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How to Get Hair Out of the Drain | 5 Easy Methods

Is your shower or bathtub drain clogged up with hair, and you’re wondering how to remove it? Learn how to get hair out of the drain in five simple steps. Before hiring a professional plumber to get rid of hair in your shower or bathtub drain, you can try several DIY hacks.

Below is a recap of the methods to use:

  • Clean with baking soda and vinegar
  • Use cotton swabs
  • Use a wire coat hanger
  • Use a drain snake
  • Remove the whole drain

Some people recommend using chemical drain cleaners, but such products can damage your pipes, causing corrosion and leaks. So, it’s better to stick to the methods above.

5 Ways to Get Hair Out of the Drain

Here is a detailed explanation of removing hair from the drain using the abovementioned methods.

1. Clean With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Homeowners have been using a combination of baking soda and vinegar as a cleaning and disinfectant agent. If your bathroom sink, shower, or bathtub drain has a high accumulation of hair and water won’t drain easily, baking soda and vinegar will help eliminate it.

Besides unclogging your drain, this combination will disinfect the drain and fight any bacteria, fungi, and odor. And to get the best result, you should have some washing-up liquid and boiling water in place.

Here’re the instructions to follow:

  1. Spray some washing-up liquid and allow it to run down the drain. Pour some water into the drain for the washing-up liquid to get bubbly. Bubbling will enable the hair to loosen up.
  2. Pour one cup of baking soda and ensure it gets down the clogged drain. Chase the baking soda with another cup of vinegar. As the vinegar and baking soda react, they will cause a fizzing in the drain.
  3. Allow the fizzing to continue until it stops. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar will break up the hair in your drain.
  4. Wait around five minutes after the fizzing and pour some boiling water down the drain. The water should help the hair to pass through the drain.
  5. Use a cup plunger and pump it down quickly to remove the remaining hair clog.
  6. Repeat the process to clear the stubborn hair if the water doesn’t drain properly.

2. Use Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs can be your best bet if you’re looking for a quick fix on how to get hair out of the drain. However, cotton swabs may not be suitable for drains clogged up with a lot of hair.

Pick your rubber gloves and screwdriver before getting started. You’ll need the gloves because this quick fix is not one of the cleanest ways to unclog your drain.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Grab some cotton swabs. Use the regular cotton swabs in your bathroom or buy a packet from the local shop.
  2. If your bathtub or shower drain has a stopper over it, you’ll need to remove it using a screwdriver. A drain stopper prevents hair and other debris from clogging up your drain.
  3. Stick a cotton swab into the drain and ensure it reaches the hair clog. Wiggle the cotton swab in a circular motion for a while.
  4. Remove the cotton swab out with the hair.
  5. Repeat the process with different cotton swabs until you’ve removed all the hair clogs.
  6. Turn on the water faucet and observe if it’s draining properly. If not, try the next fix.

3. Use a Wire Coat Hanger

Would you like to get deeper into the drain where cotton swabs won’t reach? A wire coat hanger can be a great resource to help you get hair out of the drain. You can grab one from your wardrobe or purchase from the nearest store. Before starting, you will need other items like a flashlight, screwdriver, and rubber gloves.

With the right tools in place, do the following:

  1. Use the screwdriver to remove the drain stopper. The drain stopper can be an obstacle when using the coat hanger to remove the hair clog. Place the drain stopper in a safe and easily accessible place to avoid misplacing it.
  2. Unravel your metal coat hanger by bending it to make it straight. Make a hook that will enable you to fish for hair clumps in the drain.
  3. Use the flashlight to find the hair clog.
  4. Wear the rubber gloves and insert the wire with the hook into the drain where there’s hair accumulation. Move the wire around for the hook to fish for hair clumps. After moving it around for a while, you’ll feel some friction. The friction means you’ve hooked some hair.
  5. Pull the wire out and remove the hair around the hook. Set the hair aside and dip the wire again to repeat the process. Continue until you’ve removed all the hair clog.
  6. Turn on the water faucets and use a plunger to push any hair remaining in your drain.

4. Use a Drain Snake

A drain snake is a better alternative to a wire coat hanger when removing hair clogs in your drain. A drain snake device (also known as a plumber’s snake or an auger) is a flexible wire or plastic device suitable for unclogging a drain.

The device “snakes” its way down your drain and breaks up the clogs. If you don’t have the tool at home, you can buy one from the local hardware store or borrow it from your friend. Choose the right drain snake, thick enough to unclog your drain quickly and efficiently.

Follow the instructions below to unclog your drain with a drain snake.

  1. Remove the drain stopper and push the drain snake down to reach the hair clog.
  2. If you’re using a manual drain snake, turn the handle so it can grab or cut the hair clog. A drain snake may have toothed heads that hold the hair clog or cutting heads that cut through the clog.
  3. Pull the drain snake out of your drain.
  4. Turn on the water faucet to test the drain. Repeat the process to clear the drain if the water doesn’t drain properly.

5. Remove the Whole Drain

If all the above home remedies don’t work, you can still get the hair out of the drain by removing the whole drain and cleaning it. Removing the drain is labor-intensive and requires tools such as a plug wrench, screwdriver, standard pliers, needle-nose pliers, and gloves.

Here’s what you should do to remove the drain:

  1. Wear the gloves and remove the drain stopper
  2. Grab the plug wrench and insert it into the drain opening. Ensure the plug wrench fits into your drain’s crossbars.
  3. Use pliers to grip the plug wrench and turn it counterclockwise to loosen your drain.
  4. Remove the plug wrench.
  5. Insert your needle-nose pliers and clamp them around the crossbar in your drain.
  6. Use pliers to grip the needle-nose pliers and turn them counterclockwise until they loosen up.
  7. Pull the entire drain out.

After removing the entire drain, clean it in a bucket and remove all the hair clog. This is an excellent opportunity to replace it if it’s too old.

Call your professional plumber to remove hair from the drain if all that work seems daunting. Your professional plumber has all the tools and skills needed to remove clogs from hair, soap scum, food, grease, and toilet paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Close up of a man holding a clump of hair in his yellow glove


Here are some common questions about getting hair out of your drain.

Will boiling water unclog a drain?

Hot water can help clear your drain, depending on the item clogging the drain. If ice cubes, soap scum, or grease block your drain, boiling water will unclog it. However, if other things, such as dirt or hair, clog your drain, you need to find an alternative means.

How long does it take hair to dissolve in the drain?

While human hair is biodegradable, decomposing can take a long time. Hair will take about two years to dissolve if clogged in your drain. You can fix this faster by pouring vinegar and baking soda into the drain.

Will vinegar hurt PVC pipes?

Vinegar won’t harm your PVC, PEX, or copper pipes when used to unclog dirt, food, hair, grease, oil, and soap scum. However, use vinegar and baking soda in small doses when clearing your drains.

Can vinegar stay in the drain overnight?

Vinegar can stay in your drain overnight. You might need to employ this method if your drain refuses to unclog.

Does hydrogen peroxide dissolve hair in a drain?

Hydrogen peroxide is a gentle chemical compound for getting hair out of your drain. Pour the chemical compound into the drain and allow it to rest for a few hours. For hydrogen peroxide to be effective, pour it into the drain and follow it with baking soda and boiling water.

So, How Do You Get Hair Out of the Drain?

Now you know how to get the hair out of the drain using simple DIY solutions. Get rid of that hair using baking soda, vinegar, cotton swabs, a wire coat hanger, or a drain snake, or remove the entire drain for cleaning. If you still can’t fix the problem, call your professional plumber to remove hair from your drain. Good luck!