True love isn’t always about cuddles and kisses. It’s not the type of love you find in poems and songs that really counts – it’s about being the one who’s happy to deal with the icky stuff… like having to deal with hair clogging the drain. Shower, bath or basin... gross!
But you love your partner so whether it’s short and curly or long and blonde, you’re happy to get down on one knee and unclog hair from the drain. Even if it is all theirs and even if it is swamped in all the really gunky stuff. So, get yourself ready. You’re about to find out what to do when grimy hair clogs in the drain.
How to identify if it’s hair clogging the drain
First up, it’s important to identify that it is, in fact, hair clogging your drain. Shower puddles draining away very slowly? Something’s definitely not right. But you want to make sure that the problem doesn’t run any deeper than gunky hair – and that, you won’t really know until you find the clog and remove it. There are a number of signs that indicate a clog, including:
- An eggy smell. Nice! The longer there’s hair clogging the drain, the more likely it’ll start to stink.
- Water draining slowly. If you notice water backing up in other areas while you’re using the shower or bath, like in the basin, that could indicate a bigger problem.
- Bubbling or funny noises. If the noises are really strange, clunking, or coming from far away, that could suggest a problem further down the pipe.
If you’re really unsure it’s always best to call in the pros, but removing a hair clog in the drain is fairly straightforward – if fairly gross.
How to remove hair clogging the bathtub drain
It may be a longstanding gripe, or you’ve just moved in with your partner and their luscious locks have caused a blockage – a stinky blockage! But you’re ready to step up. It’s time to show the love. So here’s what you’ll need to pull the icky clog out of your drain:
- Wire coat hanger
- Kitchen towel
Time to get down into the yucky darkness. Follow these steps to get rid of hair clogging the bathtub drain:
- Grab your screwdriver and remove the drain cover if there is one. Put the screws somewhere safe. No point adding to your woes at this stage.
- Right. Here we go. Can you see the gunky clog? Shine a light in there if you have to. Got it? Urrrrggghhh. But don’t show that on your face. You’re a hair unclogging hero, remember – time to take control.
- Straighten out a section of your coat hanger so you can get it right in there. And fashion a small hook at one end. If you don’t have a coat hanger you can use your tweezers or a pair of pliers. Or borrow your partner’s.
- Gently lower the hanger into the drain, holding your nose if you need to, and give it a little twist to help tease the tangles out.
- Lift out slowly and you should see a very satisfying (albeit completely disgusting) clunk of hair. If hair gets trapped on the cross bars at the top of the drain, take your scissors and snip it away.
- Repeat as necessary.
- Scrape off the gunk onto some kitchen towel and throw it away. Aaaand you’re done. Phew.
Tip: Use a sheet of Plenty kitchen towel for this gunky job. It’s really absorbent and super strong when wet – great for holding the slimy strands without breaking down and perfect for wiping around the drain. All the while keeping your hands away from the sludge. Result.
Hair-clogged drain home remedies
Hopefully that’s all you need to clear your drain of the ickyness. Great job, by the way. But maybe that clump of hair is being a bit stubborn. Sometimes you need a little more than elbow grease to clear a hair-clogged drain. Home remedies such as these can help to clear the muck:
- A plunger. The good old plunger might not tease out the tangles, but the suction can pull the hair closer to the surface, ready for you to hook it out.
- Boiling water. Sometimes the intense heat of boiled water can break the gunk down, even if it’s just enough for you to now loosen the pile-up of hair. Be careful – using boiling hot water can cause sanitary porcelain to crack if poured before or after cold water, so check what material you’re working with in advance.
- Bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. This is the last step before calling in the chemicals. Fill one cup with bicarb and one cup with vinegar. Pour the bicarb in first and let it sit for five minutes. Then, pour in the vinegar. This long-time home cleaning hero solution could well be just enough to dissolve that stubborn hairy ball of sludge.
If you still need help, there are plenty of specialist de-blockers and other products on the market. And if you’re in any doubt about how to unclog hair from the drain, once you’ve used all your hair-unclogging superpowers, call in a plumber!