How To Unclog A Bathtub Drain That’s Full Of Hair

When it comes to plumbing, bathrooms are often the first place to see a lot of daily use. 

Whether it’s your kids washing up before dinner after playing outside or taking a quick shower after working out, bathrooms see quite a lot of wear and tear. Bathtubs especially can need more care, since many people love a nice warm bath after a long day. Even a cool shower on a hot summer day is highly appreciated. Everyone loves feeling clean and refreshed!

The only problem is getting into the bathtub for a shower only to realize halfway through that the water’s actually filling the tub instead of going down the drain. Knowing how to unclog a bathtub drain full of hair can be surprisingly complex, especially if it’s your first time dealing with your house’s plumbing. 

With how often the tub and shower gets used, any long hairs that get caught in the drain can be a rather nasty mess to clean out. And that’s just the build-up that’s close enough to grab.

When it comes to dealing with a bathtub drain system that’s clogged with hair, there are many different ways you can clean the clog. We’ve collected some of the simplest ways to help you learn how to unclog bathtub drain full of hair.

If none of these methods help, call the experienced experts at Clover Contracting to get professional help.

Bathtub clogged with hair — how can you fix it?

Here are some effective methods you can use if you want to learn how to remove hair from bathtub drain systems in your home:

Clean out the stopper

One of the first steps you need to do when your bathtub is clogged with hair is to clean out the drain’s stopper first. Chances are that any hair that builds up in the drain can get tangled around the end of the stopper, restricting the flow of waste water going down. Cleaning the stopper is one of the easiest possible solutions, only requiring the knowledge of how to remove it from your bathtub. 

Depending on the type of stopper, begin with unscrewing it from the drain. Drop stoppers often have a “set” screw just underneath the cap that connects it to the drain. Other types include levered stoppers – which are typically found in older homes – and more modern push stoppers. 

Once you’ve unscrewed and removed them from the drain, remove any longer hairs and, if needed, use a small hook to pull out any visible hairs from the drain. After reattaching the stopper, run some water down the drain to check if it still backs up. If it does, consider some of the other options.

Use a drain cleaner

Another simple method to clean out your bathtub’s drain is to use a drain cleaner. While it’s recommended to use a cleaner that’s made specifically for bathtubs and shower drains, a general but highly rated cleaner can work just as well. With both commercial options, make sure you know all the pros and cons as the cleaner may actually cause some damage to the system if you aren’t careful.

When using the cleaner, make sure you use gloves and properly read the bottle’s instructions first before following them well. More often than not, these cleaners are made of chemicals that will corrode at the hair clog and getting any on your skin can hurt you. As with any other method of cleaning clogs, run water down the drain after a few minutes to see if the clog has been removed. 

Homemade alternatives

There are also a number of homemade alternatives to help you unclog your drain, if you find that chemicals might be too harsh on your home’s plumbing. 

One of the options you can go ahead with is a simple mix of baking soda and vinegar. Start by pouring some boiling water into the drain before letting it sit for a few minutes. After that, put half a cup of baking soda into the drain, wait a few moments for it to reach the clog then add a cup of white vinegar. Before running water into the drain to check to see if it worked, wait 15 to 20 minutes.

Some other homemade techniques can help you determine how to unclog a bathtub drain full of hair as well. One of the simpler, yet equally natural ways is to just pour boiling water into the drain. The heat from the water should loosen any grease or grime that might cause the clog, Meanwhile, the water pushes the hair clump further down the drain, potentially letting the rest of the plumbing wash it away. 

Use a plunger

Sometimes, a simple option can work just as well. The process of how to remove hair from the bathtub drain can also simply be done with a plunger. Though this often requires the clog to be closer to the drain to work well, all you might need is a few pumps for your water to flow properly again.

Start by filling the tub with water, preferably hot as it can allow whatever’s sticking the hair clump to the sides to loosen. Much like using the plunger on your toilet, place the end against the drain and give it a few pumps. A sign the clog is releasing are bits of dirt or hair coming back up the drain. If you see this, give the drain a few more pumps before looking for the clog. 

Try using a drain claw

Finally, if the clog seems too deep in your plumbing system or it seems to be far too stubborn to properly dislodge (even after trying all aforementioned tips), you might need to resort to using a drain claw.

Also called by a range of different names, the “claw” is typically a long flexible tube with a handle on one end and a small claw or a few metal loops on the other. All that you need to do is feed the claw or looped end into the drain until it hits the clog, then pull it back up. You may need to repeat the process a few times for bigger clogs to be cleared out completely.

Dealing with a bathtub drain clogged with hair — Takeaway

Knowing how to unclog a bathtub drain full of hair can be one of the most important things a homeowner can learn.

Even if you have shorter hair, a clog can still form unexpectedly and leave you with water backing up. These tips allow you to clean them out yourself, but in the few cases that a clog is too severe, you can call a professional plumbing technician at Clover Contracting to help solve your problem.

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