Dear Rapunzel: Three Ways To Remove Your Golden Hair Out Of The Drain

Posted on: 25 August 2015

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Congratulations are in order for growing your hair to a length rivalling Rapunzel; it is certainly an achievement to be proud of. The only minor downside to having such luscious locks is that every person loses between 50 and 100 strands of hair each day, and some of these are going down your drains when you shower. So what's a girl to do when the water starts draining slowly enough to alert you there's a drain blockage going on? Here are three ways you can clean out your drains to make them hair free once again.

Crochet Hooks

It doesn't matter if you don't have a creative bone in your body, a crochet hook is an inexpensive way to fish your hair out of the shower drain. Keep these pointers in mind as you get ready to do this chore:

  • You can purchase a crochet hook at any hobby store; however, make sure you have looked at the size of your drain cover before you get the hook. Crochet hooks come in different sizes and you don't want to buy a hook that is too big for the holes in the cover.
  • Wear a pair of rubber gloves while you do the task. While the hair has been in the drain, shampoo and body fluids have collected on the hair strands and there are now bacteria growing on them. You don't want to get sick from your drain cleaning experience.
  • Be gentle as you push the crochet hook into the drain. The aim is to hook the caught hair and pull it back up, not push it further into the drain.

Unclogging Liquids

If the hair is caught in a drain where a crochet hook is not going to go straight into, then your next option is to use one of the drain unclogging liquids you can purchase at your local hardware store. When it comes to using unclog liquids, you have several options.

  • Chemical based formulas rely on acid or lye to dissolve the hair. These products are poured into the drain and can clear a block in as little as 15 minutes. However, older house plumbing cannot handle the corrosiveness of the formula and it can cause damage to your pipes. Seek plumber's advice if your home is more than 10 years old before you use a chemical product.
  • Enzyme based formulas are a gentler option, but they do not work as fast as chemical ones. Enzyme products contain bacteria and it is the bacteria that eats through the hair to clear the block. Because it is a slower process, you cannot expect to see results from an enzyme product for several days.

If you do have a fear of damaging your drains using a chemical cleaner, or you don't have time for an enzyme product to chew through your hair, then it's time to call in the professionals.

Professional Drain Cleaning

Professional drain cleaners use both manual and motorized equipment to get those long hair strands out of your drains. Two common methods include:

  • Drain snake. A drain snake works to remove hair that has moved further into the drain than a crochet hook can extend. It is a metallic piece of pipe that can be adjusted in length but is also flexible enough to move around bends in your drain if they are there. Drain snakes can be pushed against hair clogs when found and that pressure breaks the clog up into smaller pieces that will fall apart.
  • Hydro cleaning. Hydro cleaning uses high-pressure water to flush out the hair in your drain. As the force of the water reaches the block it will move it from its current position and it then flushes away leaving the plumbing pipe unobstructed.

Once your drains are hair free once more, ask about ways you can prevent a hair build-up in your drains in the future. While you can't stop the hair from falling out of your head, you can ensure not all of it ends up causing you drainage dramas.