How to stop hair blocking drains?

December 15, 2020

Hair is one of the top 10 things we commonly see blocking drains here at Argo Drains but it can be tricky to think what you can do to actually prevent clogs from happening. Here are some top tips to stop hair blocking drains.

Drain Cover

One of the first things that you can do is purchase a drain cover for your shower drain, bath drain and bathroom sink. These will essentially act as filters to stop the hair going down the drain in the first place.

You can buy a drain cover which goes over the top or under the top of your drain.

An over the top cover will trap any soap scum, hair or other debris and prevent it going down the drain. Whilst an underneath drain screen hangs in the middle of the pipe just below the drain opening to catch hair as it falls down. Both of which catch hair, soap scum and other debris whilst filtering water through. You will need to read the instructions carefully to make sure it is secure and also regularly clean it on a regular basis.

You can also use a small mesh culinary strainer which you would use in your kitchen sink and position it over the top of the drain. However, you may need to hold it in place as these strainers tend to move around more.

Minimising hair build up

Another way you can prevent hair clogging up drains is to minimise it accumulating.

One of the easiest ways you can do this is use a hairbrush or comb to go through your hair a few times before having a shower or bath. This will help to pick up any loose hairs which you can then gather and throw away in the bin.

If you have a dog who you wash in the bath during the winter months it may also be worthwhile doing this to them to get off any matted areas or clumps of loose hair off before getting them into the water. In the summer you can always wash your dog outside or use a baby bathtub to bathe them, then dump the water outside afterwards so it doesn’t go down the drain.

Whilst in the shower, if you find any hair strands in your hands, it is best to place those either on the wall or shower ledge which you can then wipe away with a paper towel and toss them in the bin rather than them going down the drain and potentially clogging it.

Regular Drain Cleaning

As well as trying to prevent hair going down the drain, by cleaning the drain regularly you can help prevent blockages from hair occurring, as well as other common causes such as fat, oil and grease. There are a few options that you can try:

Hot Water Rinse About once a week, get one cup of boiling hot water and pour it down the drain. This will help to loosen any grime and smooth out the interior of your pipes so they don’t gather hairs or get clogs. You should be careful when pouring it in to minimise damage to the surface finish of your bathtub or shower. You can even simply turn the shower to hot when you have finished and leave it running for an additional 5-10 minutes after you have finished to provide this rinse.

Table Salt and White Vinegar – Salt is naturally abrasive so can be very helpful at scraping things off the pipes that are potentially blocking it. Simply pour one to two tablespoons of salt, followed by ¼ cup of white vinegar and allow it to sit undisturbed. Then run the hot tap for ten minutes and repeat for best results.  You can also try a similar mixture with a cup of baking soda and a cup of white vinegar.

Failing these natural home remedy drain cleaners, you can also try bleach and drain cleaner. However, both of these are chemical based so it is important to follow the instructions carefully to avoid injury to yourself and also damage to your pipes and the environment.

For a more manual approach, you can also try using a plumber’s snake or an unbent wire coat hanger to dig into the drain and scrape out any debris causing blockages.

If your drain repeatedly clogs however and nothing seems to fix it, then it may be time to call in a professional. Argo Drains have over 25 years’ experience providing emergency drain unblocking and repair, from our bases in Lichfield and Stoke on Trent to customers and businesses throughout the West Midlands.

If you would like to speak to us about your blocked sinks and need an emergency plumber, simply call our 24/7 emergency telephone number on 0121 663 6683.