How many times have you been in a hurry to get out of the shower and had a clogged drain? It is frustrating, time-consuming, and can be dangerous. Luckily some easy steps will help prevent this from happening again. You may not know it, but hair care products contribute to clogs because they contain oils that create a barrier around your hair strands, preventing them from being cleared away by water. Other things that can clog a bathtub are dirt, soap scum and dead skin cells. To keep your drains clear for good, avoid using these products altogether or use ones that have less oil content, such as baby shampoo or conditioner.
To unclog a bathroom drain of any kind, first, remove the stopper or cover and place a bucket underneath. Next, make up a solution by mixing dish soap with baking soda in equal parts. Pour the mixture into the drain, then follow that with boiling water from the faucet. The heat of the water will help dissolve hair and other blockages while at the same time loosening it up for removal. To clear out stubborn clogs, pour vinegar mixed with baking soda into your drain (1 part vinegar to 2 parts baking soda). Follow this with more boiling water or saltwater.
You can also try using a plunger if your drain is clogged right now, and you do not want to wait for the chemicals to work their magic. Use the plunger immediately after taking a shower to prevent hair from building up around your drain. Press firmly, but not too hard, or you will end up splashing water on the floor of your bathroom instead of clearing away the blockage. Repeat as necessary until there is no more standing water in the basin of your tub.
If plunging proves ineffective, it may be time to invest in a product that liquefies hair build-up so that it flows down the drain more easily by trapping hair with an enzyme that dissolves it after several hours. Pour one down each drain once a week to keep it clear. If you do not want to invest in a product that liquefies hair, try pouring half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by several cups of vinegar. The chemical reaction between the two should create bubbles that lift away any blockage. Let this sit for at least five minutes before flushing with hot water to help remove any standing liquid from the basin.
You can also try using a chemical product that prevents hair from building up. Pour one down each drain once a month to keep it clear. Most are made of enzymes that dissolve any blockage over time, but you may have to wait several hours for this to happen. To avoid clogged sinks and bathtubs, do not pour these products down the drain while they are still in liquid form. This causes them to solidify and clog your drains rather than dissolve them. Before pouring a product like this down your drains, it is best to mix it with something that will liquefy it, such as dish soap or hot water.
To prevent hair from building up around your bathroom sink drain after using it, cover the opening with a small filter that will allow water to flow through but trap hair before it can settle on top of standing water. This also works for shower stalls and tubs where hairs tend to build up at the bottom-most point of the basin. If a filter does not solve
When hair is not the culprit, you could have a clog caused by something other than hair products or one that is too severe for any of the previous options. Call a plumber immediately if it is. Do not attempt to remove it yourself if you are not sure how because you could cause even more damage and cost yourself more money in the long run. You can prevent blocked drains entirely by removing all jewelry before showering and always be very gentle when rinsing out hair care products, so nothing gets splashed around.
If your drains are still clogged after all these steps have been attempted, there may be an additional issue in need of repair, which will require the expertise of a plumber. These professionals can identify what exactly is causing your problem and take measures to prevent it from reoccurring in the future so that your bathroom stays clean and clear without all of the efforts.