How to Clean Bathtub Drain Clogged With Hair 

 March 31, 2017

By  Xion Lab

There are many things around the house that go wrong and make us cringe with the sheer amount of trouble, inconvenience and unplanned expenses it brings to us. Which is why, we must all learn how to clean a bathtub drain clogged with hair. While kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, and toilet drains are the most common ones, clogged bathtub drains are not far behind either.

The bathtub in the house is recipient of various abuses and highly rough usage. One of the most common forms of abuse is hair. It is not just our hair that ends up accumulating in the bathtub drain, but the hair care products and even razor blade cartridges end up there at times. All these cruel treatments of a bathtub drain end up clogging it, and before you know it, you are using a bathtub that refuses to drain the dirty water into the pipe, while dirty water and germs abode in your bathroom.

And before any of you decide to ignore the standing water because you have another bathtub in the house, or you don’t much care for a bath in the tub or for whatever reasons, don’t. There are repercussions of leaving standing water in your house aside from how bad it is for your housekeeping. In case you don’t believe us, here you go:

Risks posed from standing water:

We need to learn how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair , otherwise the standing water will remain there for a good amount of time leading to the following hazards:

  • Standing, stagnate water provides very favorable conditions for insects to breed and subsist. When left unattended it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes, dragonflies, and other dirty insects. They will eventually spread form the bathroom to the other parts of the house.
  • Insects like flies and mosquitoes are carriers of severe diseases, and can affect the health of the house members, human and pets alike.
  • Aside from hosting germ carrying insects, standing water also causes mildews and mold in the bathroom, which steadily increases and not only affects the aesthetics of the house but also the air breathed by the housemates.

If the standing water get to be too much of a nuisance then you can always call a plumber, but learning how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair yourself will not only save you from losing some cold hard cash, but will also save you the trouble of enduring the dirty conditions any longer.

Just get to work yourself and you’ll be free from the entire situation long before you even have to explain your address to the plumber. Let’s first understand the main reason behind the clogging of the drain.

Clean Bathtub Drain Clogged With Hair

The biggest culprit behind a clogged bathtub drain:

Granted that there are many reasons behind clogged bathtub drains, the biggest one of them is our hair which is why we’ll only be focusing on learning how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair. Once we learn to take care of that, we’ll be able to take care of any issue that a clogged bathtub drain throws at us.

Also, before we let our panic take over, make sure that we really are dealing with a clogged bathtub drain. If you notice that the usage of other fixtures like sink or toilet is draining or backing up water in the bathtub, then chances are you are looking at a clogged main sewerage line. But if the problem is only limited to the bathtub drain, then you can take the following measures and become an expert when it comes to knowing how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair.

Unclogging bathtub drain using DIY methods:

First step into learning how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair involves trying out DIY methods with household ingredients. You can begin by removing the standing water first. Since the drain is all blocked, try shrinking the standing water using a spongy cloth, or with the help of a small bucket and removing the water step by step. Once the water is completely removed, take the fowling steps:

  • Heat up a kettle full of water and pour it down the drain.
  • As soon as the water is completely inside the drain, follow it up with half a cup of baking soda.
  • Pour equal amounts of vinegar and water in another cup and toss it down the drain as well.
  • Now you can witness the bubbles and fizz caused by the combination of vinegar and baking soda–it’s a sign that things are working. In case of lack of bubbles, you have probably messed up the quantity of the ingredients.
  • Without disturbing the drain anymore, cover it with the stopper or lid and let the concoction stay for a while, 10 to 20 minutes.
  • When the time is up, remove the lid band pour another kettle of hot, boiling water.

Most likely, the drain would have popped clear by now. Check it by running water in the bathtub. Hopefully the water will begin to back up into the drain and your problem would have been solved. If the clog is too far-gone to be treated with DIY method then you can try other methods. On the plus side though, you’d have learn how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair alongside learning to deal with clogged sink, toilet and shower drain using the same method.

Unclogging bathtub drain using a plunger:

Another go-to method of unclogging bathtub drain clogged with hair is by using a plunger. The process will start in the same way though, by clearing up the standing water. You can use mop, plastic glass, jug or a container to dump the water into the bucket.

Next you need to remove the stopper of the bathtub drain using the different methods required by different kinds of stoppers–which we’ll explain later. Once you remove the stoppers, you’ll naturally be greeted with a mish mash of dirt, hair and debris. Remove it and throw it away (not in the toilet). Then wash the stopper in a bucket full of hot water with soap to clean it up. Most times it is just the stopper which is causing the problem; if that is the case now then treatment of the stopper will solve the problem. Just fix the stopper back into place and test the drain by running water.

In case the stopper technique does not work, proceed on with the plunger. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Wash the plunger with water and smear it with petroleum jelly as it makes it easier to insert in the drain and seals properly.
  • Place the plunger inside the drain hole and seal the air hole in the bathtub with a wet cloth.
  • Open the tap and fill water enough to make it touch the rubber of the plunger.
  • Once the preparations have been down, it is easier to plunge. Just make sure not to detach the plunger entirely. It must remain inside the drain hole at all times.
  • When you can see the water beginning to back down, remove the plunger, run hot water and clean the bathtub. Put the stopper back in place and you are good to go.

Unclogging bathtub drain using a drain snake:

There is no definite way to unclog and clean the drain that has been clogged with hair. If you are wondering how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair, and DIY tricks like washing the stopper and even plunging have failed, then you can move on to another effective method, the snake. Begin by removing the overflow plate.

