What to Look For When Your Sink or Tub is Clogged

Oh my clog.

washing hands
If your sink won’t drain, you’ll need to unclog it.Unsplash

Most humans shed between 50 and 100 strands of hair every single day—and people with thick hair can lose up to 200 strands just while shampooing. That’s a real problem for the bathroom plumbing, since those hairs can form clogs or even wrap around the crossbars of the drain itself—making a woolly net that catches minerals from the water or soap scum. Lovely. Here are some options for dealing with the grimy gremlin clogging up your drain.

Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver, 31 oz
This product uses chemistry to whisk away hair and oils gumming up the pipes—and comes packaged for two pre-measured applications.Green Gobbler

Liquid uncloggers work because they are heavier than water, so the product sinks into the plumbing and shifts the water’s pH to become more basic. This change triggers chemical reactions that actually dissolve the hair and oils clogging up the works. The best part? Since the clog completely dissolves and washes down the pipe, you don’t have to actually see it. Whew.

FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake - Drain Clog Remover Kit Includes Rotating Handle and 5 Micro-Hook Refill Wands - Thin, Flexible and Easy to Use - Safe for Most Drains and Grates - Made in the USA
This device clears plumbing manually and includes disposable ends to streamline cleanup.FlexiSnake

Manual uncloggers don’t use chemicals at all, which is a bonus for users concerned about their pipes or the environment. Instead, they rely on a long, flexible wand designed to slide down the initial curves of the plumbing and grab onto shallow clogs using tiny teeth or hooks. Then, the user simply pulls out the clog for disposal. Look for devices with handles or loops at the end for easy operation.

Drain Auger 25 Foot, Plumbing Snake Drain Auger Sink Auger Hair Clog Remover, Heavy Duty Pipe Snake for Bathtub Drain, Bathroom Sink, Kitchen and Shower, Snake Drain Cleaner Comes with Gloves
Very long, flexible steel cable designed to clear problems deep in the sanitary line.Drain Auger

Professional plumbers use an auger, sometimes called a snake. It works by unwinding a very long, flexible steel cable that can “snake” through up to 25 feet of plumbing to reach deep clogs. There, the tool manually breaks up the clog and pushes the pieces through the plumbing so the drain can function normally again.