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How to Dissolve Hair in Shower Drain

August 24, 2020 - DIY Plumbing

How to Dissolve Hair in Shower Drain:

The Top 4 Ways to Dissolve Hair in Shower Drains

 

Having trouble with knotted hair in your drain or a clogged bathtub?


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So now that you know you have instant access to a licensed plumber via live video chat, let’s talk about how to dissolve hair in a shower drain with some things you might be able to find around the house, and if not, at your local grocery store or drug store.

 

How to Dissolve Hair in a Shower Drain

Why does hair clog up a bathtub drain?

Hair clogging your bathtub drain is an unavoidable part of life! As you shower, dirt, hair, dead skin, soap scum, shaving gel and anything else can get washed down your shower drain. The hair can get knotted around the drain and the rest can clump up and collect together, slowly clogging your drain up. In this blog post, we’ll talk about ways to unclog that shower or bathtub drain by dissolving the hair.


4 Easy Ways to Dissolve Hair in a Shower Drain with Household Items

Baking Soda and Vinegar

The first method requires two ingredients you may have lying around in your kitchen: baking soda and vinegar. According to Art Plumbing and AC in their article How to Clear Your Clogged Shower Drain:

“How to Dissolve Hair in Shower Drain?


Combining baking soda and vinegar is a natural way to
dissolve hair clogs, without resorting to harsh chemicals. Pour a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain first, and then after a few minutes add a cup of vinegar.”

Combining the baking soda and vinegar will cause a fizzing in your drain, don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. You can either combine them together first and then pour the mixture down the drain or pour the baking soda first and then the vinegar right after. When the fizzing stops, pour some boiling water - about half a gallon - down the drain to flush it down. If this doesn’t do the trick after 15 minutes, feel free to try it again.

 

Baking Soda and Salt

This method is great to try next if the Baking Soda and Vinegar method didn’t end up resolving the problem. When using baking soda and salt, mix them together in a 2:1 ratio of baking soda to salt. Use about a cup or two total. Then all you have to do is pour the combination down the drain and let it sit overnight. As the mixture dissolves the hair, you might hear some fizzing. This is normal.

The next day, just boil a few cups of water and wash it all down the drain.

 

Drano or Another Drain Cleaning Chemical

While this method is less safe or natural than the previous two, it still is a great way to dissolve hair in a shower drain with something you might have lying around the house. This method is probably best to use if nothing else has worked, or if there’s standing water in your bathtub or shower.

Drano and other pipe cleaners are designed to be heavier than water, so they float down the drain and work their magic whether or not there’s standing water in the tub. However, when using drano or any other pipe cleaners, it’s important to remember to be safe. These are dangerous, toxic chemicals.

 

Bleach

Another chemical you can use to dissolve any hair stuck in your shower drain is bleach. However, unlike Drano or other drain cleaning chemicals, bleach won’t be too helpful if the drain is clogged and there’s standing water.

Bleach is great for dissolving hair because it is on the basic side of the pH scale and hair is on the acidic side. Since bleach has a much stronger pH, it dissolves the hair in a neutralization reaction. But just like when using Drano or other drain cleaners,when you’re using bleach it’s very important to remember to be safe. Wear gloves and eye protection. Even remember to rinse off any metal surfaces near the drain with a little bit of water after you use the bleach to prevent any corrosion.

Just like the baking soda and vinegar method, you can try pouring some bleach down the drain a few times to dissolve the hair. Unfortunately, this method might not take care of some of the other stuff that’s stuck down there, so if you’re still having some troubles with a clogged drain, check out our blog post about How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain.


2 More Ways to Remove Hair from a Shower Drain

Pipe Snake or Bent Wire Hanger

A pipe snake, also known as a drain snake or plumber’s snake, is a tool specifically designed to remove hair from drains. While it might not be the same as dissolving the hair in your shower drain, using a pipe snake is a great way to solve the problem. If you don’t have a pipe snake available, you can make a similar tool out of a wire coat hanger. Simply straighten it out and then bend one end into a hook so you can maneuver it down your drain and pull out any knotted up hair.

 

Plunger

If you don’t happen to have a pipe snake around and the bent wire hanger method didn’t work, you might have something besides hair that’s clogging your drain. Using a plunger can help to loosen things up and possibly unclog your drain. Try placing the plunger over the drain and then running some water so the seal of the plunger is air-tight when plunging.


Still Need Help With a Clogged Drain?

If none of these methods worked, you might have something besides hair that’s clogging your shower drain or causing your bathtub to drain slowly. For even more tips and tricks on How to Unclog a Bathtub Drain, you can view our previous post here

If you’re looking for some livestream DIY video chat help from a licensed plumber, you can click here to view the available plumbers and their most recent reviews.

 

 

 

Sources:
Art Plumbing and AC: https://www.artplumbingandac.com/drain-cleaning/clogged-shower-drains-leak-repair/#:~:text=Combining%20baking%20soda%20and%20vinegar,add%20a%20cup%20of%20vinegar.