It's all too easy to conveniently forget about some house chores. We may put off cleaning ceiling fans, for instance (until we turn them on and dust bunnies fly through the air, and we can't deny that the chore any longer). But ceiling fan neglect doesn't come with much of a price. (Except, again, the dustbunnado.)
"Forgetting" to clean the hair from our drains, on the other hand, can leave us with a plumbing emergency, and the hefty bill that comes along with that. So this weekend, repulsive as it is, we're going to buckle down and clean out our bathroom drains.
Although, truth be told, to me it's satisfying to get those furry clods out.
Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you've always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.
This Weekend's Assignment:
Clean the hair from your bathroom drains.
Like it or not, here are a few ways to tackle this necessary task before it becomes a big problem:
The By-Hand Method:
- If necessary, remove drain covers with a screwdriver. Pull out drain plugs.
- Wear rubber gloves.
- If you can reach the clog with your hands, grab it and pull it out.
- If the clog is visible and not too far down, you could also use some tweezers to grab the hair and pull it out.
The Hanger Method:
- Again, if necessary, remove drain covers with a screwdriver. Pull out any drain plugs.
- Bend a wire hanger to form a long wire with a hook at the end.
- Thread the hook into the drain and pull out the hair.
Or Use Special Clog-Clearing Tools:
You can use tools if you can't reach the clogs or if you prefer to use tools that are specific to the job.
Apartment Therapy previously tested a couple of drain-clearing tools, and we found the FlexiSnake Drain Weasel ($18.95) worked great at getting our clog out of a slow-flowing pipe (and it's available with free same-day shipping via Amazon Prime, if you're desperate!). FlexiSnake also makes a cheaper tool, the Drain Millipede ($5.99) that looks like it could handle smaller jobs just as well.
If you've got a really bad clog, or clogs that keep coming back, it might be worthwhile to go for a powered drain auger like this one from Ryobi.
To Help Prevent Future Clogs
While some hair and product build-up will always find its way down the drain, you can help keep outright clogs to a minimum with the following techniques:
- Pour boiling water down the drain monthly.
- Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain monthly.
- Use a drain cover to minimize the amount of hair that goes down the drain; clean it out after every shower. This tub mushroom is extremely popular.
Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we've sent you, or tackle another project you've been meaning to get to. It's also completely okay to skip a weekend if you're busy or not feeling the assignment.