How to Dissolve Hair in a Drain Without Harming the Pipes or Septic

Updated February 21, 2017

Most people know all to well the effects of hair slipping down the drain. After a while, you'll notice the water drains very slowly, if at all. Hair, toothpaste, soap scum, shampoo residue and actual objects will start to collect, making a super clog in your drain. Many drain cleaners use harsh chemicals that can actually harm your pipes or septic tank. Before you call the plumber, try a few home remedies that can safely fix your problem.

Remove the drain from the sink or shower/bath tub floor.

Stretch out the hook from a wire hanger so that it can fit down the drain but still have a slight hook at the end.

Push the wire hanger down the drain. Twist, turn and twirl the hanger around to gather as much hair as possible as you can on the hook. Pull the hanger out and discard the hair. Do this until you can not pull anymore hair up.

Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of vinegar. The vinegar will react with the baking soda causing it to fizz and dissolve the hair. Plug up the drain to prevent the chemical reaction from fizzing out of the drain by using a drain stopper or pieces of duct tape.

Allow the chemicals to combine and react together for 20 minutes. During this time, boil 6 cups of water.

Pour the boiling water down the drain to flush out the baking soda and vinegar, as well as any residual hair.

Place a hair trapper over the drain to prevent hair from sliding down and clogging up your pipes.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire hanger
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • Drain plug or Duct tape
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • Hair trapper
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About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.