The removal of these plates depends on the various methods depending on the kind, though the most common ones are attached with screw. Once it is removed, insert the snake inside the drain and keep it going until it hits an obstacle. Start turning the wheel clockwise once that happens.

Turn the wheel counterclockwise which will bring the auger back in your direction, and then again clockwise which will hit it back on the obstruction. Continue the process until the obstruction gives way and you can feel it being struck into the auger. Lift it up and remove the gunk into a bucket. In case the hair has accumulated too much, the same process will have to be repeated several times to remove all of it. Once the water begin to drain down, run hot water and clean the bathtub.

When using the snake, remember not to push the obstruction further down as it will move the clog even farther up the drain, and make it even more difficult to clear it up. Make sure to put the overflow plate back into place and run hot water in large quantities to remove all debris from the way.

Preventing Hair from Entering the Bathtub Drain and Clogging It:

While it is smart to learn how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair, it is even smarter to learn ways to prevent the hair it from making it happen in the first place, or prevent it from happening after you have gone through all the trouble of unclogging it. Here is what you can do about it:

1. Install a Bathtub Waste and Overflow Tube:

One way of preventing hair from accumulating and blocking the entire drain of the bathtub is to install a waste-and-overflow tube. This tube does not directly work against the hair issue, but it does help when the hair has caused an incessant amount of inconvenience. What this tube does is, it fits into the bathtub, and catches water that might spill over, and divert it back to the drain.

2. Use Drain Covers:

Drain covers and drain traps are specialized today so that they can catch hair and stop it from going down the drain. These traps are built in such a way that they create a barrier between the drain and only allows water to go down the drain and into the pipes. Other than hair, they also prevent other dangerous material to go down the drain. They are designed especially for bathtubs and can be removed from time to time for proper cleaning. They are also available in a non-removable kind.

3. Strainer:

Strainers are very cost affective and handy when it comes to preventing hair strands from going down the drain and forming a mass. They are easy to remove, easy to fix, and can be washed and cleaned an a daily basis. However, they are not available in many varieties, and are not suitable to fit in all kinds of bathtub drains.

4. Mesh:

Mesh is a makeshift hair-prevention tool that you can easily prepare at home and use it whenever you go for a bath. If you can get your hands on a tightly woven mesh at home, the all you need to do is cut it in a size that will cover your bathtub drain. Then hot glue a lightweight object such as pennies around the mesh.

The end result would be a cover that is easily removable and peaceable whenever you go for a bath. This makeshift mesh will not just stop hair from entering the drain but will also act as a barrier for soap pieces and other debris. The smallish holes in the mesh are very affective in keeping big particles out.

5. Prevention:

It’s far better to nip the evil in the bud, which in this case is allowing hair to even go down the drain. You can start by taking better care of your hair. If the hair fall is too rapid then consult hair specialist for a solution. You can also make a habit of combing your hair every day, this way your hair will not only become strong but will also stop tearing down during a bath. Also try to pick up all the loose hair with your fingers, and setting it aside to throw away after the bath.

Removing Hair From Time to Time:

We understand that one cannot entirely eradicate hair from entering the bathtub, which is why we suggest that on-time actions must be taken to remove hair from time to time. Even when you are using a mesh or strainer and keeping your hair fall to the minimum, few hair strands can still manage to pass through. It is better to collect all of it after every bathing session and throw it away. This way the hair strands will never get a chance to amass and cause problems later.

drain cleaner

Identifying the Stopper of Your Bathtub Drain:

When learning how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair, you will need to remove the stopper at some point or other. Problem is there are various kind of stopper and each have a different method of removing. To make matter easier, we have listed down all of the different kinds and their method of removal:

1. Pop-Up:

Pop-up is another kind of stopper whose mechanism works from inside the drain. There is a rod which draws away or pushes to pop open the stopper. To remove it, one can twist the lever in the open direction as the sign will most probably show. If the lever prevents you from pulling it upwards, then try moving it horizontally and it will work.

2. Push-Pull:

As the name clearly indicates, Push-Pull stopper can be removed by first turning it counterclockwise and then pulling it away from the drain. There might be a chance of the stopper being too engraved into the drain. IF needed, use a flat-head screw driver to ply it away.

3. Lift and Turn:

The name of the stopper speaks for itself. This kind of stopper can open and close just like its namesake. Lifting it up and turning it anti clockwise will make it pop open; turning it in the opposite direction will make it close back.

4. Toe Touch:

Toe touch stoppers are if the easier kind. They are also called foot actuated and are threaded into the drain cross bar. To remove them one simply needs to pull them off the drain, and while keeping it into that position, turn it clockwise (or counterclockwise) to remove it from the thread. If the thread is too rusty from lack of usage then pour lubricant beforehand.

5. Flip It:

Flip it stoppers have a toggle which requires flipping, for the stopper to pop open.

6. Plunger Style:

This one is the old-school kind with screws and overflow plate. We need to remove the screw and swing the faceplate to open the stopper of the bathtub.

To keep our bathtub from over flooding or a clogged up drain, we must make sure to keep hair strands far away from it. Also, we need to learn how to clean bathtub drain clogged with hair, because we might be expected to summon this talent at any time of the day. Once you learn to take care of this problem, you will not only save lots of money from paying the plumber, but also won’t have to panic at the sight of a clogged up bathtub drain.

Subscribe to our newsletter now!