We lose approximately 50 to 100 strands of hair daily either during shampooing, shaving, or regular brushing. It’s no wonder the bathroom shower drain falls victim to hair clogs more often than usual.
To dissolve hair stuck in the shower drain, we can use chemicals such as commercial drain cleaners, or bleach, and home remedies such as vinegar, baking soda, and salt. Removing the hair needs artificial methods such as the use of hands, tweezers, plunger, plumbing snake, or wire coat, among other methods.
Following is a guide on the best way to dissolve and remove hair from your shower drains.
Steps to Dissolve
There are two home remedies you can use and three chemical solutions you can try to dissolve the hair from the shower drain.
1. Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda is one versatile home ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways including cleaning and dissolving hairballs in the drain. Used alongside vinegar, it can be used to dissolve hairs in one simple reaction.
- Mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar in a jar and quickly pour over the drain in the shower.
- You should notice the frothing start to form over the plughole and hear a fizz.
- Allow for the solution to work for at least an hour preferable overnight.
- Pour hot water over the drain to rinse out the solution. Water should be running smoothly to assure no hair blockage in the drain
2. Baking Soda and Salt
Another home remedy you can try is using baking soda and salt. Simply measure a cup of baking soda against a third cup of salt. Mix the two well and pour over the drain. You should hear fizzing sounds inside the drain. Let the solution work and finish off with hot water.
3. Commercial Cleaning Products
Commercial cleaning products are drain killers that kill enzymes, dirt, and grime stuck in the drain causing a clog or a blockage. In this case, hair.
There are many options in the market to choose from including two great options which are the Green Gobbler drain cleaner and the Whink hair clog blaster. More on this is explained further below.
Next, we have bleach, an easy store-bought chemical solution. It is a basic fix, you only have to pour a little amount of the bleach solution, say a cup, into the drain and let it do its magic. Remember to leave the bleach in the drain long enough for it to dissolve the hair.
The great thing is that you can repeat the process as many times as you’d like but don’t forget to wear protective gloves to cover your hands from getting into direct contact with the bleach.
5. Hair Removal Creams
Lastly, we have depilatory creams also known as hair removal creams which can also work exceptionally to dissolve hair in the drain.
- Open the plughole of the opening of the shower drain to expose the piping.
- Empty about a half tube of hair removal cream into the hole and leave it on for 30 minutes, overnight if you can.
- Rinse the plughole with lots of water to remove the hair and cream remaining in the drain. The stronger the water force used, the better.
- Do a final rinse with some hot water.
Does Bleach Dissolve Hair?
Yes, bleach can dissolve hair. What happens is that the two, hair and bleach, will neutralize each other up until there isn’t any more hair left to clog the drain. Hair is said to be a fiber with acidic properties while bleach is basic. Chemistry depicts that acid and base will always cancel each other, hence the science behind how bleach dissolves hair.
What Dissolves Hair but not Plastic?
When you’re looking to dissolve the hair in your shower drain without destroying the plastic make of the pipes you want to consider using acidic commercial cleaners. Such caustic cleaners will not hurt your pipes as they remove the dirt and gunk inside the lining of the pipe.
Does Coke Dissolve Hair?
No, Coke or Pepsi can’t dissolve hair but removes any gunk or grime that may be holding onto the hair in the drain. Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid that dissolves buildup in the drain without dissolving the hair itself.
It can be effective if you’re looking to flush the entire hairball down the drain rather than dissolving the hair itself.
Other Methods to Get Hair Out of the Shower Drain
When removing the hair from the shower drain, you can use chemicals such as commercial drain cleaners or use artificial methods such as tweezers and plungers. Below are a few options you can use.
Commercial Drain Cleaners
Whether you choose a liquid, gel, powder, or other, their main work is to clean out the drainage system. Two of the best choices include;
- Green Gobbler drain cleaner
- Whink hair clog blaster
Green Gobbler Drain Cleaner
The green gobbler cleaner is a liquid hair and grease clog remover that’s non-corrosive and gentle on the pipes. It works by dissolving and dislodging any clogs in the drain including hairballs, dirt, and grime.
Its formulation is made with the safest of ingredients to ensure it’s safe to use at how with no negative effects. It can be used in the sink, shower, toilet, and bathroom drain. To use;
- Pour a third cup of the green gobbler cleaner into the drain slowly by slowly.
