Skip to Content

How to Unclog Hair from the Shower Drain: 8 Effective Ways

A hand pulling a glob of hair off of a shower drain cover.

If you’ve ever had to unclog hair from the shower drain, you know how frustrating it can be. Trying to fish out all that hair using a plunger or a wire hanger can be a real pain. I know this because I’ve been there myself! I have found myself wondering how to unclog hair from the shower drain correctly countless times. What I was really looking for were effective ways to unclog hair from the shower drain without causing any damage.

Based on personal experience and research, the most effective way to unclog hair from the shower drain is to use vinegar and baking soda. The combination of these two ingredients is a powerful cleaning agent that can remove any clog, including hair.

Having hair-clogged shower drains is a huge problem, and a solution that will instantly remove the blockage is necessary.

If, on the other hand, your shower head is whistling, read here about why and how to fix it in my article here.

Here are some of the different ways you can unclog hair from the shower drain…

#1: Baking Soda and Vinegar

To unclog hair from the shower drain using this method, simply pour one cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before flushing it with hot water.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

There should be a significant difference in the flow of water down the drain. This means that you have successfully removed the hair blocking the shower drain.

If there isn’t an immediate difference, you can try this method again. There are instances when too many clumps of hair are blocking the drain, and one treatment may not be enough.

This one method might not be enough, so I’ve gathered a few more methods to unclog hair from the shower drain. Continue reading if you’re looking for more ways to do this effectively!

Baking soda in a glass jar and vinegar in a bottle on a counter top next to a sponge.
Baking soda and vinegar is an effective solution

7 More Methods to Unclog Hair From The Shower Drain

There are several other methods that you can try for unclogging drains instead of or in addition to the baking soda and vinegar method.

#1: Use Boiling Water

Another way to unclog hair from the shower drain is by using boiling water.

  1. Boil a pot of water.
  2. Pour the boiling water down the drain.
  3. Be careful when doing this as the hot water can cause burns.

This method works by breaking down the grease and oils that are clogging the drain. It can also help to loosen any stuck hair.

#2: Use Your Hand

If you can see the clog, you may be able to reach it with your hand.

  1. Wear a rubber glove like this one from Amazon, to protect your hand from the bacteria in the drain.
  2. Reach into the drain and try to grab the clog.
  3. Dispose of the hair.
  4. You may use another method, such as boiling water, to remove any residual hair left in the shower drain.

If you can’t grab the clog, try a different method. This method will not work if the clog is further down the drain.

#3: Wire Hanger

If you can’t reach the clog with your hand, you may be able to reach it with a wire hanger.

  1. Find a wire hanger that you no longer need.
  2. Unbend the wire hanger and shape the end into a small hook.
  3. Carefully insert the hook into the drain and see if you can grab the clog.
  4. If you’re able to grab it, pull it out and dispose of it properly.

Make sure that you dispose of the hair properly so that it doesn’t end up going back down the drain.

#4: Plunger

Plungers like this one sold on Amazon are typically used to unclog toilets, but they can also be effective at unclogging hair from shower drains.

  1. Make sure there’s enough water in the tub or shower to cover the plunger’s cup. This creates a seal and allows the plunger to suction properly.
  2. Place the plunger over the drain and make sure it seals, then push and pull it up and down.
  3. Continue for a few minutes before removing the plunger to see if the clog has been removed.
  4. If not, repeat the process. If this method does not work, continue trying others.
A plunger in a water filled tub.
The plunger method is safe

#5: Drain Snake

If a plunger does not unclog your drain, you might need to use a drain snake like this type. A small drain snake is usually all that’s needed for hair clogs.

  1. To use a drain snake, insert the end of the snake into the drain and turn the handle in a clockwise direction.
  2. As you do this, the snake will go down the drain and hopefully latch onto the clog.
  3. If you feel resistance, that means the snake is probably caught on something, so just continue slowly turning until you feel it detach.
  4. Once you’ve broken through the clog, pull the snake out of the drain. Some or all of the clog may come out with the snake.
  5. Run some water to see if the clog is gone. If not, repeat the process.

#6: Purchase the Right Chemicals

There are certain chemicals that are effective at unclogging hair from shower drains. However, it’s important to use caution as these chemicals can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Be sure to read the instructions on the label carefully before using any chemical uncloggers. If used correctly, these chemicals can be effective at unclogging a drain.

Examples of these chemicals include:

Liquid Plumr

Liquid Plumr is a popular chemical unclogger that is effective at unclogging hair from shower drains.

