Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

By Joanne Romero Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

joanne_20121217_01

This is not going to sound very pretty, but here it goes: As you may tell from my picture, I have long hair. The average person loses 100 strands of hair per day, but I would venture to guess that I lose about five times that much. I find it on everything, and when I vacuum, there is more hair than dirt in the vacuum bag.

But what’s even worse is when my hair clogs the tub drain. When I first moved into an apartment, every time I showered, the tub would fill with water. I plunged the drain, and that didn’t work. I tried every type of homemade and store-bought drain cleaner you could imagine. Finally, I called our maintenance man and he taught me a simple trick to unclog the drain.

Remove the tub drain stopper. If the stopper is covered in hair, cleaning it may solve the problem. Cut the hair out using scissors from your tool kit. Please don’t use the kitchen scissors.

Once you get the hairs out of the way, run the water to see if it goes down properly. If not, you may need to snake the drain. To do this, make sure to use a thin cable. You also want to be sure that you are using the right size and type of snake. Ask the people at a hardware store for assistance and tell them what you will be using the snake for and where you plan to use it.

Once you’ve got the correct cable, remove the tub strainer and insert the snake into the drain line. Push until you reach the blockage. Twist the snake handle clockwise to hook the clog, pulling up slighting periodically to check if you’ve captured it. Push down with the snake until you break it up, turning the handle clockwise as you push. You will know you’ve broken it up when you can puncture through the other end. Pull the clog out slowly, and then dispose of it in a bucket or trash can. Flush with cold water.

Keep in mind that these are not permanent solutions to every clogged drain. I still have to clean the hair out of the drain stopper every now and then, but since learning these tricks I haven’t once had to use drain cleaner. As always, consult a professional if you’re ever in doubt.