- Leave it in the drain for a few hours preferably overnight.
- Pour a gallon of hot boiling water over the drain to rinse the drain cleaner. Everything should be fine now.
Whink Hair Clog Blaster
Another excellent hair dissolving drain cleaner you can use is the whink hair clog blaster which also comes in liquid form. It’s known to work deep in the drain even amidst standing water to get the hair clog out of the way by dissolving the hair and breaking down the enzyme.
- Shake the container and measure a cup of the hair clog blaster.
- Pour it into the drain and let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Follow up with a cup of hot water.
- Repeat the process if you’re not satisfied. This time, leave the solution overnight.
The whink clog blaster is equally sage for your pipes and septic systems and can be used in any water outlet. Remember to wear protective wear during the cleaning.
Other Chemical Solutions
Acidic cleaners too can work to clear hair clogs in the drain. For example, Sulphuric Acid can be used. Because it weighs twice the weight of water. It can easily sink to the blockage in the drain and dislodge the hair blockage by burning through the matter.
Unfortunately, acidic reactions often release hazardous gases that can be bad for our health. This means proper ventilation is important and it’s best to have a professional do the work as too much acid can also affect the pipes not to mention you can burn yourself or what you inhale can cause you respiratory ailments.
There are basic drain cleaners that use alkaline solutions such as sodium or potassium hydroxide to clear hair clogs. They’re great, work fast, and often don’t leave any harmful gases. Some of them also continue to work on dissolving the hair long after it has been used.
The best thing about alkaline-based cleaners is that they’re much lighter than water and would adhere better to the hair making them more able to dissolve the hair than acidic cleaners.
Next, you can use tweezers to remove hair clogs from your shower drain. This method works best in cases where you can actually see the clog or the hairball from over the drain. This means you can easily lift the ball and dispose of it.
- Open the plughole to expose the drain.
- Take your tweezers and reach from the hair stuck in the drain.
- Pull it out until you’re done.
- You can follow up with cleaning agents to ensure the bathroom drain is left clean and free from clogs.
Wire Coat Hanger
If the drain is a little deeper in the drain, you can use a wire coat hanger to remove it. The hanger acts as a toilet snake to reach into the drain and pull out the strands of hair.
- Straighten the wire coat hanger leaving the hooked end intact.
- Insert the hanger into the drain with the hooked end first.
- Keep feeding in the wire until you feel resistance. Now use the hook to try and retrieve the hair from inside the drain.
- Pull back gently to ensure you don’t lose whatever you’re retrieving.
Twisting the wire should help you easily navigate the drain.
Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
The wet and dry vacuum simply works by absorbing anything in front of it, wet or dry. Just place the vacuum on the opening of the plughole, attach the nozzle, adjust the setting and suck up the contents.
This is more of a blind attempt but it can work just as well.
Lastly, you can use a plunger to remove hairs stuck in the drain. Just as you would plunge the sink opening use the same technique on the shower drain.
- Open the plug hole and place the plunger right above the opening. Use a flange plunger as it’s best for the job.
- Press the plunger down to create a vacuum then begin to plunge by moving up and down. The suction will build up in the drain enough to release any stuck hair.
- Once the hair is close enough, fish it out by hand or using tweezers.
- Follow up with a drain cleaner or hot water as the waste will have been removed from the drain.
Tips to Prevent Hair-clogged Shower Drains
- As you shave in the shower, keep the water running during the entire process to ensure they don’t stick within the drain pipe.
- Brush or comb your hair away from the drain and dispose of it properly. This way, the handful of your you get is well disposed of in the dustbin rather than the shower drain.
- Use a drain cover or protector to prevent hairs from getting into the drain in the first place. Others call it the catcher. It will block hairs from passing through and once you’re done, remove and clean it then return the catcher to the plug hole.
- Run hot water into the drain at least once a month as a preventative measure. The hot boiling water will minimize clogs as it loosens the dirt, grime, gunk, and hair stuck to the walls of the pipe.
- If any bubbling sounds are coming from the shower drain, attend to them as soon as possible. The drain could easily be accumulating the hair and it’s best to take action as early as you can to avoid clogs and blockages.
- As you do your thorough cleaning bi-monthly, endeavor to use baking soda and vinegar or bleach to really get the pipes clean as well. This also helps with any scents emitted from the plug hole.