While any drain in your house is at risk of becoming clogged at some point, shower drains are especially clog-prone. The culprit? Hair!

Daily or twice-daily showers means quite a lot of hair is running down your drains, and if you happen to have long hair, your drains are in serious danger of becoming clogged.

Here are some tips to keep your drains clear:

  • To minimize the amount of hair running into your drain, brush your hair before using the shower or bathtub.
  • If you have pets, wash them outside, or in a separate washtub rather than the bathtub.
  • Make sure your shower/bathtub has a proper drain cover. Danco provides a number of shower strainers and drains that will help block hair and other gunk from clogging up your drains, such as the easy-to-install Clip-Style Shower-Drain Cover or the Hair-Catcher Shower-Drain Cover, specifically designed to stop hair from going down the drain. A basket right under the drain cover catches hair and other debris and is easily detachable for easy removal and cleaning.
  • Clean your drains!
    • Daily: If you’re using a regular drain cover, clean up the hair tangled on the drain cover immediately after showering. Use a tissue or some toilet paper and toss it in the trash – it’s slightly unpleasant, but it takes 5 seconds, and will save you a lot of hassle down the road.
    • Weekly: If you’re using a drain with a hair catcher, make sure to clean it out at least once a week.
    • Monthly: It’s a good idea to pour some drain cleaner down your drain at least once a month, to prevent buildup of any debris that gets past your drain covers. While Drano and other industrial-strength drain cleaners will certainly get the job done, they are also terrible for the environment and can potentially damage your pipes. To stay environmentally friendly, use brands like Method, Ecos and BioKleen, or simply use boiling water.

If you’re reading this article too late, and your drain is already clogged, have no fear!

We’ve also got some tips for you on how to unclog your drain.

  1. Start by pouring boiling water down the drain, or a drain-cleaner, to loosen up whatever is clogging the pipe. If you’re lucky, this will fix the problem right away!
  2. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using the following:
    • A wire-hanger: Bend it until it’s straight, leaving a small hook at one end. Stick it down the drain and see if you can pull up whatever is blocking the pipe.
    • A Zip-It: This is a long flexible plastic stick with barbed teeth on each side. Stick it down the drain and try not to be too grossed out at what is pulled up.
    • A plunger: Remove the drain cover first, place the plunger over the drain, fill the tub with a bit of water and then have at it!
    • A plumbing snake: The professional version of the wire-hanger/zip-it methods. You can rent or buy these at most home improvement stores.

And that concludes today’s bathroom drain plumbing and repair lesson! Add the above tips to your DIY plumbing tool-belt, and your drains will stay clog free for good.