On average, the human body sheds up to 100 strands of hair per day. It’s no surprise then that hair is one of the most common causes of drain clogs in shower and bathroom sinks. The good news is that hair clogs are one of the easiest plumbing problems to solve at home. Read on to learn 5 methods you can try to clear your drains of unwanted hair. Looking for expert Flower Mound plumbers? The team at Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC is ready to help! Give us a call at (972) 362-4135 or visit us online to learn more about our services.
Unclog Hair in Sink and Shower Drains: 5 Easy MethodsWhen hair gets caught in our bathroom drains, it collects a build-up of soap, grease and grime. Over time, this creates a clog that can slow down or completely hinder drainage. Drain stoppers and hair traps will go a long way toward keeping hair out of your drains, but when the inevitable hair clog happens, homeowners can try these 5 methods:
1. Drain SnakeA drain snake—also known as an auger—and a drain stick are two handy plumbing devices, each with a hook on the end. If your hair clog isn’t too far down the drain, you might be able to reach it with your auger and pull it out. Most home improvement stores carry drain snakes for DIY clog removal. If you’re really in a pinch, a wire clothing hanger can be modified into a hook and used to pull out superficial clogs. If you are unable to reach the clog or seem to hit resistance you cannot push past, do not force the instrument down the drain, as this can cause expensive damage to your pipes. Instead, give your local Flower Mound plumbers a call.
2. Baking Soda and VinegarChemical clog busters may seem like a convenient solution, but any plumbing professional will warn you to steer clear. The harsh chemicals these products use to break down clogs are equally hard on your plumbing and can lead to major pipe damage over time. Instead, homeowners should opt for the eco-friendly alternative of baking soda and white vinegar. To break down hair clogs, try pouring one cup of baking soda into the drain with a funnel. Follow this with one cup of white vinegar and let the solution do its thing for 30 minutes to an hour. Run warm water to flush the drain and repeat the process if necessary. If the drain still runs slowly, try using a plunger in between applications. You’ll get the added bonus of a cleaner, fresher drain.
3. PlungerA simple solution comes in the form of the tried and trusted old plunger. This is a good option when you can’t reach the clog to pull it out. By using a plunger, the next best option is to try pushing the clog through until it clears your pipes. To plunge a sink drain, plug up the sink’s overflow drain hole and position the plunger over the drain, ensuring a tight seal. Plunge vigorously for about 30 seconds, then run some hot water and repeat if necessary. For best results, combine plunging with the baking soda and vinegar method mentioned above.
4. VacuumLight to mild clogs that are situated close to the drain’s entry point can sometimes be sucked out with a vacuum cleaner. Ensure the drain is as dry as possible and use a nozzle attachment to suck out the clogging contents.
5. Boiling WaterHair clogs often contain a combination of hair, soap scum and grease that builds up over time. Dissolving this build-up can effectively break down clogs and help move things along. Hot or boiling water can sometimes be employed in this endeavor. Homeowners should ensure their drains and plumbing can safely handle boiling water before trying this method. A funnel can also help avoid spillage and injury from hot water.
Tips For Avoiding Hair ClogsOnce you’ve busted that hair clog, you’ll probably want to avoid the issue altogether in the future. The following tips will help prevent hairy plumbing problems:
- Install hair traps and drain stoppers in bathroom sinks and shower drains.
- Brush hair thoroughly before taking a shower.
- Run hot water for about 30 seconds to a minute after using shampoo, conditioner, soap or toothpaste.
- Avoid shaving into the sink and rinsing hair down the drain.