How to Unclog Bathtub Drain Full of Hair: 8 Tips

how to unclog bathtub drain full of hair

Whether you like it or not, hair-clogged drains are a common issue for all households. Even though drain stoppers can do a pretty good job at reducing the amount of hair that gets drained, blockages are inevitable. And when they happen, clogs can cause all sorts of additional problems, like flooding.

Unfortunately, a blockage never disappears on its own, regardless of how much you try to ignore it. As a result, sooner rather than later, you’ll need to figure out how to unclog a bathtub drain full of hair. Luckily, this guide has got you covered!

How to Unclog a Drain Full of Hair: 8 Ways


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While some clogs can be removed by simply pulling the hair out, others require a more aggressive approach. Fortunately, the following methods should help you unclog even the most stubborn blockages.

1. Pour Boiling Water Into the Drain

If the idea of putting your hands anywhere near your drain disgusts you, then you can just get some boiling water in order to unclog your bathtub. That’s because boiling water will allow the hair to go down properly through the pipe by loosening the grease and soap that hold it in place.

Simply boil some water and then pour it down the drain at a steady pace. For an even easier time, place a funnel on top first and then start pouring. After a few moments, you can test your drain to check for any remaining blockages.

2. Fish the Hair Using a Hook

Do you still want to keep your hands clean? Then get yourself a hook and try to fish out the hair that clogs the drain. If you don’t have a hook, you can make your own using a coat hanger, or other sturdy materials that don’t break or bend easily.

From there, you’ll need to push the wire down the drain until you grab the hair, and then pull it up. However, when doing so, make sure to pull slowly. Otherwise, you risk losing the clump — a piece might break off, falling deeper into the drain.

3. Use Your Hand

Using your hand to remove a blockage is not for the faint of heart, but it’s an effective way to unclog a drain. However, you can always wear gloves to avoid touching the drain directly.

Start by taking off the cover, so you can reach inside and pull the drain out. But make sure to pick up the big clump in order to get rid of the entire clog in one go. Voila, your drain should now be hair free and working as intended.

4. Rely on Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar mixes are reliable ways to get rid of all sorts of problems, including clogs found in bathtub drains. To achieve the best results, squirt a bit of dish soap into the drain to soften the clog. Proceed by pouring baking soda and vinegar (one cup each) down the drain.

In about five minutes, a chemical reaction will take place, which should dislodge the hair clog. You can use some boiling water to maximize the process and ensure that most of the hair has washed away.

5. Get the Plunger Out

Sometimes, all you need to get rid of a nasty clog is your toilet plunger. First, fill your bathtub with water until the plunger is submerged. That way, you improve its sucking. To further increase its effectiveness, you can put some petroleum jelly on the plunger’s edges.

Then, stick the plunger in the drain and start plunging. Keep doing it until you are able to remove all the hair. While this is not the most reliable way to get rid of the clog, it’s always worth a try.

6. Use a Plumbing Snake

Also known as augers, plumbing snakes are flexible and long wires that can make their way down the drain and break up clogs. If you don’t have one at home, you can purchase a plumbing snake at most local hardware stores. You can choose between multiple augur sizes, depending on your specific needs. But usually, a medium-sized cable auger should do the job.

When using a plumbing snake, you have to push it down the drain and turn the handle to grab the clog. Once you’ve broken through the clog, simply pull it out. If you have an electrical auger, a simple push of a button should advance or retract the cable, which is more effective for major clogs.

7. Buy Some Chemicals

It’s always best to rely on natural methods rather than chemicals. However, if your clog is too stubborn, you will need a more aggressive approach.

So, if none of the previous methods worked, you should go to your local hardware store and purchase some chemicals specially designed to unclog drains.

Before using any chemicals, make sure to read the instructions and follow them religiously. Additionally, wear protective equipment like goggles and gloves to avoid harming yourself. And lastly, never mix multiple types of chemicals, or you could end up creating deadly substances.

8. Remove the Whole Drain

One of the last ways you can remove the clog is to remove your drain entirely and clean it. You’ll need a plug wrench, an adjustable wrench, a flat-head screwdriver, standard pliers, locking needle-nose pliers, and gloves.

While this process can seem a bit overwhelming, you won’t damage your drain as long as you follow these steps:

• Before you start, make sure to put on your gloves and wear them during the entire procedure, as it can get pretty messy.
• Remove the stopper using your screwdriver. Push the plug wrench into the drain opening, fitting it into the crossbars.
• Use the pliers to grip the plug wrench and turn counterclockwise in order to loosen up the drain.
• Next, take out the wrench and push the needle-nose pliers into the drain.
• Lock the pliers in place by clamping them around the drain’s crossbar.
• Use the adjustable wrench to lock the needle-nose pliers in place as low as possible. Then slowly turn the needle-nose pliers counterclockwise.
• If the drain is loose enough, you will be able to turn the pliers by hand and pull out the entire drain.
• Clean the drain in a bucket or sink and remove any hair that you find.
• Put everything back together and test your bathtub to see if the water can drain properly.

Carrie Nelson
Carrie Nelson wears many hats. She’s an avid quilter, author as well as a social media guru. Her love for quilting is evident in her books on the subject and she hopes to pass on her color balance and design skills to her readers. When not quilting or writing, you’ll find her knee-deep in home improvement projects.