be clogging it up.

A hair clog can also be cleared with a concoction of baking soda, white vinegar and boiling water. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down your drain and following it up with half a cup of baking soda. Pour a mixture of one part vinegar and one part hot water down the drain next and cover it with a stopper for about five minutes. This will create a reaction that will loosen up any clogs you may have without damaging your pipes. Many types of liquid drain cleaner will also have the same effect, but these often contain harsh chemicals that could damage your plumbing with repeated use.


Calling a Plumber

Minor hair clogs in your shower drain are relatively easy to clear, but you may have a problem that is too stubborn for these simple remedies. If you find that you cannot unclog your drain or if you have multiple drains in your home that are backed up, you will need to look to your local Pittsburgh plumbing services since you might have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

Can’t unclog that drain? Let Mister Sewer come take a look. At Mister Sewer, our team of Pittsburgh plumbers understands that a clogged pipe is not a happy pipe. That is why we offer fast, affordable and efficient solutions to stop the problem at its source. Our drain cleaning and plumbing services will get your water running smoothly. Whether you’re looking for quick and simple repair services or just a proper checkup for your plumbing system, call the experts at Mister Sewer for all your residential plumbing service needs today.


Clean Your Drains With Baking Soda and Vinegar – Surprise!

7 thoughts on “How to Fix a Hairy Situation in Your Shower Drain

  1. Pingback: The Drain Guys Roundup Monday: Drain Cleaning | New Jersey Drain and HVAC Solutions | The Drain Guys

  2. Today, my shower is going to be under repair, because the drain has been clogged with too much hair. There are five girls in my house and it is pretty hard to keep hair from going down the drain and so I am really glad that this post mentions hair catching tools. I am definitely interested in getting one of these mesh tools, but what keeps it from sliding around and letting hair fall down the drain?

    • I understand that too much hair in the drain may need a plummer with an auger, I assume that is hair from the head. But can BLEACH be used on the “short and curlies”?

  3. I have heard about using boiling water to help keep drains clean. I have even heard that it is something that should be done in the kitchen sink at least once a week. Since I make a lot of noodles, that isn’t normally a problem. Anyway, I think I like the idea of putting a hair catcher down best. I imagine it doesn’t matter what kind I get?

  4. I just moved into a new apartment which has been occupied by college girls for probably 30 years. Unfortunately, I seem to be one of the few ladies who ever clean out a drain even though it is as simple as you say. The first time I used my new shower, I found a fist-sized lump of hair gathered just under the drain opening. Even with that gone, I still think it drains too slowly, and the latch for stopping the drain (for using the tub) doesn’t work. The problem is that I have to wait for management to send a plumber to look at it, and I am not patient.

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