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How to Unblock a Bath Drain Full of Hair

A relaxing bath can quickly turn frustrating when the water refuses to drain, leaving you with a tub full of murky water. One of the most common culprits behind a slow-draining or blocked bath drain is hair.

Over time, hair, combined with soap scum and other debris, can form a tangled mass that obstructs water flow.

We’ve previously looked at unblocking drains, toilets, gutters and even fridge drains – in this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on tackling and preventing a hair-clogged bath drain.

Understanding the Blockage

Hair doesn’t dissolve in water. Instead, it can get caught in the drain’s grating or wrap-around parts of the drain mechanism. When combined with soap, oils, and other debris, it forms a dense clump that impedes water flow. The more hair and debris that goes down the drain, the larger and more problematic the blockage becomes.

Steps to Unblock a Hair-Clogged Bath Drain

  1. Gather Necessary Tools: Before you begin, ensure you have the following on hand:
    • Rubber gloves
    • A screwdriver (if needed to remove the drain cover)
    • A straightened wire coat hanger or a specialized drain snake
    • A plunger
    • Baking soda and white vinegar
    • A pot of boiling water
  2. Safety First: Always wear rubber gloves when working with drains to protect your hands from germs and any chemical residues.
  3. Remove the Drain Cover: Some bathtubs have a stopper, while others might have a screen covering the drain. Use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the cover and lift it off.
  4. Manual Removal:
    • Bend the straightened wire coat hanger to create a small hook at one end.
    • Carefully insert the hook into the drain, gently twisting and turning it to catch hair and debris.
    • Pull the wire up slowly, bringing the hair with it. Repeat this process several times until you no longer pull up significant amounts of hair.
  5. Using a Plunger: Place the plunger over the drain, ensuring it has a good seal. Push down and pull up vigorously several times to create suction. This can help dislodge any remaining blockages.
  6. Natural Cleaning Solution:
    • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain.
    • Follow this with an equal amount of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz and bubble, helping to break down any remaining debris.
    • Allow this solution to sit for about 30 minutes.
    • Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to flush everything out.

Preventive Measures

  1. Install a Hair Catcher: These are mesh-like devices or silicone covers that fit over the drain, trapping hair before entering it. They’re inexpensive and can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
  2. Regular Cleaning: Make it a habit to clean the drain every few weeks, even if you don’t notice a blockage. This proactive approach can prevent significant clogs from forming.
  3. Avoid Oily Products: Minimize using oily bath products, as these can cause hair to clump together, making blockages more likely.


While hair blockages in bath drains are a common issue, they can be addressed with a bit of patience and the right techniques. Regular maintenance and preventive measures can ensure that your bath remains a place of relaxation, free from the woes of clogged drains. If you ever encounter a blockage that seems too challenging to handle, consulting with a drain company is always a good idea.

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