Everyone’s shower drain gets clogged occasionally, and it’s a real pain. When you shower, your hair sheds and slips into your drain, especially if you vigorously scrub your scalp.
This is normal, but it may lead to a clogged drain over time.
Whether you want to try a new drain-unblocking method or you’re new to unclogging your drain, we’ll share with you some methods that could work.
Let’s get started and learn how to get hair out of your drain with your step-by-step DIY guide.
The Best Ways to Clear Hair from Your Drain
There are several ways to unclog your drain; depending on the severity of your clogging issue, you may have to try multiple methods.
No matter how badly your drain is clogged, you may want to keep the following tools on hand for the future: screwdrivers, a flashlight, a drain claw or a wire hanger, white vinegar, baking soda, a toilet plunger, drain stopper, needle-nose pliers, rubber gloves, chemical drain cleaners, and a plumbers snake.
Now, let’s look at some methods for unclogging your drain!
Note: These methods will usually work on any type of drain – bathroom sink drain, bathtub drain, shower drain, etc.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Ways to Clear Hair from Your Drain
- 1.1 Removing the Hair Clog Manually
- 1.2 Using a Toilet Plunger
- 1.3 Using a Plumbing Snake
- 1.4 Using Natural Cleaners
- 1.5 Using Drain Cleaner
- 2 What Will Dissolve Hair in a Drain?
- 3 What is the Best Drain Cleaner for Hair Clogs?
- 3.1 Liquid Drain Cleaners
- 3.2 Gel Drain Cleaners
- 3.3 Powdered Drain Cleaners
- 3.4 Drain Cleaner Pods
- 4 Can Coca-Cola Unclog a Drain?
Removing the Hair Clog Manually
To manually remove a clump of hair that is clogging your drain, there are some household tools you can use. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Remove the drain plug and soak it in white vinegar to remove any soapy buildup.
- Use a flashlight to see if the clog is visible. If it is, continue with these steps. If not, read on to the next section.
- Use a wire hanger or drain claw to snag the hair and pull it out. It could take some time to get the hair out.
- Run hot water down the drain to clear any remaining hair and soap scum.
If your drain is still clogged after the hot water rinse, read on.
Using a Toilet Plunger
Depending on the clog, you may be able to use your toilet plunger to help loosen up the clog. Here are some steps to follow for this method:
- Remove the drain cover.
- Place the plunger over the drain opening, covering it completely.
- Fill your tub with enough water to cover the rim of the plunger.
- Use the plunger how you would in a toilet, repeatedly pulling it up and pushing it down. Doing so will create enough suction to make it easier to grab the hair with your hand.
- Flush the clogged tub drain with boiling hot water.
Note: As a general rule, we recommend that you clean hair from drain covers following each shower or bath to prevent build-up over time.
Can Plunging Make a Hair Clog Worse?
Plunging can make a hair clog worse if it is not done correctly. There are a few things to keep in mind when plunging your drain to prevent the worst:
- When you push the plunger down, don’t use a lot of force. Using too much force can damage the drain and make it impossible to get a good seal between the plunger and the drain. It could also push the hair further down the drain and make the clog worse.
- When you pull up on the plunger, this is when you should use force. It will pull the clog upward, making it easier to dislodge with your hands or another tool.
Using a Plumbing Snake
Plumbing snakes are affordable, handy, and effective. If you have one on hand, here are the steps to unclog your drain:
- Move the spiral head of the snake into the drain until it stops; it will stop once it hits the clog.
- Turn the handle on the snake counterclockwise to grab the clog, and continue this motion to breakdown/remove the clog. You’ll feel resistance as the machine is removing the clog.Pull the snake head out.
- Flush the drain with hot water.
Note: We don’t recommend using a makeshift snake. If you don’t have the proper equipment, try using an alternative solution.
Using Natural Cleaners
How To Easily Unclog A Drain Without Harsh Chemicals (Baking Soda + Vinegar)
If the thought of using tools makes you cringe, you can try using natural cleansers to dissolve the hair in your drain. They are a great alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.
- Pour boiling water down the drain.
- Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow it with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of white vinegar. The chemical reaction between these ingredients will break down the hair and clear the clog.
- Let the ingredients sit for 15 minutes before flushing with more boiling water.
- Repeat until the drain is clogged.
Here’s a video demonstration of how to use vinegar and baking soda to remove hair from a tub drain.
Using Drain Cleaner
If all else fails, a commercial drain cleaner should do the trick. This method can be paired with one or more of the methods listed above, depending on the severity of the clog.
- Wearing gloves, remove as much debris from your drain as you can.
- Follow the directions on the drain cleaner bottle and pour the cleaner into the drain.
- Plunge the drain if one application does not solve the problem.
- If the clog persists, you may need to repeat this process over the course of a few days. If this is the case, follow the directions on the packaging.
What Will Dissolve Hair in a Drain?
There are many cleaners that will dissolve hair clogged in a drain, from natural cleaners to harsh chemicals. Here are some combinations and products that will do the trick:
- Baking soda and vinegar
- Baking soda and salt
- Drain cleaners (Drano, Green Gobbler, Sterra Sheen Drain Cleaner)
- Lye (Sodium hydroxide)
Keep in mind that natural cleaners are better suited to small clogs, while commercial drain cleaners can easily tackle more substantial clogs.
What is the Best Drain Cleaner for Hair Clogs?
There are many products that are suitable for removing hair clogs from your drains, and here are a few of the best:
Liquid Drain Cleaners
Liquid drain cleaners like Green Gobbler Liquid and Drano Liquid are commonly used for hair clogs. They work best on smaller clogs, or over the span of a few days on larger clogs. They are easy to use and affordable on virtually any budget.
Gel Drain Cleaners
Gel drain cleaners, like Drano Max Gel, are known to be more effective at clearing large clogs. This is because they are formulated to move slower than liquids, which gives the chemicals more time to clear the hair and excess grime stuck to the walls of your drain. Gel drain cleaners are typically more expensive than liquids.
Powdered Drain Cleaners
Powdered drain cleaners work similarly to liquids, with the one difference being they are activated by water. You’ll find powdered lye (sodium hydroxide) drain cleaner both online and at department stores like Home Depot and Menards. It’s known to be very effective at dissolving even the most stubborn hair clogs.
Drain Cleaner Pods
Similar to laundry or dishwasher detergent pods, drain cleaner pods are activated by water poured into the drain. Pods may work on clogs, but they work best as a flushing agent after using another drain declogging method. Pods can also make a severe clog worse.
Can Coca-Cola Unclog a Drain?
Surprisingly, Coca-Cola can be used to unclog your shower drain in a pinch because it contains phosphoric acid. This acid has the ability to clean drains and eat through minor clogs.
But it’s important to remember that Coke is milder than other cleaning products, so it’s not for heavy-duty clogs.
If you want to give the method a try, allow the Cola to sit in the drain for at least an hour before flushing it out with hot water. Also, keep in mind that, since Cola is full of sugar, it can attract pests.
For this reason, we recommend using one of the other methods in this article or calling a professional plumber.
There you have it, several ways to clear hair clumps and clogs from your drain. We hope that these drain declogging methods help you clear out your drain in no time. Good luck!
Kenneth Byrd( Co-founder and Owner )
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.