Simply pour the Liquid Plumr into the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes, then flush the drain with hot water to remove the clog.


Drano is another popular chemical unclogger sold on Amazon that can help unclog hair from the shower drain. Pour Drano into the drain and then wait for 15 minutes before flushing your drain with water to remove the clog.

Hair and Grease Dissolver

Hair and grease dissolvers are chemicals that are designed to dissolve hair and grease. You can find these on Amazon by following the link I’ve providedor at your local hardware store.

Simply pour the hair and grease dissolver into your drain and let it sit for 15 minutes before flushing with hot water. This should remove the clog.

Even though these chemicals are effective, they can be harsh on pipes and should only be used as a last resort. If you have tried these chemicals and the clog is still not removed, it may need a professional plumber.

Do not use these chemicals if you have a septic tank as they can damage the septic system. If you are unsure about using these chemicals, then ask a professional plumber for advice.

#7: Call a Plumber

If all else fails, call a professional plumber to unclog your drain. Plumbers have the tools and experience to unclog even the most stubborn of drains. They will also be able to advise on how to prevent hair from clogging the drain in the future.

Plumbers usually charge by the hour, so be sure to ask for a quote before they start working. The process of unclogging a drain can be time-consuming, so ask for an estimate of how long it will take. However, it will guarantee that the job will be done properly.

A plumber unclogging a shower drain with a plunger.
Sometimes it’s best to call a plumber

Which Method Is the Most Effective?

There is no single answer to this question. It depends on the severity of the clog and the type of drain.

If you only have a partial clog when the water is still draining but very slowly, it may be unclogged with a plunger or drain snake. Using vinegar and baking soda followed by hot water is also a good method for partial clogs.

If your drain is completely blocked, then these methods may not be successful. Try multiple treatments or, as a last resort a chemical drain cleaner.

It is best to be cautious with chemical drain cleaners because they can damage your pipes. If you use a chemical drain cleaner, be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the label.

Also, keep in mind that chemicals can harm you if they come in contact with your skin or if you breathe them in. Use them with caution and only when absolutely necessary.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and take precautions to protect yourself if you are using chemicals.

NOTE: Do not use chemicals without proper ventilation, and always wear gloves and protective eyewear.

How To Prevent Clogged Shower Drains

The best way to prevent clogged shower drains is to avoid letting hair and soap build up in the first place. Below are methods to prevent clogged shower drains:

#1: Use a Drain Cover or Hair Catcher

A drain cover or hair catcher like these on Amazon is a physical barrier that catches hair and soap scum before it enters your drain. This is an especially good solution for long hair.

Hair catchers sit over the drain and catch hair with small holes, similar to a sieve. The holes allow water to pass through but are guaranteed to catch any hair.

They are relatively inexpensive and can also be found at most home improvement stores. To install a hair catcher, simply place it over the drain. Some include screws for additional stability.

#2: Clean Drain Regularly

Another way to prevent clogged shower drains is to clean them regularly. Follow these steps to clean the drain:

  1. Mix baking soda and vinegar together and pour the mixture down the drain.
  2. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain.
  4. Flush the drain with cold water.

Regularly cleaning your drain will help to keep it clear of hair and other debris.

#3: Use Less Oily Body Products

Oily body products can contribute to clogged drains. Be sure to only use the recommended amount and rinse thoroughly afterward when using:

  • body wash
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • other products

Also, switch to body products that are less likely to cause clogs, such as those that are sulfate- and oil-free. Doing so will help keep a clear drain.

#4: Avoid Washing Hair Too Much

Washing your hair too often can lead to clogged drains. Try to shampoo and condition every other day, and use dry shampoo like this one on Amazon, on alternate days.

This helps reduce the amount of product buildup, preventing hair from clogging the shower drain.

However, there are instances when even the most diligent efforts fail and you end up with a clogged shower drain. When that happens, don’t despair! Follow the tips above to unclog your drain and get back to enjoying showers!

A man singing in the shower with a microphone.
Enjoy showers without a clogged drain!


Clogged shower drains are a common occurrence, but they don’t have to be a cause for concern. Just make sure to clean your shower drain regularly to prevent clogs from forming in the first place.

In case your shower drain gets clogged, try to use natural methods first like vinegar and baking soda. If those don’t work, then use a plunger or a drain snake. Using chemicals should be a last resort as they can damage your pipes.

If all else fails or you don’t want to use chemicals, call a professional to unclog your drain for you. This way, you can be sure that the job will be done properly without damaging your pipes.

You might also be interested in: