Long Hair Don’t Care…Until You Clog the Drain

I have long hair.  I do a lot of hair management in the shower:  rinsing, co-washing, washing, conditioning.  Hair and product builds up pretty easily when you have long hair.  Imagine those hundred or so hairs that are shed daily going down the drain in tangles mixed in with oils, conditioners, and creams.  It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s a fact of life for someone with a certain hair care regime. 

Thankfully, for me, my plumber teaches me a lot about the light tasks that he often gets called (and paid) for.  I know how to free up a seized garbage disposal and change a toilet flapper.  When he was called to clear out a slow draining bath tub, he showed me the 5 minute fix that would save hundreds of dollars in labor and parts costs. 

               You need:

  • dish liquid
  • plunger (the simple rubber kind you remember from your childhood, $5-10)

The key point he made is this:  it’s the upward pull, NOT the downward push that frees up clogs.  He said that most people put in too much work by trying to push down really hard and passively allowing the plunger to return to the extended position.  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN. 

               Here is his normal routine:

  1. Run a little water into the tub/shower
  2. Pour some dish liquid down the drain.  A teaspoon or so should suffice.
  3. With rapid motion, use the plunger to work the dish liquid into the drain
  4. With more force and slower motions, push and pull with the plunger.  Remember:  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN.
  5. You should start to see a lot of disgusting guck and grime coming out of the drain.  Clean it out with a towel. 
  6. Run a little water to check drainage.

This worked on an almost completely clogged drained. 

The benefits of this approach are many.  It doesn’t use a lot of water.  A product is not required that will produce fumes or dangerous waste.  It is not a time consuming approach.  I could go on. 

Let me know how it works for you.