Remove Hair From Shower Drain in 7 Easy Ways

removing hair from a shower drain

Removing hair from a shower drain is a common maintenance task that helps prevent clogs and drainage issues. Here’s a brief summary of ways to remove hair from a shower drain:

  1. Manual Removal with Your Fingers:
    • Put on a pair of disposable gloves.
    • Reach into the drain and use your fingers to pull out visible clumps of hair. Dispose of the hair in the trash.
  2. Use a Drain Snake or Auger:
    • Insert a drain snake or auger into the drain.
    • Rotate the tool and push it further into the drain to catch and retrieve hair clogs.
    • Pull the tool out, removing the hair along with it. Dispose of the hair properly.
  3. Use a Zip-It Tool:
    • A Zip-It tool is a thin, flexible plastic strip with barbs designed to catch hair and debris in the drain.
    • Insert the Zip-It tool into the drain, and then pull it out slowly, collecting hair and debris as you go.
  4. Chemical Drain Cleaners (Caution):
    • Some chemical drain cleaners can dissolve hair clogs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these products, and take safety precautions.
  5. Baking Soda and Vinegar:
    • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar.
    • Let the mixture sit for about 15-30 minutes to break down the hair.
    • Flush the drain with hot water to wash away the loosened hair and debris.
  6. Boiling Water:
    • Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it down the drain in a slow, steady stream.
    • The hot water can help dissolve and flush away hair clogs.
  7. Preventive Measures:
    • To reduce the frequency of hair clogs, consider using a drain strainer or hair catcher in the shower to trap hair before it goes down the drain. Regularly clean and empty the strainer.

This is the process of removing hair from a shower drain:

1. Remove the Shower Drain Cover


A shower drain cover is installed to prevent hair strands from washing down the shower drain, but they still manage to do exactly that. While you can remove the hair with the cover still on, removing it prior makes it easy and effective. By removing this cover, you will have direct access to the drainpipe and P-trap.

Shower drain covers are a little different but removing them is easy all together. This is how to proceed:

  • Look for a screw or 2 on the drain cover.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screws, being very careful not to drop them down the drain.
  • Once the screws are out simply lift off the cover.
  • If there are no screws on the drain cover, look for a slot on the edge of the drain cover. Insert a flathead screwdriver in the slot and pry off the cover.
  • An alternative to the above is a needle-nose pliers. Grab the drain covers with a pair of needle-nose pliers and pull it straight out.

If you are using a bathtub-shower combo, you will first need to remove the tub stopper at the bottom of the tub. That will however depend on the type of bathtub stopper you have, as there are about 5 types of tub stoppers.

Check how to remove the different bathtub stoppers in this post.

2. Remove the Hair with Zip-It Tool.


The shower drain hair removal tool, commonly known as a zip-it tool is the same tool used to remove hair from a bathroom sink. It is a thin plastic strip with hooks along its edges that you feed down the shower drain and it grabs hair strands/balls out of the drain.

This tool is flexible and hence it is easily snaked down and up the shower P-trap to get rid of every bit of hair. Unlike a drain snake, the tool cannot damage the drainpipe in any way.

It is important to make sure that you have your gloves on as the hair being pulled out will be really gross to look at and touch. The smell is also not very pleasant.

Start by removing the hair at the top of the drain with your hand and when you can longer reach the one in the P-trap start feeding and twisting the hair removal tool down the drain. If the drain is badly clogged with hair it will be a little hard to push the tool but with determination, you will do it.

3. Use a Wire Coat Hanger

A wire coat hanger has been used successfully over the years to unclog drains. It can also be used to remove hair from shower drains with similar success.

Here is how to remove hair from a shower drain using a wire hanger:

  • Dash to your closet and grab a wire coat hanger.
  • Use a pair of pliers to straighten the wire hanger into a single long wire.
  • Make a hook on one end of the wire using the same pliers.
  • Insert the hooked end of the wire in the shower drain and start pulling out hair. This is a slow process so be patient.

A wire coat hanger doesn’t have the flexibility of a zip it tool but it still does the job. If you don’t have a wire hanger just use any other wire, as long it is thick and strong enough.

4. Pull the Out Hair with Tweezers


If you have tweezers in your home then you can clean out hair from your shower drain in minutes. As soon as you have removed the drain cover, put on some gloves and start grabbing hair strands and dropping them in a trash bag/can.

I am always hesitant about plunging a shower drain clogged with hair, as a hair ball can clog the drainpipe even more. Removing the hair is a far much better way of dealing with the problem instead of forcing it down the drain.

An alternative to tweezers is a pair of needle-nose pliers. Use its prongs to grab and remove as much hair from the drainpipe as possible before cleaning the P-trap with baking soda and vinegar.

5. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar.

Whenever you have a clogged drain, baking soda and vinegar or probably your second option after using a plunger. Apart from clearing clogs, baking soda and vinegar are very effective in eliminating smells in drains.

While you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean hair out of your shower drain without removing the drain cover, removing the cover helps to improve your success rate by first removing most of the hair with the steps above.

Here is how to remove hair from shower drain using baking soda and vinegar:

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the shower drain.
  • Add 1 cup of vinegar slowly since it reacts very quickly with the baking soda.
  • Wait for 15-30 minutes for the fizzing reaction to end.
  • Pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain.

As the baking soda is reacting with the vinegar, the hair ball in the drainpipe and P-trap will be broken down making it lightweight. The boiling water will melt and dissolve soap scum and other clingy substances, and wash everything down the drain, leaving it fully opening and smelling fresh.

6. Pull Out the Hair with a Drain Snake


If you have tried removing hair from your shower drain using the above methods but it is still draining slowly, only one tool will do the job. The drain snake!

A drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake is a flexible cable rolled on a drum. It has a hooked spring-like head and a cranking handle.

You use a drain snake to break down clogs and pull them out of the drain, especially if they are several feet inside the drain. This is how to pull out hair from a shower drain using a drain snake:

  • Loosen the cable clamp on the drum.
  • Feed the cable down the shower drain until you encounter resistance.
  • Tighten the clamp.
  • Start cranking the cable until you go through the clog.
  • Release more cable and push it deeper in the drain.
  • Pull the cable out.
  • Remove the hair and repeat the above steps just incase there is more hair in the drain.
  • Clean the cable and pull it back in the drum.
  • Tighten the clamp and store the snake.

7. Install a Shower Hair Catcher


If you don’t want to keep removing hair from your shower drain every now and then you need to install a hair catcher over you drain. A shower drain hair catcher costs under $10 dollars and will save you a lot of trouble (in form of clogged shower drains) and time. Sometimes even money.

Installing a shower drain hair catcher is quite simple and you don’t even need to call in a plumber to do it for you. Just remove the drain cover and insert it in the catcher and voila!

And those are the 7 ways of removing hair from your shower drain. If unfortunately you are unsuccessful or unable to do it, feel free to call in a plumber to help. There could be problems with your shower drain which only a professional plumber can fix.

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