You’re getting ready for a relaxing bath and shower, and then you notice a problem. Your drain is clogged to the brim with hair. It’s messy and nasty.
You’ve been ignoring the issue for way too long, but you know that it won’t disappear on its own. So sooner or later, you’ll have to learn how to get the hair out of the drain. Luckily, we've got you covered with our guide.
How to get hair out of drains quickly
While you’re no plumber, there are ways that you can tackle this mean drainage problem. Here are some hacks to try now...
1: Use a Cotton Bud
If there’s not a whole load of hair caught in the drain, there’s a quick hack you can try for yourself. All you need to get started is some cotton buds. This is the best way to get hair out of the drain when you’re looking for a quick fix that will do the trick. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Grab a cotton bud
The first step is to grab a cotton bud. You can use the regular kind that you already have in your bathroom. Alternatively, you may want to use a plastic drain snake tool. You can get these from most hardware shops or buy them online.
Step 2: Remove the drain guard
Do you have a guard over the drain in your bathtub or shower? Many people use these to stop hairs and other bits clogging up the drain. If that sounds familiar, the first thing that you need to do is remove it. Slide it off and set it to the side while you get to work.
Step 3: Stick it in the drain
The next step is to stick the cotton bud in the drain and wiggle it around. Use a circular motion and get moving. When you pull it out, you will notice that there’s a bunch of hair on the end of the stick. You should do this several times until you have gotten rid of it.
Tip: Pull on your rubber gloves!
Let’s not beat around the bush… this is not the cleanest way to remove hair from the drain. For that reason, you might want to grab your rubber gloves before you get started.
2: Use a Coat Hanger
Not got any cotton buds to hand? Want to go on a deeper dive into your drain? We’ve got you covered. Grab yourself a coat hanger. You’re looking for a sizeable wiry coat hanger here—none of your plastic stuff. When you’ve located one of these, and you’re looking to deal with your clogged shower or bathtub drain, here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Unravel the coat hanger
You’re going to need to turn the metal coat hanger into a hair removal tool. That means getting handy with it. First, bend the hanger so that it makes a long metal hook. You don’t want to use too much force here. Work with the material to get it right from the offset.
Step 2: Remove the drain guard
Next up, you need to remove the drain guard. With this hair removal hack, you’ll need to get as much access to the drain as possible. That means that you don’t need any extra obstacles in the way. Take the guard off to get where you need to be.
Step 3: Hook out the hair
Coat hangers are great for hair removal. When you’re trying to unblock your drain, you can use these tools to get started. Stick the metal hook deep into the gutter and move it around. When you begin to feel some friction, chances are you’ve hooked some hair. Pull it directly out of the drain and set it to one side. Continue doing this until you are finished.
Step 4: Use a plunger
When you have got the majority of the hair out with the coat hanger, you might want to give things one extra push. You can use a plunger to remove any debris or excess hair in the bathtub or shower drain. You may find that this clears the last parts of the blockage.
3. Dissolve the Hair with Chemicals
Are neither of the above hacks working for you? Okay, you might need to go for something stronger. Luckily, there’s a whole host of products that will help you do the job. For example, buying any brand of enzymatic drain cleaner may mean that you can dissolve the hair and then flush it away with water. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Step 1: Choose the right product
The first step is to make sure that you have the right tools. That means taking the time to choose the right product. While there are many drain cleaners containing sodium hydroxide, these are not the way to go. These products are effective when getting rid of soap scum and other debris. However, you may find that they fall short when it comes to hair. Instead, opt for an enzymatic drain cleaner.
Step 2: Follow the instructions
The instructions will vary from drain cleaner to drain cleaner. You should read the instructions when you get home and are ready to tackle the big hair removal task. You will often need to pour a certain amount down the drain, wait a while for the product to work its magic, and then rinse the area out. Be sure to do your research ahead of time.
Step 3: Rinse and plunge
After following the instructions, you will need to rinse the drain thoroughly. That means pouring some cool water down the plug. Next, you need to make sure that you clean away as much of the excess as possible. The cleaner it is, the better. You can also give it a good old plunge, if you’re looking to get rid of some of the hair you’ve loosened.
4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda is the Holy Grail of cleaning—but you don’t need us to tell you that. You will need some baking soda and white vinegar for this next hair removal hack. You should also have some washing-up liquid to hand before you get started. You can try this DIY hack when you have too much hair in your drains. Here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Use some washing-up liquid
The first thing you need to do here is squirt some washing up liquid down the drain. That will help to loosen up the hair. Next, you should follow it up with a water chaser, so it gets all bubbly. Be as liberal as you want with the water. It all makes a difference.
Step 2: Use a cup of vinegar and baking soda
Next up, it’s vinegar’s time to shine. Measure out a cup of vinegar and put it down the drain. You should follow that with some baking soda. This combination is a well-known cleaning combination. When you’ve done that, wait a few minutes for it to work.
Step 3: Rinse and rinse again!
The final step here is to rinse out your drains. As we’ve covered before, you can use a cup of cool water to get this right. Make sure that you get rid of all the debris and excess. Once again, you can use a plunger if you want to. Do whatever works for you.
When you’re looking for the best way to get hair out of the drain, plenty of options are available. We’ve covered some of the easiest (and most accessible) drain cleaner tips and hacks here. Now that you’re clued up on what to do, why not start? Of course, when you can’t clean the drain yourself at home, you may choose to call a plumber. You don’t want to risk damaging your pipes after all!
Got another burning question we haven’t covered? Don’t panic. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that you may be wondering about:
What is the best drain cleaner to get rid of hair?
When looking for the right drain cleaner, you should always read the ingredients list. Choosing to get an enzymatic drain cleaner is the way to go. This type of product is more effective when it comes to dissolving hair. Be sure to follow the instructions strictly.
What is the fastest way to get the hair out of a drain?
There are many ways to get the hair out of the drain, as we've covered. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the baking soda and vinegar combination may be a speedy option. You should figure out which of the above hacks is right for you.
Why is my shower drain not draining?
When the water isn’t going down your shower drain, the most likely reason is that the plug and pipes are clogged. For that reason, you will need to spend some time unblocking your drain. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options you can turn to when you have this issue.
Can short hair clog a drain?
The short answer is yes. It doesn’t matter whether you have long or short hair; you can still block up those pipes. It’s a real problem. Hair often combines with the soap scum from your bathroom products to make a thick paste. That can block up your drain fast!
Do you have any tips to share with our readers? Leave a comment below!