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How Do I Get Hair Out of a Drain?

soap suds in the drain

People shed nonstop, especially during the process of bathing. That hair has to go somewhere… and unfortunately that “somewhere” often ends up being the drain. Over time, more and more hair collects in a drain until a clog forms.

There are several different ways to clean hair out of a drain. The effectiveness of each method will depend on the severity of the clog. If you think you think there’s a build-up of hair clogging your drain, here’s what you can try to clean it out:

Flushing the Drain With Hot Water

This simple solution often won’t work on its own, but it’s easy to try as a first step. Just boil a pot of water and pour it down the drain. The more water you can pour the better, especially if you suspect you have a pretty severe clog.

Boiling water can help dissolve soap and grease that are keeping matted hair in place. Enough water will melt this “glue” completely, allowing the remaining hair to wash down the drain.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method is a good choice for people who like the idea of a “chemical” drain cleaner but want to avoid the toxic fumes and health dangers associated with them. Pouring a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into the drain will trigger a minor volatile chemical reaction that can clear most clogs, including the hairy ones.

The chemical reaction that occurs when the vinegar contacts the baking soda will help loosen the hair that’s stuck to the sides of the pipe. Let the mixture sit and work for a few hours. After that, you can follow it up by running hot water to wash away the remaining debris.

Physical Removal

There are multiple ways to physically remove hair from a drain, including:

  • Using a hanger. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have other options, a straightened wire hanger can do the trick. Make a hook at the end, insert it into the drain hook-end first and then pull it out, twisting as you go. It should be able to pick up any especially large clumps as you go.
  • Using your hands. This is the grossest way you can clear hair from a drain, but it’s also the cheapest. All you need is a pair of gloves. You technically could do this without gloves, but we recommend protecting your hands from any potential bacteria found in your drain.
  • Using a snake. A plumbing snake is an option for someone who has one. These aren’t entry-level plumbing tools, however. We only recommend trying to use a snake to clear a hair clog if you already have some experience with it. Using a snake improperly could damage your drain or pipes.

Calling a Professional

If you’ve tried one or more of the methods listed above and still think you have a blockage, then it’s time to call the professionals. A professional plumbing company can take the next steps you need to clear an especially heinous clog. When everything else doesn’t work, they can bring in their pipe inspection cameras to see what’s going on. After that, they’ll be able to use heavy-duty methods like hydro-jetting to remove the obstruction and wash it away.

Ben Franklin Plumbing is staffed by all sorts of professionals who know exactly what to do to clear and clean drains. If you’re ever in a hairy situation with a drain clog, get in touch and we’ll clean things out.